Open Source Software

by Larry Emmott on October 8, 2007

in General,Software

I have been getting a number of questions etc regarding open source software and Open Dental. First it is important to understand what Open Source is. Following is a definition from Webopedia, Follow the link for lots of details.

In very simple terms open source is software that anybody can modify, it is in the public domain. This may or may not be a good thing.

(1) Generically, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge, i.e., open. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.

OSI dictates that in order to be considered “OSI Certified” a product must meet the following criteria:

  • The author or holder of the license of the source code cannot collect royalties on the distribution of the program
  • The distributed program must make the source code accessible to the user
  • The author must allow modifications and derivations of the work under the program’s original name
  • No person, group or field of endeavor can be denied access to the program
  • The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program’s being part of a particular software distribution
  • The licensed software cannot place restrictions on other software that is distributed with it.

What is open source? – A Word Definition From the Webopedia Computer Dictionary.

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