open source [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ 1. IP2 · A computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge (open).
— adj. ~ 2. Computing · A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely.

Other Definitions

  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 p. 1200): Of or related to software that includes human-readable source code and can be freely revised.
  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 p. 2000 ): open-source software ~ Software that is usu. not sold for profit, includes both human-readable source code and machine-readable object code, and allows users to freely copy, modify, or distribute the software.
  • Black's 9th 2009 (†382 p. 1004.): open-source license (s.v. "license") ~ A license that allows open-source software users to copy, distribute, or modify the source code, and publicly distribute derived works based upon the source code. · Open-source licenses usu. do not require royalty or other fees on distributions. The license typically requires a user who redistributes original or modified software that was received under an open-source license to provide the original license terms, including all disclaimers, to all future users, and to distribute the source code with any machine-executable software. It is unclear who has the right or power to enforce the terms of an open-source license. Sometimes termed 'general public license'.
  • Gartner IT Glossary (†298 s.v. "open source"): Software that comes with permission to use, copy and distribute, either as is or with modifications, and that may be offered either free or with a charge. The source code must be made available.
  • SAA Glossary 2005 (†241 ): [open source software] n. ~ Computer code that is developed and refined through public collaboration and distributed without charge but with the requirement that modifications must be distributed at no charge to promote further development. ¶ Notes: Open source software is often distributed under terms of the General Public License to ensure collaboration


  • Gartner IT Glossary (†298 s.v. "proprietary software"): Software that is owned by an organization or an individual, as opposed to “public-domain software,” which is freely distributed. The explosion in the use of the Internet has expanded the reach of public-domain software since it is now much easier to transmit these programs. While many commercial software developers have developed software that has become the de facto standard (e.g., Microsoft’s Windows programs), proprietary software that is based on proprietary protocols, or standards, can create obstacles for application development and usage. (†709)
  • McMillan 2014 (†535 ): For Robert Graham, the CEO of consultancy Errata Security, Shellshock gives lie to a major tenant of open-source software: that open-source code permits “many eyes” to view and then fix bugs more quickly than proprietary software, where the code is kept out of view from most of the world. It’s an idea known as Linus’s Law. “If many eyes had been looking at bash over the past 25 years, these bugs would’ve been found a long time ago,” Graham wrote on his blog last week. ¶ Linus Torvalds–the guy that Linus’s Law is named after and the guy who created the Linux operating system–says that the idea still stands. But the fallacy is the idea that all open-source projects have many eyes. “[T]here’s a lot of code that doesn’t actually get very many eyes at all,” he says. “And a lot of open-source projects don’t actually have all that many developers involved, even when they are fairly core.” (†865)
  • NIST 2013 (†734 p. F-76): Open source software refers to software that is available in source code form. Certain software rights normally reserved for copyright holders are routinely provided under software license agreements that permit individuals to study, change, and improve the software. From a security perspective, the major advantage of open source software is that it provides organizations with the ability to examine the source code. However, there are also various licensing issues associated with open source software including, for example, the constraints on derivative use of such software. (†1828)
  • Open Source 2014 (†509 Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria: 1. Free distribution . . . 2. Source code . . . 3. Derived works . . . 4. Integrity of the author's source code . . . 5. No discrimination against persons or groups . . . 6. No discrimination against fields of endeavor . . . 7. Distribution of license . . . 8. License must not be specific to a product . . 9. License must not restrict other software . . . 10. License must be technology-neutral. (†796)
  • Open Source 2014 (†509 Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition. (†797)
  • Open Source 2014 (†509 To be approved by the Open Source Initiative (also known as the OSI), a license must go through the Open Source Initiative's license review process. ¶ The following OSI-approved licenses are popular, widely used, or have strong communities (as defined in the 2006 Proliferation Report): · Apache License 2.0 · BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" license · BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" or "FreeBSD" license · GNU General Public License (GPL) · GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL) · MIT license · Mozilla Public License 2.0 · Common Development and Distribution License · Eclipse Public License (†798)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. open source): A development model promotes a universal access via a free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.[Lakhani & von Hippel, 2003][Gerber & Van der Merwe, 2010] (†1072)