Free and Open Source Software

Open source software (OSS) is software that is distributed with its source code, making it available for use, modification, and distribution with its original rights. Source code is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers manipulate to control how a program or application behaves. Programmers who have access to source code can change a program by adding to it, changing it, or fixing parts of it that aren’t working properly. OSS typically includes a license that allows programmers to modify the software to best fit their needs and control how the software can be distributed.

It’s important to remember that open source doesn’t just mean “free”. Lots of companies release their software for free but maintain full copyright ownership of their code, so other developers aren’t able to modify it. By contrast, successful open source initiatives are built on the hard work of potentially thousands of collaborators who have voluntarily given up their time to create something awesome. 

And that, in a nutshell, is how Open Source Software is created and sustained. Any group of people can create Open Source Software, with or without a corporation. It’s just like any other type of work: sometimes you need money to pay for things you can’t do yourself (like art or advertising), and sometimes it isn’t the best use of resources. Either way, there are a lot of benefits to creating Open Source Software with someone else, and when possible it often makes sense to take advantage of these. Whether you’re working on a product of your own, or contributing to someone else’s product, making products available as Open Source Software can help many others do what they do better, faster, and more efficiently. In the next article we will explore the costs involved in creating and maintaining Open Source Software by looking at who pays what when the source code is released under various licensing options.

Open source software is a great way to experience everything the world of programming has to offer. This software can be downloaded and installed for free, but it’s not without its drawbacks. If you’re interested in installing open source software on your computer, you should first learn all about what comes with it and how to best take care of your devices and data.

Such an accessible development system has some serious advantages. Open source software is often more secure because people from around the world scrutinize new releases and bugs get reported and addressed fast. Also, people are motivated to add cool new features to open source platforms which means open source software is often just as good, if not better, than competing pay-to-use programs.  

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a customizable internet browser and free open source software. It offers thousands of plugins that are accessible with a single click of your mouse.  

The platform holds 3.98% of the worldwide browser market share and it is available for Android, iOS, Windows and Linux.   

According to CNET, Mozilla reshaped the technology industry and fanned the flames of open source software that changed the way social networks and operating systems function.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a complete office suite that offers presentations, documents, spreadsheets and databases. 

Unlike Microsoft Office, which is not accessible for everyone due to its pricing model, LibreOffice is totally free. 

To support it, its users can make donations when they download. So, it has a huge community of contributors.

It is available for Mac, Linux and Windows and it also has a live chat and a forum where you can turn to when searching for help.

GIMP

Another of the best open software source examples that is worth mentioning is the photo editing tool GIMP. 

It offers similar features like some of the expensive tools on the market including various filters and effects, and yet it is free. 

GIMP is available across different platforms including Windows and Linux and it has different 3d party plugins and customization options. 

Plenty of illustrators, graphic designers and photographers use it to improve their pictures and enhance their work.

 VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is one of the most popular open source software examples that you can use for free.

This multimedia player is used for video, media and audio files and it plays discs, webcams, streams and devices. Most of the users use it for streaming podcasts as well.

It allows you to optimize your audio and video files for a particular hardware configuration and also offers a plethora of extensions and skins which allows you to create customized designs.

What’s more, it runs on different platforms such as Android, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, iOS and more.

 Linux

According to a Stack Overflow survey, 83.1% of developers claimed that Linux is the most wanted platform. 

Linux is one of the most user-friendly open source software on the market. It is most commonly used on Android devices and desktops.

What makes this operating system different from the others is that it costs nothing and it is incredibly customizable.

Most companies also choose it because it is highly secure and offers excellent community support. 

Blender

Blender is another of the best open source software examples of 2021. 

It is a 3D graphics and animation tool that supports motion tracking, simulation, animation, video editing, rendering, modeling and much more. 

It also offers a set of modeling tools and features including real-time viewpoint prereview, multi-resolution and support for Planar tracking and Tripod solvers.

GNU Compiler Collection

GNU Compiler Collection is a collection of compilation tools for software development in the C, C++, Ada, Fortran and other programming languages.

It provides high-quality releases regularly and works with native and cross targets. 

The sources it offers are freely available via weekly snapshots as well as SVN.

Python

Python is common programming and scripting language used by custom software developers.

According to IEEE, it was the most popular language in 2019. In recent years, it attracts plenty of new users because of its fast-growing field of machine learning.  

PHP

When talking about the best open source software examples of 2021, we shouldn’t miss PHP

It is a software development language used for creating websites and other digital platforms.

It is fast and flexible and powers some of the most popular websites around the globe including Slack and Spotify.   

Shotcut

Shotcut is a video editor that offers powerful features including audio and webcam capture, color, text, noise, and counter generators, support of popular image formats, EDL export and much more. 

It is a great tool to edit your audio and video files with and it is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. 

On its website, you can also find great resources and tutorials on how to use this free open source software.  

Conclusion

Whether you’re running a business that requires open source software or looking to contribute to open source, the list above includes some awesome (and free) open source software tools and resources.

Software for your website can be expensive. Open source options are often much cheaper and could even give you the features you need to run your site. But with so many options, where do you look? On this page, you’ll find a list of free open source software (FOSS) that I think should find its way into any serious webmaster’s toolbox.

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