- "Because open source software features open code, more programmers are able to view the code, create new functionality, and fix bugs. This follows the same natural way that science has developed over time."
- – Taoism of Open Source; Chen Nan Yang; September 29, 2007.
Free Open Source Software (FOSS), also called Free / Libre Open Source Software (F/LOSS) and Free Software, is specifically licensed to be free to use, modify, and distribute. In return for this value, many FOSS licenses require that any modifications distributed in computer code also be made freely available in modifiable source code under the same license, continually growing the software capability. These self-reinforcing licenses are particularly good at generating the kind of trust with developers and users that leads to the creation of large and sustainable ecosystems.
FOSS is developed and supported by meritocratic teams of individual developers, associations of companies, businesses that provide value-add support and services, non-profit foundations, and research and academic institutions. It is increasingly seen as the global standard and lowest-risk choice for operating systems to applications, helping individuals and organizations reduce costs, increase deployment, improve standards compliance, enhance security, and avoid vendor lock-in. More information can be found in the following sections.
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Commercial Open Source Software (COSS) can contain FOSS components, however limits availability of some functionality to closed proprietary software, and therefore is described on this site only on the COSS page.