"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.
This site is about Free Open Source Software or FOSS, also called Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), Free Software, and just Open Source. FOSS is released under a license that is kind of a lawyer's version of the Golden Rule, ensuring it is available to everyone to use, modify, and distribute at no cost, while mandating that anyone that does use it must make it available to others to use, modify, and distribute at no cost.
Most Free Open Source Software licenses also require that any modifications made to the software - such as fixes and enhancements - must also be made available to others under the same license at no cost. This creates living software, continually growing the capability and value for all. These licenses are best at generating the trust that leads to large and sustainable communities, and most FOSS today is released under a license including this give-back condition.
Free Open Source Software is increasingly seen as the standard for operating systems to user applications for individuals, small organizations, and large enterprises. It helps reduce cost, enhance productivity, improve standards compliance, avoid vendor lock-in, and enhance security. It is the lowest risk choice with the best long-term investment protection. More information can be found in the following sections.
Additional information can be found at the following pages.
Commercial Open Source Software (COSS) can contain Free Open Source Software components, however limits availability of some functionality to closed proprietary software, and therefore is described on this site only on the COSS page.