| "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 is a public Wiki about Free Open Source Software (FOSS), sometimes also called Free/Libre Open Source Software, Free Software, or just Open Source.
All FOSS licenses require that the software remain available to use, modify, and distribute at no cost. Most FOSS licenses also include kind of a lawyer's version of the Golden Rule, requiring that all software modifications, such as bug fixes and enhancements, must also be made available under the same license - with permission to use, modify, and distribute at no cost. This naturally creates living software, continually growing the value for all. These licenses are good at generating the trust that leads to large and sustainable communities. The great majority of FOSS is released under licenses including this give-back condition.
FOSS is increasingly the go-to standard for operating systems to user applications, for individuals to large enterprises. It helps reduce costs, avoid lock-in, increase productivity, enhance security, and improve standards compliance. With the best long-term investment protection, FOSS is the lowest risk choice for software systems today. 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 key functionality to closed proprietary software, and therefore is described on this site only on the COSS page.