- "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.
FOSS is released under a legal license that is kind of a lawyer's version of the golden rule - while making the software freely available to anyone to use, modify, and distribute as they wish, it also requires them to make it freely available to others in turn to use, modify, and distribute as they wish.
In addition, many FOSS licenses require that any changes - usually fixes and enhancements - made to the software must also be made freely available to others under the same license, which continually grows the capability. These self-reinforcing kinds of licenses are particularly good at generating the trust that leads to large and sustainable communities, and most FOSS software today is released under a license including this principle.
FOSS can be supported by anyone, and is generally developed by meritocratic teams of developers, associations of companies, businesses that provide support and services, non-profit foundations, and research and academic institutions.
FOSS is increasingly seen as the global standard and lowest-risk choice for operating systems to end-user applications. FOSS helps individuals and organizations reduce cost, increase use, improve standards compliance, enhance security, and avoid vendor lock-in. More information can be found in the following sections.
Except for this home page and a small number of other locked pages, you can edit any page by clicking the "Edit" tab. More information on formatting can be found here. To create a new page, first search for the desired name in the Search box on the left of the page, and if it doesn't already exist, then a link on the results page will enable you to "create new page".
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.