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"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 provides information about Free Open Source Software (FOSS), also called Free/Libre Open Source Software (F/LOSS), Free Software, and sometimes just Open Source. FOSS is released under a legal license that is kind of an Intellectual Property lawyer's version of the golden rule - it makes the software freely available to anyone to use, modify, and distribute as they wish, as long as they agree in turn to make it freely available to others to use, modify, and distribute as they wish.

In addition, many FOSS licenses require that any changes to the software - usually fixes and enhancements - must also be made freely available to others under the same license. This is like software yeast, it 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 today is released under a license including this principle as well.

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.




The following links provide site related information.

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.