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What Is Open Source And What Does It Consist Of?


Whether you read from your mobile or from your computer, it is very likely that you are using a system built with open source or open source software, but do you know what it is and what it consists of? We tell you.

The programs of our computer, our mobiles or any digital device that we use every day are software’s formed by a source code. This source code can be of two types, open or closed, or in other words, it can be modified by anyone being public (Open Source) or being in private mode.

We do not see that code, we do not see how it works, we simply receive the result of its work. That is to say, the source code establishes the instructions that indicate how the computer program should behave and the functions that it can execute.

Perform mathematical calculations, take photographs, and write a text, we could not do anything with our devices if it was not indicated in the source code that is like the DNA of each program or computer application.

How was open source created?

In 1985 Richard Stallman founded the Free SoftwareFoundation (FSF) with which he would promote the use of open source or free software. The idea of ​​free software, maintains that users should have the freedom to see, change, update and correct the source code to meet their needs and be able to share freely with other users.

The problem is that in English the word "Free" is mainly understood as free, so in order not to create confusion it was decided to replace it with Open or open source. If you are watching this video with your mobile it is possible that you are using the Android and iOS operatingsystems that started to be created with open source software blocks, and the same thing happens if you see us from your laptop in browsers such as Chrome or Firefox.

The most important example that we can put of an open source system is the one created by Linux. The open source Linux kernel has served to give life to thousands of new computer systems: from the Android system of your mobile phones, to the system used by the computers of astronauts on the International Space Station, to which the CERN scientists in Switzerland.
The FSF created a project to create open source software that everyone could use, called GNU Project, which included open codes from other companies such as the TEXT code to process the texts, or the Linux kernel in the heart of the system.

To protect the concept of freedom of these systems, the GNU GPL license was established based on the copy left concept, opposed to copyright or copyright. According to this license, anyone could create their own system using the GNU open source, and commercialize it, but with the condition of keeping the code of this new program also open to the rest of the developers.