Free and Open Source Software

Open Source Mar 23, 2020

FOSS for the general public

Free Open Source Software or FOSS simply means that the source of the software (design and code for creating the software) are available to the public all unlike other private software who does not disclose the source for public use. As far as most people are concerned, the difference in meaning between “free software” and “open-source software” is negligible, and comes from a slight difference in approach or philosophy. As the Open Source Initiative sees it, both terms mean the same thing, and they can be used interchangeably in just about any context. They simply prefer the “open source” label because they believe it provides a clearer description of the software and its creators’ intent for how it should be used.

The four fundamental freedoms

A program is said to be a free and open source software if the users have the following freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose .
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute the software
  • The freedom to release the copies with new changes.

Pros and Cons of Free Open Source Software

The Free and open source software are cheap and reliable due to the worldwide developer support are excellent choice for students or someone who is on a budget. Due to the "Free" nature of these kinds of Software it can be used by anyone for any purpose for free making it appealing to the vast population. If you are intrested in such softwares then this blog is certainly for you but do keep in mind they also have some minor downsides which must be addressed.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Flexible/Customizable
  • Stable and Reliable
  • Transparency in User Privacy

CONS:

  • Limited Technical Support
  • Mediocre UI/UX

Some of the essential Free Open Source Softwares you can use:

Most of the people reading this might already be using the open source software without realizing but the

Mozilla Firefox (Web Browser)

Mozilla Firefox or simply Firefox is a modern web browser created by Mozilla Foundation. Unlike other web browsers which are based on chromium developed by google, firefox also offers better privacy to its users who do not want to compromise their data. Firefox is also quite fast and reliable making it the most essential Open Source Software in this list. Firefox is available on most of the platforms and is the web browser of my choice due to its versatility and emphasis on the user privacy.

VLC (Media Player)

VLC is a versatile media player developed by Video Lan available in windows, linux, mac os and android. It is a quite powerful yet simple media player with support for almost all video and audio formats and is highly customizable. The only major con of this media player is its outdated user interface.

Libre-Office (Office Suite)

Libre-Office may offer all of the functionalities offered by Microsoft Office suite but it covers all of the required basic functionalities we usually use. Same as the other FOSS applications, libreoffice also suffers from a mediocre and outdated user interface. But if you do not want to spend a lot of money on a simple word processing or spreadsheet software Libre-Office is a highly recommended Free Software.

7-zip (Utility Software)

7-zip is a file archive software developed by Igor Pavlov. 7-zip is a great alternative software you might require sometimes. Unfortunately the GUI version of 7-zip is only available on Windows. It is great for occasionally zipping and unzipping archives.

Elementary OS (Operating System)

Elementary OS is a popular GNU/Linux Distro based on ubuntu. The installation of the Operating system might require a bit of expertise but after installation elementary OS has a lot to offer. It is the most elegant operating system I have ever used with a minimalistic interface. Linux distros are no longer limited to the power users nowadays and some of the desktop environment

Rajat Shrestha

Software Developer @ eydean.

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