Software Freedom Day Worth Celebrating | Fanatic Attack
No, this is not a day when you free yourself of all your software addictions. Rather, Software Freedom Day is an annual grass roots effort to educate the public on the virtues of free and open source software. The 2008 event takes place on September 20 and will be celebrated in 65 countries across the globe. So exactly what is this open source movement and why are people celebrating it? Moreover, why should you care?
Open source software is available for free, to everyone and unlike for example, Windows or Mac operating systems, it is non-proprietary - meaning it is available for others to share, build upon, change, and redistribute either in its modified or unmodified form.The source code is transparent and allows rights to users which would otherwise be prohibited by copyright. Since the source code is transparent, bugs or security flaws can quickly be discovered and patched. In a proprietary system, the software is closed and typically you are reliant on the company’s “word” that security glitches will be or have been fixed.
Just as Sunshine Laws are invaluable tools to keep the public informed of elected official’s meetings in the public interest, open source provides such user benefits in software as increased control, enhanced security, free or reduced cost and higher quality due to constant peer review of the code.Some excellent examples of open source software include Mozilla Firefox internet browser, Ubuntu operating system, OpenOffice.org, a software suite similar to Microsoft Office, GIMP image editing software and the list goes on and on from there.
So if you’re new to open source, Software Freedom Day celebrates a philosophical movement which values collaboration, community and transparency. It benefits the public good and ensures basic human freedoms are strengthened by technology, not hampered.