Open Source Software

A necessity to know for the exam. A very difficult topic summerised in an easy to understand way. I made it as easy as possible!!

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Software: Open Source Software
Introduction
Open source software gives the user the ability to modify a program's
functionality, e.g. adding, removing and editing.
Closed source software allows the user to run the software but not make changes
to functionality
Source Code
When a programme is written the programmer uses a programming language,
such as Java or Visual Basic to create source code.
Source code saved as ASCII (American Standards code Information Interchange)
Unable to be executed until its compiled in a object code. Object code then
distributed to users in form of executable files.
Open source model able to make changes to functionality of the software
Closed source software unable to make changes to functionality of the
software
Closed sourceAdvantages + Disadvantages
Advantages Disadvantages
High budgets: usually part of a commercial project. Vender Lockin: Property file format. Format details
Large budget, able to hire skilled developers, kept secret, if attempting to read file a copy of software
equipment and conduct research + development. must be bought.
Restriction of sharing: Believes sharing software is Requirement to Upgrade: rely on selling new versions to
a form of theft and therefore unethical. By preventing generate regular revenue, so developers add new
sharing the vendor protects its revenue stream + able features and improvements to convince users to upgrade.
to remain in business to improve software. Businesses feel forced to upgrade so they remain `up to
date.'
Protection of Intellectual Property: Many software Restriction of sharing: people share objects such as
development companies wish to keep their source umbrellas. Some believe it is not right that licensing
code a trade secret to prevent others from profiting restrictions usually prohibit sharing software.
from their work
Criticisms are vendorspecific: Many argue that it Restriction of user freedom: restriction on how
is possible for a closed source company to be both programme is used, e.g. maths software must be used for
`friendly' and protect trade secrets educational purpose not commercial.
Users cannot learn how software works: prevents
software from being deconstructed to learn now it works
and how to adapt + modify.

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Rushed development: may be rushed due to
financiallydetermined deadlines where the programme is
released with many mistakes present.
Open SourceAdvantages and Disadvantages
Advantages Disadvantages
Users are not tied to a particular vendor: If products Products can `fork', leaving users confused. Rival
become unavailable, users able to go elsewhere to groups of developers can take the same product in
access their data. different directions, resulting in 2 incompatible
products.
Future resistant: No entity on which the future Breach of patents: Allowing anyone to contribute
depends, e.g.…read more

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Trade secret information that companies keep secret to give them an
advantage over their competitors. The formula for CocaCola is the most famous
trade secret.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)restricts the unauthorised use of copyright
material to protect copyright and revenue.…read more

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