Everyone in this world is using open source platform in one way or the other, irrespective of whether they realize it or not. Ever since its inception, open source has been a huge hit among software developers as well as businesses. February 2018 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), a movement that was started way back in 1998 by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens. The aim was to make the source code accessible to all so that developers around the world can tweak and make useful additions to a software to enrich it even further.
Essentially, the open source community is comprised of both professional and amateur developers who enhance, modify, and work on publicly available source code. And businesses can utilize the code through tools such as Github, to build their own products and services. Today, more and more businesses around the world are joining the Open source bandwagon as it helps them save both time and money.
Over the years, the open source platform has made a considerable impact on programming and businesses. In an annual survey conducted Black Duck, it was found that of the 1,300 respondents, nearly 78% agreed to run their business operations (at least partly) on open source software. Here’s how open source is helping enrich programming and businesses:
- Viable And Accessible
During the initial years of the OSI, Linux largely remained beyond the understanding of man. It was not very user-friendly, as in, it was pretty difficult to install and work on. Today, however, the situation has changed a lot. After decades of modifications and enhancements, Linux is now much more convenient and easy to use. In fact, the popularity of Linux has escalated so high that the top 500 supercomputers of the world run on Linux.
- The ‘Source’ Behind Android’s Power!
Yes, open source is what makes Android so easy to work with. It is based on Linux. Many companies in the market today are leveraging open source software such as Linux or Tizen to build their Android platform. However, while most Android phones are based on open source OS, the end product is a closed source one, that is, it cannot be tweaked or modified.
- Run The Cloud!
The popularity of open source has caught on so fast that more and more people are now inclining towards services/products that can be accessed through the Web instead of using local apps for the same. Basically, the websites are loaded on someone’s computer somewhere in the world and open source platform allows users to access such websites. FreeBSD and Linux are a hit for cloud servers that allow others to access web services remotely.
- The Web – Made Easy
Today, anyone can have their own website, all thanks to open source. Take WordPress, for instance. WordPress is the backend for many websites – while obtaining a domain name is going to cost you, building a website is essentially free. It is this open source feature that has made WordPress a renowned and trusted name all over the world.
- The Baton Continues To Progress Beyond The ‘Code’
Open source has gained such as strong foothold that companies are no longer just using it but are also helping progress it by launching their own open source codes. Reputed names such as Walmart and ExxonMobil are following suit. While Walmart launched an open source cloud management system, ExxonMobil released an open source developer toolkit. Furthermore, magnates of the finance world such as JP Morgan and London Stock Exchange Group have adopted Hyperledger, an open source software that holds the potential to completely transform the share market scenario.
Open source is massive. Practically every software that is a big hit with us today is rooted in open source. Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, maintains:
“The future of open source is bright. We are on the cusp of a new wave of innovation that will come about because information is being separated from physical objects thanks to the Internet of Things. Over the next decade, we will see entire industries based on open-source concepts, like the sharing of information and joint innovation, become mainstream.”
So, folks, this is only the beginning for there’s a lot more to come!