Free & Open Source Software For Nonprofits: NTEN Webinar
Free and Open Source Software For Nonprofits: Tools and Tips Gregory Heller Twitter: @gregoryheller [email_address]
What is “Free Software” “ Free software” is a matter of liberty , not price. Think of “free” as in “free speech,” not “free” as in “free beer” .
What is “Free Software” “ Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”. Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms: <ul><li>The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Excerpted from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html </li></ul>
What Is “Open Source” Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in. Source: http://www.opensource.org/
Why does it matter? <ul><li>Access to the source code
Rent Vs. Own Like renting a house, instead of owning, there are trade-offs. You don't have to pay to replace the roof, but then again, you might not be able to paint the walls or remodel the kitchen.
So What Does It Cost? <ul><li>You don't pay for licensing
Community vs Company Free & Open Source software is maintained by communities of developers. Sometimes they are paid by a company to do so, in collaboration with others who are not. Sometimes many companies pay different people to maintain different aspects of the software.