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Understanding Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) and the Benefit to E-Commerce


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Slide presented at ICoEC 2015 on Free/Open Source Software and E-Commerce.

Published in: Technology

Understanding Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) and the Benefit to E-Commerce

  1. 1. ICoEC 2015ICoEC 2015 UnderstandingUnderstanding Free/Open Source Software (FOSS)Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) andand the Benefit to E-Commercethe Benefit to E-Commerce
  2. 2. 2 Outline ● Introduction ● Proprietary Software ● Open Source Software (OSS) ● Sample of OSS ● 10 Advantages of E Commerce using OSS
  3. 3. 3 Introduction ● Executives/Businesses have traditionally viewed proprietary software/systems as safer, lower-risk options. ● Recent times increased scrutiny of capital expenditure has forced corporations to consider alternative technologies to extract maximum value from their IT budgets. ● While cost is an important factor, businesses are also looking hard at other benefits of open source, such as interoperability, flexibility, and access to the underlying code in their systems.
  4. 4. 4 ● Having the right type of software is essential for running a business as efficiently as possible in the global marketplace ● When it comes to choosing software for business purposes, or even creating a website, you generally have one of two choices when it comes to choosing a software platform ● choose to use proprietary software (trademarked and likely requires or purchase a license) or you can use open-source software, which is free software that you can download and pay no licensing fees to use.
  5. 5. 5 Introduction ● Cost is a crucial criterion in almost every business decision, and increasingly so in IT strategy as businesses seek to maintain competitive advantage ● Can open source software be THE SOLUTION??
  8. 8. 8 ● Software update means – Hardware Upgrade – More Money (Licenses) PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE
  9. 9. 9 PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE ● MathWorks MATLAB ● Microsoft Visio ● Microsoft Project ● Mindjet ● Adobe Illustrator ● Adobe Photoshop ● AutoCAD ● ● Microsoft Money (Plus) ● Windows Media Player ● Oracle ● OrCAD
  10. 10. 10 PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE ● Proprietary software, non-free software, or closed- source software ● where the developers or distributors reserve all freedoms and rights of: ● the freedom to analyze the software, and to change it (often deprived through intentional non-availability of sourcecode, or through Non- disclosure agreements (NDA)) ● the freedom to share the software (often deprived through copy prohibition via EULA (End User License Agreement) or NDA) ● the freedom to run the software for any purpose (often deprived through user-restrictions via EULA) ● Along with $$$$
  11. 11. 11 Proprietary Software Microsoft & EULA (End User License Agreement) ● You give up all rights ● You accept all obligations placed on you for limited benefit ● You may not share the software ● You may not change the software ● You do not own the software ● You may only install the software to one device ● We reserve the right to change the license for any reason or purpose at any time ● You may only run the software as specifically spelled out in the EULA
  12. 12. 12 Open Source Software (OSS) ● Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose ● Also known as (FS) Free Software (Richard Stallman → Free Software Foundation)
  13. 13. 13 Open Source Software (OSS) The Open Source Definition, ● presents an open-source philosophy, and further defines the terms of usage, modification and redistribution of open- source software ● Software licenses grant rights to users which would otherwise be reserved by copyright law to the copyright holder.
  14. 14. 14 Open Source Software ● The Free Software (FS) Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer") ● Since a great deal of free software already was (and still is) free of charge, such free software became associated with zero cost, which seemed anti- commercial ● Free Software, Open Source Software == FOSS
  15. 15. 15 Open Source Software ● The Free Software Foundation (FSF), started in 1985, intended the word "free" to mean freedom to distribute (or "free as in free speech") and not freedom from cost (or "free as in free beer") ● Since a great deal of free software already was (and still is) free of charge, such free software became associated with zero cost, which seemed anti- commercial ● Free Software, Open Source Software == FOSS
  16. 16. 16 Samples of FOSS
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. 18 GNU (Project consist of several apps) Richard Stallman GNU = GNU is Not Unix (a recursive acronym!) Project to implement a completely free Unix-like operating system ● Started by Richard Stallman in 1984, anRichard Stallman in 1984, an MIT researcherMIT researcher, in a time when Unix sources were no longer free. ● Initial components: C compiler (gcc), make (GNU make), Emacs, C library (glibc), coreutils (ls, cp ...) ● However, in 1991, the GNU project was still missing a kernel and was running only on proprietary unice, until the invention of Linux kernel!! GNU
  19. 19. 19 Linux (kernel) Linus Torvald ● Free Unix-like kernel created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds ● The whole system uses GNU tools: C library, gcc, binutils, fileutils, make, emacs... ● So the whole system is called “GNU/Linux” ● Shared very early as free software (GPL license), which attracted more and more contributors and users ● Since 1991, growing faster than any other operating system (not only Unix) TUX
  20. 20. 20 Unix (family tree) Time1970 19901980 2000 Bell Labs (AT&T) Ken Thompson Dennis Ritchie (C language created to implement a portable OS) BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) Sun Solaris SunOS (Stanford University Network) NetBSD NextStep  AIX (IBM) HP­UX IRIX (SGI) SRV5 OpenBSD FreeBSD MacOS X Bill Joy Richard Stallman Linus Torvalds BSD family System V familyRitchie, Thompson GNU Bill Joy GNU / Linux
  21. 21. 21 Linux Kernel Evolution
  22. 22. 22 GNU/Linux DISTRIBUTIONS (Distros) OS based on GNU/Linux
  23. 23. 23 Mozilla Firefox Most advanced and friendly web browser & No 1 browser ● License: MPL (copyleft type) ● Main developers: Mozilla Foundation, community ● Supported platforms: Unix / Linux, Windows, MacOS X ● Market share (March 2007): 24% in Europe. It even reaches 44% in Slovenia, 41% in Finland and 36% in Germany! More statistics on ● Alternative to IE
  24. 24. 24 LibreOffice ● Main developer: The Document Foundation ● Support Open Document Format (ODF) to provide freedom ● LibreOffice has been downloaded approximately 7.5 million times since its first stable launch in January 2011. ● Default office suite in many different Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Linux Mint, openSUSE and Ubuntu. ● Google also supports the LibreOffice project ● LibreOffice is licensed under the terms of the LGPLv3 ● Alternative to Microsoft Office
  25. 25. 25 It took 10 years (2003-2013) to do the transformation
  26. 26. 26 FOSS Licences Copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work: ● includes the right to copy, reproduce, distribute and adapt the work. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to: ● exercise control over copying and other exploitation of the works for a specific period of time. ● Anyone requiring to exploit and use any copyrighted work requires permission to use that work. ● Can grant permission and grant license for exploitation of the work.
  27. 27. 27 FOSS Licences Copyleft is a term used in respect of FOSS licensing which is used for copyright: ● Copyleft is a practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work. Main idea behind copylefting the open source software was: ● to not let the product fall into the domain of proprietary software. If open source software is put into public domain with no copyright, people can make the said software proprietary and it would defeat the whole purpose of open source freedom. ● To guarantees that every user has the freedom.
  28. 28. 28 FOSS Licences Copyright law has been used to withhold permission: ● to copy, modify or distribute software, Copyleft ensures that the project remains free, and all modified and extended versions of the program remains free as well. Proprietary software developers use copyright to: ● take away the users' freedom; Copyleft guarantees their freedom. That's why the name has been reversed from “copyright” to “copyleft”
  29. 29. 29 FOSS Licences FOSS licenses are categorized as: ● strong, ● weak or ● with no copyleft provisions Non-copyleft licenses, also known as permissive licenses, allows those using the software to re-license it under any terms as they want. The most popular copyleft license is GPL. The most popular non-copyleft license is BSD style. These licenses place no restriction on licensing for modified works.
  30. 30. 30 The strength of the copyleft governing a work is an expression of the extent that the copyleft provisions can be efficiently imposed on all kinds of derived works FOSS Licences - Copyleft
  31. 31. 31 FOSS Licences - Copyleft
  32. 32. 32 10 eCommerce advantages that come with OSS By: Abbe Miller, marketing manager at NetSphere Strategies (Chicago)
  33. 33. 33 1. Costs are less. ● OSS licensing fees and software acquisition costs are relatively inexpensive, if not free, thanks in part to the lack of associated branding and marketing expenses. ● Examples of free OSS are Apache web server, Linux operating system, JBoss application server and Eclipse development tools.
  34. 34. 34 2. Avoid vendor lock-in. ● Companies don’t want to be strangled by their vendors. Why pay a vendor for a needless upgrade simply to maintain compatibility with others using the same software? When you get in too deep with a particular product suite, it becomes increasingly difficult to be the “captain of your ship.” ● OSS is about freedom and choice – shifting the balance of power back to the customer.
  35. 35. 35 3. Flexibility of deployment. ● Since OSS is distributed with no licensing restrictions regarding implementation, companies can respond quickly to changing circumstances by installing additional copies to meet development and scalability needs at no cost. ● Install it as many times and in as many locations as you need. There’s no need to count, track or monitor for license compliance.
  36. 36. 36 4. Licenses are clear. ● GNU General Public License is a model of simplicity compared with commercial alternatives. ● The license's basic stipulation that software changes that are released to anyone must be released to everyone couldn't be easier to understand. Since the GPL is so widely adopted, fewer resources are wasted on legal costs and fighting over esoteric language and exceptions.
  37. 37. 37 5. Responsiveness to company needs. ● Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach of commercial software where the software must be used as-is or risk voiding the warranty, OSS source code availability enables companies to easily add the functionality they need versus buying bloated software vendor packages for features they might never use.
  38. 38. 38 6. Protection against obsolescence. ● Open source lives in the community, which means there will always be developers to support it. Or, you can always fall back on using the source code to make your own modifications. ● No matter what solution you buy, you will always have to customize it. ● Start with a lower-cost solution and customize it from there.
  39. 39. 39 7. Perspective. ● While some organizations are wary of using OSS because it lacks a clear "throat to choke," other companies recognize the problems that come from putting all of their eggs in one basket.
  40. 40. 40 8. Has its place. ● LAMP (Linux/OS, Apache/web server, MySQL/database and PHP/Perl/Python/program languages) is becoming a fixture at the Web tier – as proven by Amazon, Google and Yahoo, while J2EE apps still rule at the Server tier or back- office operations.
  41. 41. 41 9. Breadth of offerings. ● There is an amazing array of available open- source products with hundreds of thousands of open-source products just waiting to be downloaded. ● No matter what type of product you're looking for, chances are there are one or more OSS options for you.
  42. 42. 42 10. Quality. ● Community development leads to more reliable and secure code. ● Fixes and enhancements are built and distributed faster because the developers are also the users. ● Excellence in design and efficiency in coding are also possible because of the peer review process that is inherent in its community standards. ● And if you don't like something about the software, you can just fix it yourself.
  43. 43. 43 Conclusion ● OSS is about: ● Freedom (without strict restriction), vendor lock in ● Advanced Technology open for Innovation ● Not really about $$$$$.. ● Sustainability
  44. 44. 44 THE END QnA