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Open Source Primer

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A primer on open source applications for lawyers, legal professionals and anyone else who is interested.

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Open Source Primer

  1. 1. Open Source Primer Open Source in the Law Office Gwynne Monahan Founder, Chief Consultant - Shadow Froggy Consulting
  2. 2. Open Source? <ul><li>Legal: refers to type of licenses under which software can be released. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GPL/GNU </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concept is the elimination of restrictions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Price </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. 4 Pieces <ul><li>4 “pieces” to open source: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source Code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freely Available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To Change and Alter </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Software & Source Code <ul><li>Software: applications you use all the time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FireFox </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source Code: what makes the software work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>.NET </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PHP </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Freely Available & To Alter and Change <ul><li>Freely Available = $0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't have to pay for permission to use the software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To Alter and Change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to the source code, or guts, of the software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hook pieces together, build add-ons, </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Common Misconceptions <ul><li>“ Alter source code? I must know all kinds of computer code to use the app then.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I must either go open source or go proprietary.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There's no support if I run into trouble.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Open must mean there is no security.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Open Source Example: OpenOffice <ul><li>OpenOffice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Alternative to MS Office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All-In-One </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Word Processor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spreadsheet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PPT </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does things MS Office can't </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WordPerfect & .docx Files </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timer Function </li></ul></ul></ul>

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