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  1. 1. TYPE OF DOCUMENT TECHNICAL RESEARCH REPORT TITLE OF DOCUMENT BY NAME OF THE AUTHOR STUDENT X Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the subject SUBJECT NAME AND CODE PROJECT IV IPR410B FACULTY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY PROJECT LEADER MCE JORDAN DATE 13 APRIL 2010
  2. 2. Table of Contents Section A Abstract …………………………………………………………………..3 Introduction……………………………………………………………….3 Section B Discussion of Aspects Define OSS……………………………………………………………….4 Advantages and Disadvantages of OSS…………………………………..5 OSS Support………………………………………………………………5 OSS Licensing Structure………………………………………………….6 Define Computer and Information Security………………………………6 Conclusion………………………………………………………………...7 Reference………………………………………………………………….7 2
  3. 3. ABSTRACT Open Source Software is software distributed under terms that comply with the Open Source Definition. The OSD is a document maintained by the Open Source Initiative. The definition offered by Open Source Initiative (OSI) focuses on software license. In contrast to proprietary software licenses, OSS licenses according to OSI must provide users a number of rights, including:-Anyone is free to distribute and user the software, the software source code is freely available and the right to make improvements to the program 1. INTRODUCTION According to Feller and Fitzgerald(2002), the term open source was coined in 1998 having previously being known as free software. It is sometimes still termed Free/Open Source Sofware(F/OSS). Although it is often available free, or for relatively small fee, it is not this that makes it open source. It is more licensing model which ‘guarantees the right to copy, modify and distribute the source code of the program without discrimination’. (Feller and Fitzgerald, 2000) Proprietary software does not have this kind of license and is usually available in a form that can be accused and modify by others. Open Source is made available as a source code that can be read, modify and used in other contexts. According to Greiner and Goodhue(2005), open source communities have ‘become increasingly successful, with some new threatening the market dominance of major proprietary software vendors. Apache and Linux , for example are two of the most popular and well known Open Source Software communities. Another interesting aspect is that software is developed by different individuals and groups in parallel, often geographically dispersed. 3
  4. 4. 2. DEFINE OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE1 Open Source definition is manifesto of the open source initiative and open source communities worldwide. It establishes several clauses that are to be complied with developers and distribution of these applications in orders to guarantee the continuous improvements of the application, its compatibility and interoperability with applications based on open standards, and free circulation. The open source definition identifies the fundamental criteria with which software license must comply for the underlying software to be defined as open source: • Free Redistribution:-The license shall not restrict ant party from selling or giving away the software component • Source Code:-The program must include a source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form • Derived Work:-The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software • Integrity of the author’s source code:-The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of “patch file” with the source code for the purposes of modifying the program • No discrimination against persons or groups:-The license must not discriminate against any person or groups of persons • No discrimination against fields of endeavor:-the license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. • Distribution license:-The right attached to the program must apply to all whom the program is redistributed without need for execution of an additional license by those parties • License must not b specific to a product:-The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program’s being part of particular of bugs and problems with code. 2. ADVANTAGES AND DISADAVANTAGES OF OSS 1 Online citizenship:-Emerging technologies for European Cities, By Eleonora Di Maria and Stefano Micelli. Pg 157 4
  5. 5. Freely revealing source code either implies modifications existing OSS or the release of formerly proprietary software under an OSS license. Henkel(2004b) summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of revealing for different actors as follows(Table 1) Table 1 Benefits Risks/downsides All contributors Improvement and furthers developments Loss of intellectual property by others Cost of preparing code for Standard setting release as OSS Reduced maintenance cost Cost of maintaining OS Programming discipline project(for maintainer) Attraction for programmers Infringement on patents can Increased reputation be detected more easily Technical skills(for high quality code) Bad reputation(for code of low quality) Users Integration of user developments into Loss of competitive official version advantage insights for competitors Visibility of security flaws Sellers of complements Increased sales of complementary goods Loss of competitive Pricing pressure on competitors advantage insights for competitors Visibility of security flaws Software Vendors Support for older software can be Licensing fee excluded terminated more easily 3. OSS SUPPORT The term technical support actually encompasses two different types of services which differ significantly in both what they deliver and how critical they are. This is the key point of (Berman, Fox and Hey, 2003). The first type answers product usage question: “how do I do this product?” The second type solves product failures: “The product isn’t working. How can I get it back up and running properly-fast? An organization that is accessing an open source product should consider both types of support in determining the technical support maturity level. 5
  6. 6. There are three technical support options available to open source user: community, paid and self-support. Determining which the best choice is, it’s important for an organization as it selects an open source product. 2 4. OSS LICENSING STRUCTURE The purpose of open source and free software licensing is to permit and encourage the involvement by licenses in improvement, modification and distribution of the licensed work. All open source licenses, by definition, freely allow the licensee to exercise all of the rights of copyright with respect to the licensed software. The difference between hereditary software licenses place significant conditions on the exercise of certain rights- generally the distribution right. Some OSS licenses contain explicit license grants, and some contain implicit ones.” • Direct Licensing Open source licenses are direct models. In other words, a licensee accepts software under the terms of the GPL and distributes it to another does not sublicense the rights in the software. • GPL The GPL is the most widely used open source license. The license is stewarded by the Free Software Foundation, which is responsible for issuing versions. 5. DEFINE COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SECURITY According to Chris DiBona(1999), Computer Security is a branch of technology known as information security as applied to computers and networks. The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft corruption and natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to remain accessible and productive to its intended users. Information security means protecting information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption and modification 2 The Open Source Alternative: Understanding Risks and Leveraging Opportunities, By Heather J Meeker 6
  7. 7. 6. CONCLUSION This documentation provided the overview of Open Source Software. OSS is defined as software which can be obtained in source code as well as binary form; can be freely redistributed, for free or for profit, modified or unmodified; can be free used without discrimination against persons or group, or fields of endeavor; which protects integrity of the original authors’ code and ensure same rights. These criteria are formally articulated in the Open Source Definition, which is maintained as a certification standard by the Open Source Initiative. There are number of OSI certificate licenses. There is enormous amount of Open Source Software in circulation. However product that have attracted significant attention are Linux, Apache, etc REFERENCES [1] David Avison and Guy Fitzgerald, Methodologies, Techniques and Tools: Information Systems Development (4th Edition) [2] Eleonora Di Matia and Stefano Micelli, Online Citizenship: Emerging Technologies for European Cities [3] Oliver Alex, Free Revealing: How Firms Can Profit From Being Open (2nd Edition) [4] Jay D. White, Managing Information in the Public Sector [5] Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman, Mark Stone, Open Sources: Voices From Open Source Revolution, Published by O’Reilly and Associates (First Edition) Jan 1999 [6] Heather J Meeker, The Open Source Alternative: Understanding Risks and Leveraging Opportunities, Published by john Wiley and Sons 2008 [7] Bernard Golden, Succeeding with Open Source 7

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