Open Source Development

Abstract

ABA.com (2011) explained that open source have a different meaning today than decades ago, and according to the OpenSource.org, the open source doesn’t just mean that only the licensees can have access to the source code, but also that such software must comply to the following criteria:

 

  • Free Redistribution – The license may not restrict any party from giving away, or selling the software.
  • Source Code – The program must allow the source code to be available in a compiled form.
  • Derived Works – The license must allow the distribution, and the modifications of the source code.
  • Integrity – The license must allow the distribution of the modified source code.
  • No Discrimination Against Group or Persons
  • No Discrimination Against Endeavour or Fields
  • License Must Not Contaminate Other Software – The license must not place restrictions on other software that might be distributed along with the licensed software. 

Open Source Software development process doesn’t explicitly define the system-level design, scheduling a list of deliverables or a well-defined project plan. Within the open source development, developers can undertake the work they wish to take, since the work is not assigned to specific person, team or group. A central management group might set certain code quality standards, and screen code; however, there are no firm restrictions of the code quality in general that can be compared with close source code projects rules (Stamelos and  Bleris,  n.d.).

The Benefits of Open Source

ABA.com (2011) explained that there are many reasons that made the open source model popular and successful among developers, and some of these reasons are:

 

  • Having access to the source code usually gives the developers the level of documentation they need without the need of documents update or having less details documentation as in case of the commercial software products.
  • Increase the speed collaboration among developers and development projects where the common source code pool will allow enhancing the development process.
  • Open Source programs are frees and such option pose alternative for software usage.
  • The broad license rights in the open source software allow the open source programs to be redistributed and modified.

Issues Surrounding Open Source Development

Despite the fact that the Open Source Software development process doesn’t have a well-defined deliverables, scheduling or plan, the Open-Source method has managed to produce a high quality products such as Apache Web Server, Linux Operating System, Per language and different Web Browsers (Stamelos and  Bleris,  n.d.).

Lawrie and Gacek (2002) explained that for a system to be dependable, it has to be trusted that can deliver certain attributes such as availability, reliability, and security. Open source projects represent a diversity of human scrutiny where inspections and reviews can produce high quality products. However, such dependability can be influenced by the development process used to build such product where such process can impose specific design goals or specific disciplined that can affect the final product. A potential problem with open source software is distribution of malicious code that can open security gaps for future attacks through an altered version of the software systems.   

Lawrie and Gacek (2002) argued that, in creating open source software that can be trustworthy, it’s imperative to implement an architecture that can be suitable for the collaborative development environment.  In open source environment, the main focus usually on the source-code as the critical co-ordination among developers, and as such; it influences the development process.

Open source software development process is not subjected to the same negative external constraints that face the traditional closed-source software such as budget and time. Despite the fact that the open source software approach is more of high ad-hoc efforts, open-source projects appear to be highly organized in many cases, and provide the tool required to enhance the human collaboration efforts, skills, creativity and learning to promote a reliable dependable product (Lawrie and Gacek, 2002).

ABA.com (2011) Argued that open source offers great opportunities that promotes a vast pool of access to a software talent, and the ability to improve the open software, it’s also impose some of the risks in the software development projects such as intellectual property rights and licenses problems. Companies that are looking to build a business on open source software need to consider the risks associated with open source such as copyrights and licenses issues.

Conclusion

The important characteristics for any Open source software are granting the right for others to freely redistribute the software, having the permission for others to modify the source code, and also enable others to access the source code. Nothing in the Open Source software licence can prohibit other form redistributing the software (OSS Watch, 2011).

The open source development process adopted by open source development is different from the traditional process that is used in the traditional closed source development projects. The major difference between the two environments is that there’re no specific roles among the people engaged in the development process, and also no specific tasks for each team members, and no specific orders for such tasks (OSS Watch, 2011).

Finally, the key area of the open source development is the need for others to be involved within the development process through user testing, project documentation, use cases design or analysis requirements.     

References

ABA.com (2011) An Overview of Open Source Software Licenses [Online]. Available from: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/intellectual_property_law/resources/an_overview_of_open_source_software_licenses.html (Accessed: 26 May 2011).

Lawrie, T. & Gacek, C. (2002) Issues of Dependability in Open Source Software Development [Online]. Available from: http://pdffreedownloading.com/Issues-of-Dependability-in-Open-Source-Software-Development-Tony-… (Accessed: 26 May 2011).

OSS Watch (2011) Open source of absolute beginners [Online]. Available from: http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/resources/beginners.xml (Accessed: 26 May 2011).

Stamelos, I.& Bleris, G. (n.d.) Dynamical Simulation Models for the Development Process of Open Source Software Projects [Online]. Available from: http://delab.csd.auth.gr/bci1/Panhellenic/586antoniadis.pdf (Accessed: 26 May 2011).

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Custom eCommerce Expert Says:

    Thanks for providing informative details on open source development.

    open source development are done comparatively cheaper and rapidly.


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