|a. intellectual property, esp computer source code, that is made freely available to the general public by its creators|
|b. Compare closed source (as modifier): open source software|
Relating to source code that is available to the public without charge. Open-source code is often enhanced, improved, and adapted for specific purposes by interested programmers, with the revised versions of the code are made available to the public. For example, most of the code in the Linux operating system is open-source.
open sourcen. [common; also adj. `open-source'] Term coined in March 1998 following the Mozilla release to describe software distributed in source under licenses guaranteeing anybody rights to freely use, modify, and redistribute, the code. The intent was to be able to sell the hackers' ways of doing software to industry and the mainstream by avoid the negative connotations (to suits) of the term "free software". For discussion of the followon tactics and their consequences, see the Open Source Initiative (http://www.opensource.org) site.
social movement, begun by computer programmers, that rejects secrecy and centralized control of creative work in favour of decentralization, transparency, and unrestricted ("open") sharing of information. Source refers to the human-readable source code of computer programs, as opposed to the compiled computer programming language instructions, or object code, that run on computers but cannot be easily understood or modified by people
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