Published at LXer:
The open and closed regions of the software world are poles apart, and not even the open source community can agree on the terminology. So, secure in the knowledge that fear, uncertainty and doubt are rife, how do you navigate the open source minefield? Open source code generally evolves through the cooperation of a community of developers and is made available to the public, enabling anyone to make a copy, modify or redistribute it without paying royalties or licence fees. Traditionally, software vendors have distributed their products with no access to the source code, making modifications technically impossible.