What is Free and Open Source Software :

In this article you are going to get info on Free and Open Source Software.

When I first came to know about free and open source I just got amazed due to the intentions after this concept.

Free and Opensource is the most inspiring thing that I have ever come to know about in my life ever.

There are certain different meanings of terms when it comes to only Open Source and Free and Open Source. So first we are going to try to know about that difference.


Difference between Open Source and Free & Open Source :


Basically Open Source is a movement that is related to a social movement called Free Software Movement.

According to Wikipedia Richard Stallman should be given the credit for formally giving shape to the Free Software Movement.

History behind Open Source movement :

The word “Open Source” was created while the Free Software Movement. Open Source basically means the programming codes of the software are open for everyone.

When commercial programming codes are never publicly available Open Source Software codes are always available publicly so that it can be beneficial to others.

Open Source Vs Free Software :

Apart from Open Source there was another term growing popularity and that was “Free Software”.

In the Free Software Movement the term “Free Software” was referring to freedom to share and modify the software.

Both the words “Open Source” and Free Software” are strengthening the values of free exchange of programming codes for overall better world. It has nothing do with price.

Basically Free Software Movement and “Open Source Movement” is not money centric but it is rather more knowledge centric.

The prime point here is to share knowledge or codes without any restrictions so that all the people can take the benefit out of the codes.

Difference between Free Software and Open Source Software :

Now we know that both “Free” and “Open Source” software has nothing to do with price but it has rather more to do with freedom and knowledge.

Over the years Free Software community have strongly opposed the commercial software. Free Software movement has always opposed proprietary or commercial software because they are not completely open for everyone.

On the other hand Open Source Movement goes through a practical approach and they are not always opposing proprietary software. Open Source is somewhat what more flexible movement rather than a very hardcore movement like Free Software Movement.

Where “Free Software” doesn’t give you more ownership and financial benefits. On the other hand with “Open Source” you can expect to get some personal benefits.

Now the question rises about which is better ? Free, Open Source or Proprietary software ?

All three software types have their own importance today.

Free Software is better when it comes to solving some big problems. Free Software since it is free for everyone you can expect more people to join and make something extra ordinary.

For Example : WordPress. However we call WordPress Free and Open Source both but seeing its impact and value it is closer to Free Software definition as well.

Open Source Software on the other hand is useful when you want personal benefits or some commercial benefits.

For Example :

Plausible is an Open Source Software which is competing against Google Analytics.

Proprietary or Commercial Software have their own place. It might be possible that users might get more comfort and security with commercial software.

It also might be possible that we might see more research taking place in the private sector and we might see more financial benefits with commercial software.

So which software should I go with ? Commercial or Open Source ?

The answer depends on your needs. The answer also depends on your personality. There are many who would prefer proprietary software over Open Source. On the other hand there are many who just love Free and Open Source.

There are certain benefits why many people are selecting Open Source Software.


Reasons to go with Free and Open Source Software :


Here are some benefits why many would go for an Open Source Software.

1) Reliability & Quality :

There are Open Source projects that are there for years. For example Kdenlive and Shotcut for video editing.

So you can rely on these projects which have been there for years and there are no chances for them to get shut down.

Many Open Source Software are so good in quality that it can literally replace their commercial counterparts.

For example :

Blender that we use for 3D animation. Do you see anyone near to Blender which can replace Blender. Well the answer is no because it has grown so much quality wise that there is no one to compete.

Obviously there are many options like Maya and Cinema 4D but Blender is the first name that rang in your ears loudly right ! 🙂

2) Stronger Background :

Generally Open Source projects are carried out under funding of giant companies. These kinds of projects are hardly going to give you any stability problems.

For example Astra theme has been there for years due to “Brain Storm Force” which is a company that deals into software only.

So going with Astra theme can be a great decision because a giant company is backing Astra.

3) Good Motive :

There are Open Source Software that are not backed up by giants but they are existing because there is a noble cause behind it.

For example Synfig studio for animation only takes 1 dollar for giving you Synfig related tutorials. Whole Synfig studio for animation is Free and Open Source and it relies on donations.

4) Financial Benefits :

With Free and Open Source Software you save tons of money.

There are no fees at all with most of the Free and Open Source Software. Regarding donations also no one is going to force you to donate as well.

So all in all Free and Open Source Software give you the same quality that you can get with proprietary products and that is also with no fees.

Now let’s talk about who deserves the credit for all these useful stuffs.


A big thanks to coders :


The power of Free and Open Source Software is so great that it has transformed many lives over the years.

Behind any Free and Open Source project there are many people who deserve credits.

The coders play a big role in success of any Open Source project. The second most important people after any successful Open Source projects are donors.

So it is always important that you donate to Open Source platforms that you are using.

Of course the codes of any coder would be far more important than money for any Open Source project but donations also make a difference. It motivates the whole project in a great manner.


Iconic Free and Open Source Software :


Here are the some Iconic software that you might have heard of or maybe you are already using.

1) GIMP :

GIMP is a free and open source software that is generally used for image editing.

Not only image manipulation but GIMP is popularly used in making GIF as well.

There are many ways you can use GIMP. The more you learn it the more efficiently you can use GIMP.

GIMP is so powerful that it is widely used as an alternative to Photoshop.

Here you can read more about GIMP.

2) Inkscape :

Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphics editor.

There is definitely a learning curve with Inkscape but it is a super powerful tool for making professional vector designs.

Inkscape is popularly used as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

You can read more about Inkscape here.

3) WordPress.Org :

If you are thinking of publishing online you might have already heard of WordPress.

WordPress.Org gives you the free and open source CMS (content management system) through which you can easily make your own website.

Yes ! Your own website without knowing coding. That’s possible because of WordPress.

With WordPress you can make any kind of website that you want. Whether it is an E commerce site or a blog what so ever you can just do it free of cost because of WordPress.

Read more about WordPress here.

If you are confused about WordPress.com and WordPress.Org then read this article.

4) Linux :

As per Wikipedia Linux is a family of Open Source operating systems which are based on a Kernel which is called Linux.

Linux based free operating systems are popularly used as an alternative to Windows OS.

5) Kdenlive :

Kdenlive is a free and open source video editing software.

The best thing about Kdenlive is that it doesn’t require more ram and other system requirements. So it will run on very old computers as well.

See more free video editors here.

6) Shotcut :

This is another very popular video editing software which is free and open source.

Shotcut is popular for it stability and power. Shotcut will also not cost you much system requirements.

Both Kdenlive and Shotcut are great for beginners. You can also see more powerful and free video editors here.

7) Raw Therapee :

It is also a free and opensource software for processing raw images.

Raw Therapee is great for those who want to learn digital photo editing.

8) Krita :

Krita is well known fro 2D animation. Yes ! Krita is also a free and open source platform for digital painting and 2D animation.

9) Synfig :

Synfig is also a free and open source platform for 2D animation.

You can see some of the 2D animations made with Synfig here on this page.

To learn Synfig in video tutorials you just need to pay $ 1 to Synfig as a donation and you can easily learn Synfig for animation. You can learn Synfig with documentation also but donating a dollar and learning with video might be easier.

10) OpenToonz :

OpenToonz have also got popularity because of it’s easy to use.

Just like Synfig studio OpenToonz is also a free and open source animation project.

So these were some of the best free and open source software that are widely popular. These software and many other FOSS like these are super reliable and for many people these software help them to kick start their work or career.

So make the most out of Free and Open Source Software.


Conclusion :


Concluding this article always keep in mind that Open Source doesn’t always mean free.

As mentioned earlier there is a whole movement after it. So understand the real value of Free and Open Source while you are using any Open Source Software.

Obviously we as a user looking for commercially free to use things all the time. Most of the Open Source Software are commercially free as well but some are not like VSDC video editor has a paid plan if you want to use it in your commercial projects.

So always make sure which software is commercially free to use rather than just Free or Open Source.

Here is an article on Creative Commons and their licenses that how you can use others’ creative use in your personal or commercial projects. So read that as well.

So if you are running out of money to start any of your projects and you think any commercial software is costing too much. Don’t worry. You just need to look for the open source alternatives of that commercial software.

You will get tons of options. Just make sure that you use the most reliable software.

So this is it for free and open source software.

I hope this article will be helpful.

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