What is open source? The term Open source, also referred to as open-source, is used to describe software or computer programs with their source code made freely available for anyone to use, modify, study, or redistribute.
In the software development community the open-source model not only allows the study and use of it’s code, but the improvement of the software. This allows independent software developers to contribute to the progress by testing, submitting bug reports, and helping with software patches.
Many supporters of the open-source model argue that an open development environment offers more flexible technology and quicker innovation. Software programs that use this model succeed or fail by allowing everyone access to their code.
This allows software developers to become user’s and assist with it’s overall health and evolution. Even if the company that released the software fails, the software itself sticks around and is maintained by it’s users.
Some opponents of the open-source development model suggest that open-source software is more vulnerable to attacks and exploitation because it’s source code is available for anyone to study. If you take and alter the software and something bad happens, there is no one responsible for damages and there are absolutely no warranties.
However, these downsides are often offset, by the customization and extensibility of open-source software. This can be clearly seen in bigger projects such as WordPress.org.