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open source software (OSS)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to open source technology in application development

Also see Open Source

Open source software (OSS) refers to software that is developed, tested, or improved through public collaboration and distributed with the idea that the must be shared with others, ensuring an open future collaboration. The collaborative experience of many developers, especially those in the academic environment, in developing various versions of the UNIX operating system, Richard Stallman's idea of Free Software Foundation, and the desire of users to freely choose among a number of products - all of these led to the Open Source movement and the approach to developing and distributing programs as open source software.

This was last updated in November 2006

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