Why Opensource is popular among Programmers

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  • Author:
  • Anupama Nambiar
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Free and Open Source SoftwareOpen source languages and applications are becoming popular by the day with software programmers. In fact, the extend of its popularity is making the closed source codes worry about a possible phase out. For those of you who are unclear about what an  is, it is a set of codes in which the user has the freedom to read, write, modify and redistribute the inherent codes.

If you look at the milestones achieved by the popular open source languages like PHP, which is presently dominating web development, Python, know for its RnD and artificial intelligence capabilities and other languages like ruby on rails, pearl etc, you will know why they are popular among programmers.

Yup – programmers and not people in general. Most “users” don’t care what software is used to create a program or app.  All they care is that it should be easy to use, aesthetic and ready to be executed. But from a programmer’s point of view, open source is heaven-sent and here’s why.

Of course, the fact that open source languages and most softwares come free of cost is the primary reason. So any one who wants to learn or work can start with zero monetary investment. The freedom and flexibility given by open source is extremely significant. Programmers can view codes, modify them, invent new codes and even distribute them without having to worry about copyrights and licensing issues.

This often results in the creation of custom-made programs, created with specific objectives and relevant target market. In the case of closed or proprietary software this luxury is absent or could cost a fortune.

There’s more. The open source community is a vibrant one filled with experienced and technically gifted programmers. Therefore, it’s easy for programmers to get help, inputs, or maybe even partners for a project. This has played a substantial part in the overall development of open source programs and in making each program bigger and better with each revision. Plus since the source code is ready available, any glitch or bugs in the native code can be easily modified, thus saving time and money. The word ‘intellectual freedom’ explains it all.

Although these attributes are aimed at programmers, they are not the only ones to reaps its benefits. Open source provides various benefits to non-programmers and large corporations as well. But that’s the subject for the next post!