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Open Source Definition

An Open Source program means the source code of the program is free for use. The term free implies that users can modify and use the modified version of the program’s source code; not just blindly copy and use it. The program does not charge any licensing fees or any other regulations for that matter.

The distribution terms of the source code of an open-source program have certain criteria. First, there should be no existing licensing policies for the code that restricts it to be modified and re-used. In addition, the program must have a source code that is allowed to be distributed. Along with it, users should also be able to distribute the compiled form of the program.

In case some of the program does not come with the source code, there should be a well-known means of obtaining the same, that too with a minimal charge such as downloading it through the internet, which may incur charges allotted by the service provider. The source code must be in a format that enables a programmer to modify the program according to his requirements. However, deliberate and unclear generation of the source code is prohibited, and so are the intermediate forms of the code. By intermediate forms, it is meant that the source must not be downloaded through a pre-processor or a translator.

Some common open-source programs are Linux, Android, Chrome, OpenOffice, and Firefox.                                                              

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