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Practical Open Source Software for Libraries by Nicole Engard

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What is open source?

The Open Source Initiative defines open source software as software that is distributed with human readable source code in order to allow the user freedom to run, review, alter, enhance and modify the code for any purpose.1 But open source is about much more than just the code behind the software; it’s about community, collaboration and innovation.

In today’s world of competing products it might be hard to believe that in the beginning all applications were open source.2 Donald Rosenberg explained it well when he said that ‘open source is not a new way of doing things – it is the original computer way of doing things.’3 At the same time Eric Raymond reminds us that enthusiasts, artists, tinkerers, problem solvers and experts ...

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