The Internet provides people worldwide with an access to knowledge, resulting in the fast growth of technology development across the globe. The next step marking a new round of progress is Open Source or open source offerings.
The article reveals the development, advantages, and pitfalls of open source projects.
Concept of Open Source and GitHub
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded in 1998. It controls licensing of open sources throughout the world, encourages the open source code growth, community initiatives, and education, as well as holds conferences.
Open Source is a type of license agreement allowing users to easily change someone else’s code, apply it in a new way, integrate it into larger projects, or create new projects based on the original version.
Placing an open source license for the original work, people or organizations should realize that they agree to:
- make the entireprogramming code publicly available;
- permit someone to change or improve the programming code;
- permit using the author’s code as a source program;
- permit applying the program for any purposes set by users.
Such licenses are placed on certain hosting services. GitHub is one of the most popular. In fact, GitHub is a code storage that also provides free hosting for static files.
Why Are Open Source Offerings
Important For Technology Evolution?
The idea of open source code originated from the technological community. Since the first days of computer existence, programmers and engineers have been developing new technologies by collaborative efforts.
Dissemination of knowledge among like-minded fellows is the key goal of open source platforms. For example, a developer from Ukraine elaborates a new app, then a programmer in Singapore examines the app and finds the ways of its advancement. Information is circulated, while the community benefits from joint innovations.
Thus, Open Source encourages the free exchange of ideas in the community, boosting the creative, scientific, and technological progress.
With regard to developers’ interests, the crucial role of Open Source is the reputation improvement. Open source software generally attracts more users than the proprietary one.
Developers with paid software should pay for advertising, ask users to test software, give away free trials, etc. The open source code will allow to activate this process automatically.
Nevertheless, the popularity of open source projects can play a cruel joke.
Are There Any Disadvantages
of Open Source Code?
Paintings drawn by artificial intelligence are not a new phenomenon, but it has been introduced as art just recently. On October 25, Portrait of Edmond Belamy created by the neural network was sold for $432 500 at the Christie’s auction. Representatives of the auction house said that this sum was nearly 45 times higher than the pre-estimated price.
The work is made by the group of three French students called Obvious. According to them, the picture is dedicated to Ian Goodfellow: bel ami in French means a good friend. By the way, Robbie Barrat – the author of the original code – was also mentioned in the acceptance speech, but quite circumstantially.
Robbie Barrat is better known in the development community than three Frenchmen. He started placing the code on GitHub while studying at school. His programs include rap created by AI, dress sketches designed by neural networks, and numerous paintings similar to those made by Obvious.
In an interview with The Verge, Robbie said that Obvious requested him to use components of his code. However, receiving the consent, they began to produce works alike to pictures published by Robbie on GitHub. So, it is difficult to say whose code has written Belamy’s portrait, while Mr. Barrat can’t prove anything if wished.
Sharing your code with potentially more successful marketing specialists is accompanied by a defined risk. On the other hand, project’s open source means that developers allow thousands of highly skilled professionals to advance their own code for free. Not only will users find errors there, but they will also fix them. With luck, the program can obtain new significant features.
Therefore, prior to posting open source projects, you should compare all the risks and advantages in order to critically evaluate your priorities.
You'll know more than your colleagues and business rivals.