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Is the future of software open or closed source.pdf

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Essay Title: “Is the future of software open or closed source?” Abstract The software industry has been facing a steady increase on the number of open source projects in the last decade. It has raised the debate of whether companies should abandon closed source software or not. Representatives and defenders of the maintenance of the status quo argue that software is an intellectual property that must be protected by laws and confidentiali
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  Essay Title:  “Is the future of software open or closedsource?” Abstract The software industry has been facing a steady increase on the number of opensource projects in the last decade. It has raised the debate of whethercompanies should abandon closed source software or not. Representatives anddefenders of the maintenance of the status quo  argue that software is anintellectual property that must be protected by laws and confidentiality.Moreover there are a number of people who claim that open source software isinferior than closed source ones. !owever successful open source projectssuch as inu# $pache and Mo%illa clearly demonstrate that open sourcesoftware can be superior than closed source. $dditionally other companiessuch as Red !at Inc. showed that one can ma&e too much money with opensource programs. In fact some of the biggest IT corporations have started tofocus their business on open source. Therefore it seems clear that it is just amatter of time to open source software overcome closed source.  Contents Introduction...........................................................................................................'(ection ) * +efining ,ey Terms............................................................................'(ection - * pen (ource (oftware/s $pparent 0arriers......................................1-.) pen (ource (oftware is neither secure nor reliable.................................1-.- pen (ource (oftware is not profitable......................................................2(ection ' * !ow pen (ource 3an vercome 3losed (ource (oftware...........43onclusion............................................................................................................5References............................................................................................................6 1  Introduction The history of software is not as &nown as hardware/s. In fact in itsearlier ages computers were seen almost e#clusively as an engineeringproject. 3omputers were huge and could occupy various rooms with its partslin&ed with hundreds of metres of cables. There was not a professionalspeciali%ed in build software 78hilipson -99:;. Most of them were made bymathematicians and engineering themselves. !owever electronic digitalcomputing would be useless if was not it a combination of both software andhardware 7<eber -99:;. =owadays software and hardware can be clearlyseen as two separate topics.In concerning with software both open and closed source are common.It has been a subject of much debate whether is one better than the other.!owever the future of software depends on a much wider view. 3omputerprograms are a very particular type of product on the mar&et. $ll the things oneneeds to build software is time motivation and a computer. +ue to this fact theproduction of software differently of almost all other products is notconcentrated on the hands of a few people. In fact every single person has thepotential to become a programmer. 0ecause of what has been e#posed thisessay will try to demonstrate that it is just a matter of time for open sourcesoftware overcome closed source.To do this this essay will be divided in three sections. The first one wille#plain the &ey terms that are needed for a better understanding of the te#t.=e#t it will show the most relevant barriers faced by the pen (ource3ommunity. Moreover this section will briefly introduce the ideology behindopen source development which is translated into the hac&er culture. >inallythis essay will show why open source has an enormous potential to overcomeclosed source software. Section 1 – Defining Key Terms Two basic terms must be clear to understand this essay software andsource code. The first one came into use in )615 when the 8rinceton @niversity 2  professor Aohn Tu&ey used it in his article BThe $merican Mathematical Monthly/78eterson -999 cited in 8hilipson -99:;. (oftware is a group of instructions which tells the computer what to do 7(tallman -99-;. perational systems te#tprocessors web browsers and programming languages are e#amples ofsoftware. This definition leads to the second term which is source code.3omputers only understand the binary language * or machine language.It means that in the end any program is not more than a seCuence of 9/s and)/s 7<eber -99:;. >or humans this is a very difficult language to understand.>or that reason computer scientists developed DnglishEli&e programminglanguages * or high level languages. >rom the first programming languagedeveloped called >RTR$= 78hilipson -99:; programmers have been writingsoftware in a much easier way. These instructions written in high levellanguages are called source code 7(tallman -99-;.<hen a software is built the developer can choose to distribute it withinthe source code hidden or not. Moreover this distribution can be made byselling the software as a product or by providing it free on the Internet. Thecombination of these two aspects * source code hidden or not and to sell or toprovide it free of charge * is the main distinction between open source softwareclosed source software and free software. $lthough it is important to notice thatopen source and free software are similar but different concepts 7/Reilly)666; this essay will not cover the details about the second one.The main difference between open and closed source is that developersof the first one provide the source code. In this way anyone can see theinstructions and even modify them on their own computers. n the other handclosed source software has its codes hidden. Their developers provideeverything that is needed to ma&e the software wor& properly but no one cansee the lines of codes that ma&e them functional. $lthough this is the maindifference there are some other points that will be e#plained in the furthersections.ne of the most misused terms in the programming world is Bhac&er/. Ingeneral this word is used to name those who ta&e advantage of their&nowledge in informatics to invade other computers or develop viruses. 3
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