Incom Systems | Innovation: Delivered

Open Source? Free? FLOSS?

October 20, 2009

Incom Systems has several core values. We believe in freedom and strive to provide our customers reasonable costs and quality solutions. Proprietary software is developed and owned by a single company and then licensed for use to it’s customers. This software is inherently expensive, limits the freedom of its users, and is potentially less reliable due to bugs and security vulnerabilities.

Open Source Software is the solution. It is sometimes called FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software). FLOSS has several distinct advantages over proprietary software.

“Free” means that it can be downloaded and installed without cost. Companies and individuals are able to use the software for a much lower cost. The applications also get a much broader distribution because they are free to use.

It’s “Libre”: free as in speech. Just like the ideas in a book can be used and quoted, this freedom allows everyone to benefit from the ideas and techniques in the program. Freedom allows programmers to learn from each other’s code, which fosters innovation.

“Open Source” means that the source code is freely available. It can be studied and reviewed, ensuring that it is trustworthy. A bug found in a FLOSS program can be fixed by anyone skilled enough to do so, making these programs much more reliable. Proprietary software often has something called a “back door,” a method to bypass the security of a program. Because the source code is open, FLOSS programs are known not to have back doors.

FLOSS is an element of reliable and cost effective solutions. Proprietary software isn’t the only option; Free, Libre, Open Source Software is the better solution.