What is free software?

The free software definition presents the criteria for whether a particular software program qualifies as free software. From time to time we revise this definition, to clarify it or to resolve questions about subtle issues. See the History section below for a list of changes that affect the definition of free software.

“Free software” means software that respects users’ freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”. We sometimes call it “libre software,” borrowing the French or Spanish word for “free” as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is gratis.

We campaign for these freedoms because everyone deserves them. With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them. When users don’t control the program, we call it a “nonfree” or “proprietary” program. The nonfree program controls the users, and the developer controls the program; this makes the program an instrument of unjust power.

A program is free software if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Why Software Should Be Free?

The existence of software inevitably raises the question of how decisions about its use should be made. For example, suppose one individual who has a copy of a program meets another who would like a copy. It is possible for them to copy the program; who should decide whether this is done? The individuals involved? Or another party, called the “owner”?

Software developers typically consider these questions on the assumption that the criterion for the answer is to maximize developers’ profits. The political power of business has led to the government adoption of both this criterion and the answer proposed by the developers: that the program has an owner, typically a corporation associated with its development.

I would like to consider the same question using a different criterion: the prosperity and freedom of the public in general.

This answer cannot be decided by current law—the law should conform to ethics, not the other way around. Nor does current practice decide this question, although it may suggest possible answers. The only way to judge is to see who is helped and who is hurt by recognizing owners of software, why, and how much. In other words, we should perform a cost-benefit analysis on behalf of society as a whole, taking account of individual freedom as well as production of material goods.

In my opinion, this should be free so that the society now a days can study and learned through this free software and can practice the technologies and to improve our society and technologies.

Example of Free Software that can find in the internet:

3 Examples:

  1. Google Chrome is a freeware web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows, and was later ported to Linux, OS X, iOS and Android. Google Chrome is also the main component of Chrome OS, where it serves a platform for running web apps.

    Google releases the majority of Chrome’s source code as the Chromium open-source project. A notable component that is not open-source is the built-in Adobe Flash Player (that Chrome will start blocking later in 2016). Chrome used theWebKit layout engine until version 27. As of version 28, all Chrome ports except the iOS port use Blink, a fork of the WebKit engine.

    As of August 2016, StatCounter estimates that Google Chrome has a 62% worldwide usage share of web browsers as a desktop browser.It also has 50% market share across all platforms combined,because it’s also the most popular browser for smartphones. Its success has led to Google expanding the “Chrome” brand name on various other products such as Chromecast, Chromebook, Chromebit, Chromebox and Chromebase.

  2. Python(Programming Language) is a widely used high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than possible in languages such as C++ or Java. The language provides constructs intended to enable writing clear programs on both a small and large scale.

    Python supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, imperative and functional programming or procedural styles. It features a dynamic type system and automatic memory management and has a large and comprehensive standard library.

    Python interpreters are available for many operating systems, allowing Python code to run on a wide variety of systems. Using third-party tools, such as Py2exe or Pyinstaller, Python code can be packaged into stand-alone executable programs for some of the most popular operating systems, so Python-based software can be distributed to, and used on, those environments with no need to install a Python interpreter.

    CPython, the reference implementation of Python, is free and open-source software and has a community-based development model, as do nearly all of its variant implementations. CPython is managed by the non-profit Python Software Foundation.

  3. Mozilla Firefox (or simply Firefox) is a free and open-source, web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is available for Windows, OS X and Linux operating systems, with its mobile versions available for Android, and Firefox OS; where all of these versions use the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards. An additional version, Firefox for iOS, was released in late 2015, but this version doesn’t use Gecko due to Apple’s restrictions limiting third-party web browsers to the WebKit-based layout engine built into iOS.

    Firefox was created in 2002, under the name “Phoenix” by the Mozilla community members who wanted a standalone browser rather than the Mozilla Application Suite bundle. Even during its beta phase, Firefox proved to be popular with its testers and was praised for its speed, security and add-ons compared to Microsoft’s then-dominant Internet Explorer 6. Firefox was released in November 2004, and was highly successful with 60 million downloads within nine months, which was the first time that Internet Explorer’s dominance was challenged.Firefox is considered the spiritual successor ofNetscape Navigator, as the Mozilla community was created by Netscape in 1998 before their acquisition by AOL.

    Firefox usage grew to a peak of 32% at the end of 2009, temporarily making version 3.5 the world’s most popular browser. Usage then declined in competition with Chrome: As of January 2016, Firefox has between 9% and 16% of worldwide usage as a “desktop” browser, making it the second most popular web browser. Firefox is still the most popular browser in Cuba, Eritrea and Germany, with 85.93%and 79.39% and 38.36%, of the market share, respectively. It is also the most popular desktop browser in many other African countries. According to Mozilla, as of December 2014 there were half a billion Firefox users around the world. With Internet Explorer declining, Firefox reached second place in February 2016, as a desktop browser.



Posted By: Cristina O. Libuna




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