Open Source, Open Source Software

Open Source generally refers to software that can be modified, shared, and reused because its design or “Source code” is publicly available.

Open Source Software (OSS) is software released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, modify and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any goals.

For open source software to be recognized as a Digital Public Goods, it must demonstrate the use of an approved open license.

Open Source Software can be developed collaboratively and publicly. Therefore, it is a prime example of open collaboration, which means that any capable user can participate in development online, making the number of possible participants uncertain. The ability to examine the code increases the public’s trust in the software.

Open Source Software development can lead to a variety of perspectives that go beyond a single company.

Open Source can be used for studying and allows capable end users to adapt software to their personal needs in a similar way that User Scripts  and custom Style Sheets allow websites , and eventually publish the modification as a Fork (GitHub) for  users with similar preferences and directly submit possible improvements in the form of Pull Requests (GitHub).

Benefits of using Open Source

Make your project Open Source

Open-Source Software monetization


When evaluating the existing Open Source Software you should consider the following factors:

Functionality and Fit:  It is essential to ensure the software is designed for the purpose and can handle the intended workload. If the software does not fill all the requirements, but is close, open source gives an opportunity to modify the software. In those cases, contributing to the project can be an excellent option. Forking is also an option.

User Friendliness: A good user interface will reduce resistance to change and will increase efficiency. With open source software, if the features are good but the user interface is inadequate, or if the interface is too different to what the users expect, this can be modified.

Support and Documentation: With proprietary software, often the software owner is the only place to get support. Open source software places no legal or technical restrictions, so there may be a choice of service providers, or any software developer can be hired to study the software and perform audits or implement improvements. It’s worth looking around for the options available. There may also be a community of users and developers. This can be a source of information, and a way to find service providers.

Security: With access to the source code and permission to audit and modify, open source software offers more options for implementing security procedures and standards. Protecting the citizens’ privacy is fundamental, so it’s worth looking into these additional possibilities for rigorous security testing, and that there’s an active community’s work on identifying and patching vulnerabilities. Increased transparency makes it possible to look at how frequently there are releases and how security issues are dealt with.

Scalability and Adaptability: Open source software is highly scalable and adaptable. It allows cities and regions to take a piece of software and adapt it to their specific needs. Moreover, as conditions change over time, communities can continue to modify the software to better meet their evolving needs.

Compatibility: It is important to ensure compatibility of the software with other systems used in the user’s IT infrastructure, as well as, if necessary, the existing IT ecosystem in the state or region. Open source software can be modified to be compatible with other systems, reducing vendor lock-in and making it easier to change or adapt solutions.

Expenses: With open source software, there are more options on how to invest in your IT infrastructure. Costs can be shared by collaborating with other users through a joint development and maintenance initiative. This is optional and may require a type of collaboration that could be new to an organisation, but the option exists and can provide benefits for total price and for software interoperability.

Licences: Licence considerations for the use of open source software are very simple. There are no per-seat or per-user limits. Copies can be made, installed and used without limits, so there’s no requirement to maintain documentation about how many licences or copies of the software are in use. Internal development also does not trigger licence requirements. Distributing the software can incur some requirements for how this is done (e.g. preserving copyright notices, making the source code available), and distributing modified versions may also trigger certain requirements.