- Open Source and university tradition
- The Open Source idea
- Content of a Open Source license
- CampusSource and Open Source
- Open Source-Links
The university tradition of publishing research results for the purpose of verification is continued by the decision to release projects, sometimes financed by the state, as Open Source. Independent third parties thus have the opportunity to verify the complex software.
This university tradition used to apply to physical, chemical or psychological experiments only, today it also encompasses software, as illustrated by the following analogy:
The detailed description of an experiment corresponds to the source code and the installation instructions. The program execution and/or software usage can be viewed in the same way as carrying out experiments. The verification of the test or experiment results corresponds to the testing of the software functionality.
As research and development based upon experiments conducted by third parties, for instance by changing the set-up of an experiment, are permitted and desired in the physical, chemical or psychological areas, modifications to source codes for Open Source software are also permitted and desired.
An Open Source licence is characterised by the following:
- Anyone must be able to legally use the software without paying licensing fees.
- Anyone may change the source code.
- Anyone may create and pass on copies of the original or the modified software.
Open Source software is "free software". This generic term expresses the fact that the software can be obtained without charge and that it may be freely distributed.
The source and binary codes may be used and modified by anyone. Copies of the unchanged or modified software may be distributed.
An Open Source licence contains the following items:
The licence must allow anyone to sell or pass on the software as a component of a collective software aggregate which may come from different sources. No fees for this type of distribution may be specified in the licence.
The program must contain the source code. The licence must permit the distribution of the source and binary codes. Intermediate versions such as a pre-processor or a translator and intentional "modifications" of the source code for the purpose of making it harder to understand are not permitted. If variations of the distribution without the source code exist, they must be easily obtainable and at no cost; for instance, it must be possible to download them from the internet.
The licence must permit modifications and developments as well as their distribution under the same licensing conditions.
Integrity of the source code author
The licence may limit the distribution of the modified source code only if the licence permits the distribution of patches together with the source code in order to modify the program to "build time".
The licence must explicitly permit the distribution of software based upon the modified source code. The licence may demand that further developments be assigned a different name or a different version number.
No discrimination against persons or groups
The licence may not be discriminatory against persons or groups.
No discrimination against usage options of the software
The rights associated with the software must be granted to all persons to whom the software is distributed, without amending or restricting the licence.
The license may not be product specific
The rights associated with the program must not depend on other portions of a specific distribution list. If the product is removed from such a distribution list, all persons in possession of a version thereof have the same right to the program as the one issued with the original distribution.
The licence must not "contaminate" other software
The licence must not restrict the rights of other software items it is distributed with (e.g. not all products of a distribution have to be Open Source licensed programs as well.)
By choosing the GPL, one of the best-known Open Source licences, CampusSource has provided the basis for initiating cooperative processes for the development of software systems and modules for creation and expansion as well as for the operation of an infrastructure for computer and network-based teaching and learning. The GPL (GNU General Public License) is a licence which adheres to American but not German law. CampusSource has established "general terms and conditions" which make the GPL valid in Germany, having been amended and interpreted in accordance with German law.
At this time, there only an unauthorised translation of the GPL into German exists.
The following lectures and publications deal with the problem of not having a German equivalent to the GPL:
- Open Source Software and German Copyright Law (Axel Metzger und Till Jaeger)
- License and adhesion-legal questions with the commercial use suitor software (Jürgen Siepmann)
- Telepolis-Special to "Wizards of OS Konferenz" Presentations of the conference and a collection of articles (Partially available in English.)
Institutions and organizations on Free Software and Open Source
- The first address on Open Source topics is opensource.org. Besides the definition of Open Source philosophical articles on the Open Source concept are listed, as well as all recognized Open Source licenses. New licenses can be approved and registered.
- Software in the Public Interest, SPI , is a nonprofit making organization, which was founded to support organizations that develop and distribute open software and open hardware.
- Debian has two projects, the Debian GNU/Linux and the Debian GNU/Hurd project. Debian is a freely available operating system, which runs on a Linux kernel. Debian has installed guidelines for free software. "Open Source" is the brand name for "Free Software".
- Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure is a nonprofit making organization, supporting project groups working on GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Java, interface specification, norms, lexicon, encyclopedia, fonts and other public beneficial informational publications. Benefit to the public is decided by our statues on openness of the interface, source code availability and free availability.
- The Free Software Foundation presents a collection of Open Source software and lists people, organizations and further readings.
- ifrOSS, Institut für Rechtsfragen der Open Source Software , (Institute for legal issues of Open Source software)
- The FreeBSD project develops a BSD UNIX operating system for PC-compatible computers.
- The GNU project was founded in 1984 to develop a completely free unixlike operating system.
- The Mozilla project develops an Open Source web browser.
- For Linux there exists numerous of relevant web pages. We only present one link here.
- Projekt Gutenberg , contains more than 300 classic texts written in German.
Large projects, that developed a license of their own, have had long and intensive discussions among the community of their developers on license issues.
Web sites with free software
- Slashdot.org, major community and news site with forum
- Freshmeat.net, major software release announcement site
- Advogato.org, the advocate site for free software developers
- sourceforge, Server for numerous Open Source projects
- The BerliOS Project: The main goal of BerliOS is to support the different interest groups in the area of Open Source Software (OSS) and thereby to offer a neutral mediator function. The target groups of BerliOS are on one hand the developers and users of Open Source Software and on the other hand commercial manufacturers of OSS operating systems and applications as well as support companies.
Literatur zu Open Source
- TCO VOFI for eLearning Platforms [ .pdf - 60,4 KB ]
by Dr. Frank Bensberg and Dipl.-Wirt.Inform. Blasius Lofi Dewanto · University of Münster
- Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)?
by David A. Wheeler. This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures. This paper´s goal is to show that you should consider using OSS/FS when acquiring software.
- Open Sources - Voices from the Open Source Revolution, Book on Open Source Software, with contributions from Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, Bruce Perens, Eric S. Raymond, Tim O´Reilly, Richard Stallman u.a.; In Open Sources, leaders of Open Source come together in print for the first time to discuss the new vision of the software industry they have created, through essays that explain how the movement works, why it succeeds, and where it is going. A powerful vision from the movement's spiritual leaders, this book reveals the mysteries of how open development builds better software and how businesses can leverage freely available software for a competitive business advantage.
- The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary By Eric S. Raymond; After Red Hat's stunning IPO, even people outside the computer industry have now heard of Linux and Open Source software. This book contains the essays, originally published online, that led to Netscape's decision to release their browser as Open Source, put Linus Torvalds on the cover of Forbes Magazine and Microsoft on the defensive, and helped Linux to rock the world of commercial software. These essays have been expanded and revised for this edition, and are in print for the first time.
- TELEPOLIS is a "magazine of net culture ", a German internet magazine of the Heise publishers.
- The Open Source Revolution (Tim O'Reilly)
Personalities in the free software / Open Source community
- Richard Stallman is the founder of the Free Software Foundation and of the GNU projects. He initiated the free software movement during the eighties and is regarded from many people as the farther of the free software/Open Source movement.
- Linus Torvalds is the original author and the primary responsible person for the linux kernel.
- Larry Wall is the author of Perl, a popular language to implement internet scripts.
- Eric Raymond is the author of the famous paper: "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and he established the term: "Open Source".
- Bruce Perens is the editor of the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source definition, which are acknowledged as laws from the community.
- OOSS-Report: "Software and Collaboration in Higher Education: A Study of Open Source Software [ .pdf - 329 KB ]"
- Potential for major public savings in Open Source Software
Danish report, published 2003, 27th of October
- JOnAS and Enhydra pass OpenUSS entrance exam
A full open-source e-learning platform able to address smaller to larger training entities. JOnAS EJB container and Enhydra XMLC behind the scenes.
- Saving Cash: Open-Source and Proprietary Software in Comparison
This SOREON report shows how you can benefit from the significant savings potentials of Open-Source software in different business environments.
- Swedish Government Study Endorses Open Source
- CampusSource - a European OKI?
CampusSource is an open-source initiative from Germany, with strong parallels with MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative.