Opensource and Free Software

Most software that you buy or download only comes in the compiled ready-to-run version. Compiled means that the actual program code that the developer created, known as the source code, has run through a special program called a compiler that translates the source code into a form that the computer can understand. It is extremely difficult to modify the compiled version of most applications and nearly impossible to see exactly how the developer created different parts of the program. Most commercial software manufacturers see this as an advantage that keeps other companies from copying their code and using it in a competing product. It also gives them control over the quality and features found in a particular product.

Open source software is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The source code is included with the compiled version and modification or customization is actually encouraged. The software developers who support the open source concept believe that by allowing anyone who's interested to modify the source code, the application will be more useful and error-free over the long term.

To be considered as open source software by the software development industry, certain criteria must be met:
* The program must be freely distributed (It can be part of a package that is sold though, such as Red Hat has done with Linux in the example below).
* Source code must be included.
* Anyone must be allowed to modify the source code.
* Modified versions can be redistributed.
* The license must not require the exclusion of other software or interfere with the operation of other software.

Open Source Wikipedia
The Open Source Definition

Listed below are links for free and open source software that are available for both windows and macs. The majority of open source software operates on windows, macs, and open source operating systems for example linux gnu and bsd.

Open Source Windows
Open Source Software in a Windows Environment
The OSSwin Project: Open Source for Windows
1000s of Free Photoshop Plugins & Filters MegaList
Open Source Applications for Windows
List of Open Source Software Packages
My Open Source
Open Source Digital Forensics
DAG Open Source Windows applications
100 Open Source Downloads for Windows


Open Source Mac
Top 100 best open source mac software
Free MacWare
Free Software for Macs
List of Open Source Software Packages