April 29, 2010

Free and Open Source: Two Faces of the Same Coin?

‘Open source’ is the latest buzz in the tech-town. However, people often get confused between two key terms – free and open source. Technically speaking, free does not mean open source and vice versa. Internet Explorer is free and can be downloaded easily over the internet. However, it is not open source software. On the other hand, if you consider the example of Ruby on Rails, it is one of the coolest open source platforms. Twitter was built on this platform. Twitter is not open source though it is necessarily free. Experts say “Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement”.

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