About Open Source

The basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing. Open Source is an often-misunderstood term relating to free software. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) web site provides a number of resources that define the various aspects of Open Source including an Open Source Definition at: http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.html. The following quote from the OSI home page summarizes the key aspects as they relate to JBoss nicely:


We in the open source community have learned that this rapid evolutionary process produces better software than the traditional closed model, in which only a very few programmers can see the source and everybody else must blindly use an opaque block of bits.

Open Source Initiative exists to make this case to the commercial world.

Open source software is an idea whose time has finally come. For twenty years it has been building momentum in the technical cultures that built the Internet and the World Wide Web. Now it's breaking out into the commercial world, and that's changing all the rules. Are you ready?

--The Open Source Initiative