Open source

Description
For the purpose of ‘Armchair Involvement’ we consider Open Source in its original meaning as being a form of collaboratively developed, freely available software or application. You may now hear people using the term ‘Open Source’ across a wide variety of different sectors in order to describe a more open, networked and user generated way of developing ideas and projects. While the term applied originally only to the source code of software, it is now being applied to many other areas.
Examples

  • Firefox web browser http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/ Linux operating system
  • Openproj project management system
  • Drupal content management platform – for building websites
  • Thunderbird email system
  • Audacity sound editing

Benefits and advantages

  • Because it is developed by a wide variety of users it is constantly being updated and improved
  • Often cheaper or free
  • High quality products available

Risks and disadvantage

  • Quality can be less reliable depending on the product, though well-known products are often of a high quality
 

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Armchair Involvement Guide 2009