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2 definitions found
 for open source
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  open source
   n.
  
      [common; also adj. open-source] Term coined in March 1998 following the
      Mozilla release to describe software distributed in source under licenses
      guaranteeing anybody rights to freely use, modify, and redistribute, the
      code. The intent was to be able to sell the hackers' ways of doing software
      to industry and the mainstream by avoiding the negative connotations (to {
      suits) of the term ?{free software}?. For discussion of the follow-on
      tactics and their consequences, see the Open Source Initiative site.
  
      Five years after this term was invented, in 2003, it is worth noting the
      huge shift in assumptions it helped bring about, if only because the hacker
      culture's collective memory of what went before is in some ways blurring.
      Hackers have so completely refocused themselves around the idea and ideal
      of open source that we are beginning to forget that we used to do most of
      our work in closed-source environments. Until the late 1990s open source
      was a sporadic exception that usually had to live on top of a closed-source
      operating system and alongside closed-source tools; entire open-source
      environments like Linux and the *BSD systems didn't even exist in a
      usable form until around 1993 and weren't taken very seriously by anyone
      but a pioneering few until about five years later.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  open source
  
      A method and philosophy for software
     licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and
     improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that
     anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely.
  
     The term "open source" is now more widely used than the
     earlier term "{free software" (promoted by the Free Software
     Foundation) but has broadly the same meaning - free of
     distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge.
  
     There are various open source licenses available.
     Programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when
     distributing their programs.
  
     The Open Source Initiative promotes the Open Source
     Definition.
  
     The Cathedral and the Bazaar
     
  http://tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar.html)">(http://tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar.html).
     was a seminal paper describing the open source phenomenon.
  
     Open Sources - O'Reilly book with full text online
     http://oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/perens.html)">(http://oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/perens.html).
  
     Articles from ZDNet
     http://zdnet.com/pcmag/features/opensource/)">(http://zdnet.com/pcmag/features/opensource/).
  
     (1999-12-29)
  

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