Data, probably the single most valuable asset in the modern world, has dragged CEOs to courtrooms and senate meetings & made companies multi-billion-dollar ventures. It all boils down to this unit of information that everyone (including web apps, applications development, and programming languages) is creating every second of our lives. In the words of Charles Towers-Clark, Forbes columnist, the current tech industry is “egalitarian and exclusive, collaborative and ruthlessly competitive, open and rigidly closed,” which in essence describes the state of the majority of tech companies, incorporating these ideas for innovation & ingenuity. The principle to keep everything in balance is Open Source. It has been shaping the direction of technology for almost the last two decades for many mobile app development companies and web application development companies

What is Open Source?

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Open Source, as the name suggests, the software code is available; It’s free to download, modify & include in any project as and when required, making it even better over time. “‘ Free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price. It would be best if you thought of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech, not as in ‘free beer.'” – Richard Stallman. The Founder of Free Software Foundation (FSF) & creator of OS GNU, explained that it’s the principle of the thing that matters.

His conceptualization of liberty has inspired others to abide by open-source principles by contributing their knowledge in exchange for free testing and software improvement over time. Free software is a counterpart to proprietary software, which means that no one except the owners has the source code. A user can pay to use the software but cannot in any legal right modify and reuse it.

When did Open-source all start?

The history of programming languages begins along with the internet. Researchers relied on an open and collaborative feedback process while developing early internet technologies in the 1950s and 1960s.

Users built and shared the same based on each other’s source code. And by the time internet was born in the early 1990s, values of openness, peer review, collaboration were written at the core of its foundation. Today, millions of users rely on a Linux kernel program. This popular open-source operating system is Linux featured under various GNU licenses.

A Unix-like operating system, Linux is the largest open-source software project globally, with millions of people from all over the globe continuously contributing to its source code. Started the journey from the margins of software development to become a mainstream industry standard when the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded in 1998.

Governance

Governance can be broken down into two components: Structures & processes. Like any other stable democratic system, its elements can be beneficial in creating an excellent open-source governance system. The rules and procedures state, allowing all good ideas to be noticed and brought into action by the people running the project.

Balancing the powers is the key here. Assuming that we want to get something meaningful out of the community, regardless of the nature of the project we are building. Any community-driven projects need some process to protect the prerogatives of the parties involved and the project spiraling out of control.

One such great example is Apache. It is winning the hearts of everybody these days because they concentrated on the process up front and got it down cold. You’ve got an applications development version of Camelot when you have great minds just sharing values and structure and operations.

The Process

From a governance point of view, most projects are like blocks rather than cities or states. We start by appointing a community manager who can respond to emails, social media, and feedback. ‘Feedbacks’ are the key here. We need to focus attention on those who want to contribute code. Someone needs to take a look at all incoming codes and evaluate them. Should try not to reject any, can post them, someone may like it.

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Once we have enough supporters, we need boards. A technical committee can be the most significant contributor (individuals and companies). An advisory board can consist of companies and community members, which can help decide the project’s path moving forward. It’s the point where the community manager acts as the liaison between the advisory board and the broad community. Remember, we are trying to drive offers of code and bug reports and beta testing. The best way to do it is through a wiki. We need to be honest, transparent, and open about why we are doing it. The broader the participation, the better off we’re going to be.

The Bottom Line

Open Source keeps the tech industry, especially mobile and Web app development companies, afloat and alive. 78.9% of websites running on the internet are made on Php. A hilarious story goes around that tells the reality and importance of shared resources over proprietary ones. In 1911, Henry Ford won a challenge for a 2-cycle gasoline engine, Selden patent, initially filed by George B. Seldon.

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But then came the formation of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, which constituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US automotive manufacturers. It made the Seldon patent worthless. Now all companies would develop technologies and file for patents, but they would also share them without exchanging money. Before the United States of America entered World War II, they shared Ninety-two of Ford’s patents and about 515 patents from other manufacturers.

Various community-backed projects and software like MongoDB, node package manager are standard tools in the software industry. They help build clean, robust, and accessible solutions, which are getting a lot of love from the developer’s community. Even Microsoft released a new programming language called Typescript to improve the drawbacks of the second most popular programming language- Javascript.

What Next?

With Quokka Labs, you can ensure that your product gets the attention and treatment it deserves. Our development and design experts carefully conceptualize and execute your digital products.

Choose your mobile and web application development agency wisely! Quokka Labs offer custom software development, up-to-date Mobile app development framework, bespoke website applications development, technical consultancy & UI UX design services. More than just a group of coders to come in and do the work for you. We are experts in software design, UI & UX design, and others to help you digitize your business. We work with you to capture your brand voice through digital products.

Be its web apps, mobile applications development, or websites, we promise you won’t be disappointed. Don’t hesitate to drop by our website and check out our previous work! We would love to contribute to the growth of your business! 

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