First the most important question: What is Open Source?
Open Source is software whose source code can be viewed, changed and used publicly and by third parties. Open source software can usually be used free of charge. (Wikipedia)
Open Source has many advantages.
- Open Source is safe. Anyone can view the source code and thus can be assured that neither hidden functions nor spy tools are infiltrated into the software.
- Open Source is a community. Anyone can make local changes to a source code and thus a program can be improved by many people.
- Open Source is independent. The users of a program are not bound to the developer. Thanks to the open source code, anyone can fix bugs or add new features without being dependent on the developer.
Razer Ambilight: My first open source project
These advantages became clear to me when I released my software Razer Ambilight on Github.
It was a new experience for me. My code under the critical eyes of thousands. At first I was unsure if this was really the right decision. Issues came in about bugs where I didn’t know what to do and everything was confusing at first.
But eventually I realized the advantages. Issues came in through bugs that I would never have found if I hadn’t been told about them and therefore never fixed. And also those that, if not fixed, made the software completely unusable.
I was already completely convinced of Open Source when the user stallOne1337 opened a pull request to implement support for 21:9 monitors. I was surprised. stallOne followed my code structure exactly and added a feature that I would never have developed if I didn’t own a 21:9 monitor.
My conclusion: Opensource is a very good way for a private person to distribute his software. I never thought that people I don’t even know would really extend my software in a meaningful way, or that people would even take the time to do so.
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