In this digitalized and technologically advanced era, we are surrounded by plenty of open-source projects we use on a daily basis without even knowing that they are open source. The growth and popularity of open-source projects is increasing steadily over the past few years. Therefore, this blog explores more about open source, specifically focusing on the use of open-source tools on a daily basis.
Importance of Open Source
Open-source tools are everywhere now, from enterprise-level to general use. Why open source is becoming everyone’s choice is due to the wide range of benefits associated with it. Following are some of the key benefits of open source:
- Collaboration: Collaboration is crucial for quality developments in the software world. Open-source promotes an environment of collaboration where ideas and programs are shared freely, thereby resulting in the development of new technologies and enhancements of existing ones.
- Sustainability: Open source tools are being continuously developed, improved, and enhanced. There are no restrictions on the use of such tools, so they are much more accessible and sustainable.
- Transparency: The source code of the open-source software is accessible to everyone, which helps organizations to be sure, for instance, that no hidden function is gathering data. Moreover, open-source software empowers users to modify or adapt the software per their needs.
- Community: Open-source community makes the use and enhancement of such tools a lot easier. Users can discuss issues, report bugs, fix bugs, and even contribute with more feature enhancements.
Open-Source Tools We Use Every Day
As noted above, there are plenty of open-source tools that we use every day without even knowing. Here are 5 such open-source tools:
Firefox is an open-source web browser that holds around 4.2% of browser market shares worldwide. Firefox is known for its stringent privacy measures, which is a rising concern these days. Since using the internet requires a browser, Firefox’s open-source nature and feature-rich offerings make it stand as one of the best open-source browsers.
LibreOffice is a powerful open-source office suite that includes several applications, such as Writer (word processing), Base (databases), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Math (formula editing), etc. It is similar to Microsoft Office but is accessible to everyone for free. Moreover, it has a strong community of contributors, thereby making it a trustworthy office suite.
VLC Media Player is a popular open-source tool used for playing audio, video, and other media files. It offers an extensive feature list, along with the support of extensive extensions that helps in elevating the overall user experience. It is accessible from Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.
GIMP is a photo editing tool that is free, open-source, and welcomes your contribution. Its sophisticated tools address most of the needs of photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, etc. It provides high-quality image manipulation, original artwork creation, graphical design elements production, etc. It offers extensibility through its integration with other programming languages, such as Python, Perl, etc.
Linux is a super popular open-source operating system modelled on UNIX. Its source code is accessible to everyone to view, edit, and contribute. Linux is widely used by individuals and companies for servers owing to its highly secure and flexible nature, along with large community support. Moreover, Linux is running on Android smartphones, wearables, cameras, home appliances, and plenty of similar other devices.
Open-source tools are steadily becoming part of our day-to-day activities. In fact, the world is acknowledging open-source tools more compared to proprietary software due to the benefits associated with open source. So, in addition to the above-listed tools, you will also find plenty of other open-source tools around you. In short, there is a significant open-source impact on our daily digital life, which will increase more with every passing year.