Free, Open Source Software

Harnessing the power of distributed development

Enterprise-grade website software

Two decades ago (around 1996-98), when free, open source software started emerging as the preferred type of website hosting environment, it had its fair share of denigrators and naysayers.  It doesn’t surprise anyone to learn that typically these were people with corporate interests, operating from a proprietary software perspective.

Yet, as the web was emerging from a grass-roots (pre-web) internet culture, it is easy to say with hindsight that no other approach could have sustained the web, or be sustained in any other way but via the web.  This symbiosis epitomises the modern internet, and isn’t going to go away any time soon.  In other words, free, open source software is the mainstay of the modern internet.

What is free, open source software?

Free software that is free to use, share, study and distribute as you see fit.  Its source code (the instructions that software developers write) is openly visible (hence, “open source”) for anyone to study – normally via the most convenient mechanism, the web.

Free, open source software (or “FOSS”) powers all of the world’s top 500 supercomputers

Open source projects also power the vast majority of the internet’s infrastructure (routers, firewalls, switches, servers – of course..), consumer devices (TVs, set-top boxes, ‘Internet of Things’ devices), smartphones, tablets, watches (Android, iOS), and so on.  Free, open source software is ubiquitous and universal.

Popular Open Source Platforms

Open Source software is so versatile, and yet so fundamental to the operation of the web, it can be found everywhere, doing everything:

  • Content Management Systems: WordPress, Drupal,  Joomla
  • eCommerce Systems: WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart
  • Forum/Bulletin Board Systems: PHPBB, BBPress, Discourse, vBulletin
  • Social Media & Networking: Friendica, Hubzilla, Mastodon, GNU/Social,, Diaspora*

There are many more categories of software; these just represent some popular, internet based options.  A federated social network such as those listed above can help your organisation keep its communications private, and provide the freedom to truly express itself online!

For more information on software freedom and the internet, please browse the related links.

Get in touch to discuss how we can create the right space for your organisation to utilise open source software to the full!

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