One of the core elements of innovation tied to the web 2.0 revolution is that of ‘open source technology’. This fundamental concept within the current and prospect digital landscape lays at the foundation of the netamorphosis collaboration model and philosophy as well: we strongly believe that open source collaboration and omnichannel strategy produce better results when communication is streamlined amongst technically appropriated resources – which is what we would ensure is taken care of, through our multidisciplinary team approach as well as through our collaboration-based working relationship with our clients.
Broadly speaking, the term ‘open source’ refers to something end-users can collaborate upon, modify and share as its design has been made publicly accessible by its initial creator/s. While there are closed source alternatives available for some of open source technologies (a quick ’n’ easy example is Android vs IOS), open source is often the key to more lean, efficient and always up-to-date types of technology solutions, while also often allowing for more affordable options at the same time.
In the more defined context of software development, open source defines a rather specific approach to creating computer programs. In fact, open source typically denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed, modified and enhanced, but at its core translates to a decentralized model that encourages open collaboration and participation: one of the main principles of both open source website maintenance and software development is peer production, as the open source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code.
OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGY VS FREE SOFTWARE
Open source: a technology or software that is not static or pre-defined, but build progressively, and through collaboration as with open source, a program’s source code should be made freely available for developers to enhance it and modify it. However, open source does not mean gratis: it is not given that the derived program will be accessible to end-users free of charge and often times, the program itself is actually sold commercially.
Free software: a 1980s concept, originally used to define the ‘freedom’ associated with a software or digital product, or the possibility for its end users to use it, readapt it, modify it with no-strings-attached. The main difference between free software and open source would hence be the lack of collaboration, as users of free software would access and use the software with no limitations, but independently. The concept of open source is also frequently seen as a direct consequence of free software, because developers would often work collectively and therefore make it ‘open’. Nowadays, however, ‘free software’ is perhaps more commonly used to define full or lite versions of programs available to end-users at no monetary cost. This perceived gratuitousness could be quite flimsy: other types of ‘non-monetary’ costs might be in place such as data collection, also by 3rd Parties – and this was one of the key aspects behind the Cambridge Analytica case against Facebook in 2018.
Today, the concept of open source has growingly acquired a significant cultural relevance which goes way beyond its tech origins as it is often both seen as one of the triggers that paved the way towards participatory-types of approaches to once ‘industry-only’ types of sectors such as journalism (i.e. the international news portal Al Jazeera pioneered citizen journalism during the Arab Spring and onwards), and as a crucial milestone towards broader economic consequences such as the rise of ‘sharing economy’ opportunities and projects, including Airbnb, Deliveroo, Lyft and others. Because of this, open source now has a much broader meaning attached, as it is often used to designate a mindset and set of values which has remix and cooperation at its epicenter: open source projects, products, or initiatives are those who foster principles of shared participation, quick prototyping, transparency, open exchange, meritocracy, community-oriented development.
EXAMPLES OF OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES, SOFTWARES & WEBSITES
This more comprehensive definition of open source is the nearest to our vision. At neta we intend open source not just as an approach to production, but really as a mindset and framework of operation, one that feeds into our already heavily transparent and collaborative type of work-style. More over, the open source software we would use are best-in-class: we support open source technology and software platforms such as Magento for eCommerce or WordPress for content-rich platforms, an aspect which is fundamental to our practice as a content and technology service provider.
Moreover, neta embraces open source as a core philosophy in the ways in which we partner with companies and organizations to become an integrated part of their web maintenance and resource framework, that align our efforts through shared metric-oriented objectives towards broader and joint team efforts and achievement.