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Yes, what is open source? A lot of people will answer differently to that question and quite large is the number of people who mistake Open Source to be a synonym of FREE(as in beer, meaning free of cost). These kind of people are really annonying, especially when they make statements like they prefer FireFox over IE because the former is open source while the latter is not!! Apart from anything else, when you hear such comments from people using Windows, you’d feel like banging a big iron hammer on their head!! Apparently, its evident that they are mis-informed and consider open source to be synonym for free, but even then their comments wouldn’t make any sense since the last I knew, Microsoft weren’t charging anything for IE, it comes free with the Windows operating system along with other goodies!!

Perhaps that’s why, an article on OnLamp tries to explain, What is Open Source. This highlights on the origins of Open Source & Free Software. Its time people should correct the bad sectors in their brain and come to understand that Open Source is not a synonym of Free(of cost) Software, rather it implies to software whose source is freely available & which you can freely distribute, edit etc. It has nothing to do with the pricing etc. That’s a different ball game. Like closed source softwares can be free of cost(eg. IE, Opera, Google Picasa, etc.), similarly Open Source softwares can also have a price tag attached to them. Its not that common, but still there’s a provision & there are some softwares available which are under an open source license and yet require you to shell out some money to use them.