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free-open-source-software

Free Open Source Software

The English word “free” has at least two meanings:

  • No cost, no payment required, given freely and without obligation.
  • Liberty, openness, freedom, opportunity

The concept of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) implies both of these meanings. ToDoList is provided at no cost. AND the source code is also open for anyone to take, view, and modify. While the software is “free”, FOSS authors provide their software with a license, to protect themselves, and to set expectations for how the software is used and distributed. ToDoList is provided with the The Eclipse Public License 1.0. Please ensure that your usage is within the terms of this license.

Contributions

There are many reasons for open-sourcing software.

  • To allow people an opportunity to check it for issues and to report bugs.
  • To allow companies to ensure that the software does not have any hidden tricks or hacks. While the software is available as an executable for average users, a company might want to compile the source themselves and distribute their own version to employees.
  • The software is freely provided to the public so that other developers can learn from it and improve their own coding.

FOSS is a community-oriented concept. One does not need to be a programmer to contribute to FOSS. As a developer freely gives software for others to use, there is an implied request that users will provide comments to help the author to improve the software for everyone to benefit. With feedback from the field, the author continues to update the software and we all get periodic new and improved releases.

So while there is no obligation to provide feedback, it is in the community spirit to do so. To “give back” as a Thank You for your free software, the author welcomes you to share your comments about how you use it. You can tell him whenever you find a problem. You can tell him your ideas for making it better. You can tell him what you like and what you use the most. As you come to use the software more and develop a personal expertise, you can answer questions that other people have, and help them to use the software better. And you can encourage others to use the software - family, friends, and business associates.

Software is also commonly open-sourced for other developers to modify and donate improvements back to the author for possible inclusion back into the base software. This is not the case with ToDoList. Other developers are welcome to modify the software for themselves but not to rebrand or redistribute, and at this time code contributions are not accepted. In other words, the source code is open for viewing but not for community collaboration. The reason is that Dan (one and only developer) writes this software for his own use, enhances it based on user feedback, and then publishes it for everyone else to use. There are no forks or branches created by others which then get merged with that core code set. So please use the community forums to suggest changes, but do not spend time writing new code intended as a generous contribution for the common good. We understand the intent but at this time this is not how this specific project is maintained.

That said, the ToDoList user community does welcome developer contributions in the form of XSL, user-defined tools, plugins, and other external tools which can be used with ToDoList.

free-open-source-software.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/11 08:40 by editor