This year, we celebrated the Software Freedom Day (SFD) in September 18th. Software Freedom is celebrated in the 3rd Saturday, in the month of September each year.
SFD is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The goal in this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business - in short, everywhere! The non-profit organization Software Freedom International coordinates SFD at a global level, providing support, giveaways and a point of collaboration, but volunteer teams around the world organize the local SFD events to impact their own communities.
Free and open source software (or FOSS) is software that respects your freedoms and makes its source code available. Chances are you’re already using free and open-source software without even knowing it. In case you need more convincing, here are the undeniable reasons why you should start using FOSS now.
The first formal definition of free software was published by FSF in February 1986. That definition, written by Richard Stallman, is still maintained today and states that software is free software if people who receive a copy of the software have the following four freedoms. The numbering begins with zero, not only as a spoof on the common usage of zero-based numbering in programming languages, but also because "Freedom 0" was not initially included in the list, but later added first in the list as it was considered very important.
- Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
- Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
- Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute and make copies so you can help your neighbour.
- Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
Freedoms 1 and 3 require source code to be available because studying and modifying software without its source code can range from highly impractical to nearly impossible.