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What Is Open Source?!

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  • What Is Open Source?!

    What in the world does open source mean?! I KNOW that it is supposed to mean that whenever you create some unknown PHP script or something, the code is revealed to all PHP developers. I SIERIOUSLY do not understand this. Please don't think I'm some idiot, but lets say if I wrote a PHP password protection script. An HTML form contained the login text box and the password text box and there was a submit button that called upon a PHP script to check if the login and password are correct. Lets say that the person typed the correct password and login. This would draw upon the PHP page some text that says "You entered the correct login information". If the person wanted to see the PHP coding, the ONLY php coding the person would see is the text "You entered the correct login information" in the source code. How would other PHP developers see how this was coded? Because PHP isn't necessarily like HTML completely, in which your code is always open to the public.

    So how is this open source if you can't always see someone else's PHP coding? Not unless you had special access to the FTP files....

    Gregory C.
    Gregory C.

  • #2
    PHP Scripts output HTML. Try doing this - go to your vBulletin's global.php file in a browser. There is tons of PHP code in that file, but it doesn't output any HTML.

    PHP is open source in that it isn't compiled. Your program has two entities: the source and the output. The source isn't compiled, and anyone with access to it can modify it. That's open source.

    I'm typing this on a file called newreply.php - all I see in the browser is the HTML that is output y the script. Whereas newrply.php is open source (Not GPL), you can't see the source unless you obtain the file somehow.

    I hope this clears it up for you a little bit.

    -jim

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    • #3
      Open Source is actually a way to distribute and develop software. It has nothing to do with whether a language is compiled or interpreted.

      See the link:

      http://www.osdn.com/osdocs/01/01/15/1818201.shtml

      Quoting from the link above, detail removed:


      Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:

      1. Free Redistribution
      2. Source Code
      3. Derived Works
      4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
      5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
      6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
      7. Distribution of License
      8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
      9. License Must Not Contaminate Other Software
      There are many products that are developed using open source tools like PHP and mySQL, that are not in themselves open source products. The source ships with the product, but the code cannot be modified and redistributed (vB for instance).

      The term is often misapplied to all software developed using PHP or perl.

      -t
      Tim Hewitt
      myOstrich Internet - Domain Management & Internet Services
      myOstrich Golf - When it comes to golf, we don't have our heads in the sand.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by thewitt
        Open Source is actually a way to distribute and develop software. It has nothing to do with whether a language is compiled or interpreted.

        See the link:

        http://www.osdn.com/osdocs/01/01/15/1818201.shtml

        Quoting from the link above, detail removed:



        There are many products that are developed using open source tools like PHP and mySQL, that are not in themselves open source products. The source ships with the product, but the code cannot be modified and redistributed (vB for instance).

        The term is often misapplied to all software developed using PHP or perl.

        -t
        Well, IMO, it depends if it is "Open Source" or "open source". It's all symantics. The fact that you have access to the source code is good enough for me to qualify as open source.

        If you want to put the (non copyrighted, trade, or service marked - AKAIK) term "Open Source" on your work, then it should comply to their, ahem, standards.

        But I don't think the poster wanted to know the technical details, they wanted to know why they couldn't access the source code of a script by viewing the HTML page. In that case, it has EVERYTHING to do with whether or not it is complied or not.

        -jim

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JimF
          Well, IMO, it depends if it is "Open Source" or "open source". It's all symantics. The fact that you have access to the source code is good enough for me to qualify as open source.
          To prevent confusion (especially if I type "open source" w/o caps), I usually say "visible source". There, no confusion

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ed Sullivan
            To prevent confusion (especially if I type "open source" w/o caps), I usually say "visible source". There, no confusion
            Okay, I like that .

            -jim

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the replies

              Thanks for all the replies! That kinda clears it up a bit. Thanks a lot.

              Gregory C.
              Gregory C.

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              • #8
                http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.html is another defintion of open source - it is not just semantics - it is very important to use it in the proper way.

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                • #9
                  I've learned 'Open Source' to be what the links said that thewitt and 4php provided.

                  As for 'visible source'... I like that term. I've always use 'source' to refer to uncompiled code (scripting languages like PHP) or pre-compiled code (languages like VB, C++). Once it's compiled, its no longer 'source' code. So if I were to say "I want the source to Windows 98", I would be refering to the pre-compiled code.

                  ... my two and a half cents

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    whats the meaning if you say "just my two cents" or something similar? it appears in quite alot of posts

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It basically means "Just my thoughts"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I look forward to the day when we can all say "Just my 0.0232198 Euros", in America, Europe, and everywhere else.

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