Open Source - Applications

Applications

Many fields of study and social and political views have been affected by the growth of the concept of open source. Advocates in one field often support the expansion of open source in other fields. For example, Linus Torvalds said, "the future is open source everything." But Eric Raymond and other founders of the open-source movement have sometimes publicly argued against speculation about applications outside software, saying that strong arguments for software openness should not be weakened by overreaching into areas where the story may be less compelling. The broader impact of the open-source movement, and the extent of its role in the development of new information sharing procedures, remain to be seen.

The open-source movement has inspired increased transparency and liberty in biotechnology research, for example by CAMBIA. Even the research methodologies themselves can benefit from the application of open-source principles. It has also given rise to the rapidly expanding open-source hardware movement. In the book Democratizing Innovation it is argued that a trend toward democratized innovation in physical products (e.g. open-source hardware) is occurring like the free and open-source software movement, and that the difference between crowdsourcing and open source is that open-source production is a cooperative activity initiated and voluntarily undertaken by members of the public. One of the primary geographically diverse communities that is utilizing this developmental method is the scientific community; using open-source hardware to reduce the cost of scientific equipment.


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