There have always been many speculations around Open Source Software, its pros and cons; how it affects an individual and/or an organization and many more. Here’s an attempt to answer those intriguing questions keeping ARTOS as the context.
What is meant by Open Source Software?
Any computer software which is distributed along with its source code for modifications is Open Source Software according to (OSI) Open Source Initiative. The source code is released under a license by the copyright holder granting certain privileges and restrictions to its users. Users upon complying with such licence conditions get called as ‘Open Source Software – Contributor’.
Artos is one such Open Source Software available for the entire testing community to contribute towards and make benefits from.
What are the criteria for Open Source?
OSI defines open source software to have 10 criteria a couple of them are listed below:
- Software redistribution
- Source code availability and integrity
- Distribution and properties of licenses
- Derived works
What are the types of licences?
There are many different types of licences available which allow contributors to contribute in different ways. Some of the most common licence types are:
- MIT License
- GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0
- Apache License 2.0
- GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0
- BSD License 2.0 (3-clause, New or Revised)
Artos comes with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) license – allowing its users rights such as copying, modifying, merging, distributing, etc. It is notable for what it does not contain, such as clauses for advertising and prohibition of the use of the copyright owner’s name for promotional uses.
What are the benefits of becoming a Contributor?
Contributors have access to the software’s source code (as per the license agreement) and thus can help improve the software by either adding feature to it, or using it as a base for further extending and meeting their specific purpose, or fixing parts of the software which aren’t working as expected. This leads to greater exposure and learning to the contributor. Many licence types allows the contributors name to be carried forward along with the source code – this further helps the contributor with name and fame as the software scales.
Contributors can also term them as inspectors (of the code) who may not be contributing towards modifying the code – but can suggest features, improvements to the author and thus can enhance their code review, architectural capabilities.
Artos is open source software in the testing domain and has vision to make pathways for numerous keen testers to learn and grow, as ARTOS continues to grow with them.
Why is open source software preferred over proprietary software?
Code Control: Open source software although it feels like anyone can contribute and make changes – but all these suggested changes are at the discretion of the author whether to accept or not. Thus the author or group of authors feel more control over the code.
Security: Because the source code is so widely and easily available – it helps with genuine contributors to spot mistakes, errors and differences in the software and suggest security fixes/patches. This further helps the authors to gain more security visibility over the code.
Stability: Generally open source software’s do not just vanish or get stale; someone somewhere might still be using and supporting the software. Thus organizations and/or individuals are more assured that the software is going to be available for long and thus they can trust the stability.
Training: Many institutes and organizations prefer open source software to be used as platform for training their budding programmers/students/new hires etc.
Up-to-date: As open source software is being worked upon by many different contributors – the source code always appears to be updated to its latest code base. No more wait time for receiving specific features/fixes to be available.
Artos is readily available on Github and its support team are always on the look-out of adding few features set to ARTOS, to accept merge requests from keen contributors.
Will it cost me any money?
Open source software programmers can charge money for the open source software they create or to which they contribute. But in some cases, because an open source license might require them to release their source code when they sell software to others, some programmers find that charging user’s money for software services and support (rather than for the software itself) is more lucrative. This way, their software remains free of charge, and they make money helping others install, use, and troubleshoot it.
Artos is free in terms of making contributions and using it or applying it for commercial/non-commercial purposes. We only ask our fellow testers to comply with the MIT licence requirements!
Summary: Artos – an open source test framework provides a solution to the test community that fills the market gap for true functional and end-to-end testing. Come join hands in the making of magnificent test framework.