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What is the meaning of 'Open Source' in electrical and computer field?

  1. Aug 24, 2011 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2011 #2

    Open Source generally means that the source code for the project is "open", so a user can modify it. Different licenses exist, the GPL is a common one, in which the user is obliged to release their modified source code.

    Open Source does not necessarily imply that the product is free, although it often does.
  4. Aug 24, 2011 #3


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    I think you mean the "software" field. In the electrical field "open source" would be a mosfet device that required an external pull down resistor. :tongue:
  5. Aug 24, 2011 #4


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    I've seen some "open source" hardware projects as well (including the Arduino platform which seems to be quite popular here--having never used it, I can't comment on it). Aside from the new name, I don't know if there's really anything new conceptually, since lots of electronics hobbyists and EEs have shared (in magazine, BBS, or forum format) schematics, code, layouts / gerbers, and in turn, refined and re-shared what they had.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
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