Online Workshop

Freewares @ Free Geek Vancouver

June 07, 2011


As per Wikipedia

The term shareware (also known as trialware or demoware) refers to proprietary software that is provided to users without payment on a trial basis and is often limited by any combination of functionality, availability or convenience. Shareware is often offered as a download from an Internet website or as a compact disc included with a periodical such as a newspaper or magazine. The rationale behind shareware is to give buyers the opportunity to use the program and judge its usefulness before purchasing a license for the full version of the software. Firms with superior software thus have an incentive to offer samples, except if their product is already well known, or if they do not want to be listed in direct competition with other products on shareware repositories.[1]

Shareware is usually offered either with certain features only available after the license is purchased, or as a full version but for a limited trial period of time. Once the trial period has passed the program may stop running until a license is purchased. Shareware is often offered without supports or updates which only become available with the purchase of a license. The words “free trial” or “trial version” are indicative of shareware.

The term shareware is used in contrast to retail software, which refers to commercial software available only with the purchase of a license which may not be copied for others, public domain software, which refers to software not copyright protected, and freeware, which refers to copyrighted software for which the author solicits no payment (though he or she may request donations).

As per Wikipedia,

The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology. Before the term open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities.[1] Subsequently, the new phrase “open-source software” was born to describe the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created.

The open-source model includes the concept of concurrent yet different agendas and differing approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies.[2] A main principle and practice of open-source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, “blueprints,” and documentation available at no cost to the public. This is increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as biotechnology.[3]

As per Wikipedia,

Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things and that manufacturers of consumer-facing hardware allow user modifications to their hardware. Free software is generally available without charge, but can have a fee, such as in the form of charging for CDs or other distribution medium among other ways.

In practice, for software to be distributed as free software, the human-readable form of the program (the source code) must be made available to the recipient along with a notice granting the above permissions. Such a notice either is a free software license, or a notice that the source code is released into the public domain.

The free software movement was conceived in 1983 by Richard Stallman to satisfy the need for and to give the benefit of software freedom to computer users.[3] Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to provide the organizational structure to advance his Free Software ideas.

From 1998 onward, alternative terms for free software came into use. The most common are software libre, free and open source software (FOSS) and free, libre and open source software (FLOSS). The Software Freedom Law Center was founded in 2005 to protect and advance FLOSS.[4] Commercial software may sometimes offer some freedoms which are typical of open source software. Contrary to a popular misconception that software is either free or proprietary there are differing degrees of freedom. One example of free commercial software is GNAT.[5]

Free software, which may or may not be distributed free of charge, is distinct from freeware which, by definition does not require payment for use. The authors or copyright holders of freeware may retain all rights to the software; it is not necessarily permissible to reverse engineer, modify, or redistribute freeware.[6][7]

Since free software may be freely redistributed it is generally available at little or no cost. Free software business models are usually based on adding value such as applications, support, training, customization, integration, or certification. At the same time, some business models which work with proprietary software are not compatible with free software, such as those that depend on the user to pay for a license in order to lawfully use the software product.

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