What is FOSS and its four principles?

What is FOSS and its four principles?
Time line of Free & Open source Software

FOSS is a matter of the User’s freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. The “free” as is used in Free and Open Source Software's refers to ‘free as in freedom’ rather cost. More precisely it refers to four kinds of freedom to the user’s of the Software:

• Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.

• Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.

• Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.

•* Freedom 3*: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

The Idea being that once shared, the code will assist someone else — No need to Re-invent the Wheel.

I believe that, Knowledge is a Common Heritage of Mankind, and thus software, a form of knowledge, has to be free and accessible to all. And this encumbers :

There must be “Open Distribution” and “Open Modification”


Coding is no longer the domain of just Software engineers. All branches of engineering use software tools, be it Computer Aided Design(CAD), Geographical Information Systems(GIS), Latex or Electronic Design Automation.

Wake up Engineers... you are different from Ordinary Mortals (Isn’t it?) Start Using Open Source Tools and Contribute to the world of real knowledge with Open Minds.An Open Document is much like a Physics Experiment to which hundreds of Researchers Contribute.

Internet Runs on FOSS:

Do you Know ? Internet Products like Wikipedia, Facebook, Drupal, Wordpress, Apache, Gmail, Firefox, Chrome etc purely rely on FOSS. Internet Runs on FOSS

For that instance GOOGLE Inc is the largest FOSS Consumption Company. and It’s Contribution to the Open Source is also Notable. More than 86% of Google Servers run on Linux based Servers. Google gives to Open Source Community through code.google.com and Google Summer of Code etc, If you look at Google, most of its products are free/ low cost.

There are many licenses are in use at FOSS Communities, among General Public License (GPL)(Most Linux Products like Ubuntu are GPL Compatible), BSD license(Google Uses most), CC-BY-SA License(Wikipedia Uses this), MIT license are Popular.