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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Free Software and Android

Free Software Benefits:-

1) The user has access to the source code of the software.

2) The user has the freedom to modify and distribute the software.

3) Because of the freedom to modify the software. The user can customise the software as per his/her need. Now practically speaking in case of corporations, they would have some specific requirements, they can go to a software company get the software modified as per their requirements. 

4) Many Free Software projects are community projects. People from all around the world contribute code, graphics, fonts etc to the software. With proprietary software only the company that made the software can modify it.

GNU/LINUX is an example of free software. Richard Stallman started the GNU project to build a Unix like FREE operating system. In eight years the software was almost ready except for a vital component of the software called the Kernel. A Finnish computer science student Linus Trovalds built a monolithic kernel for the GNU operating system and decided to release it under the GNU/GPL license.

Since the GNU/LINUX operating system is a free software. Developers from all around the world work on it, modify its code and create newer versions of the software. While you have only one distribution of Macintosh and Windows operating system. With GNU/LINUX, you have hundreds of different distributions available.

In reality when it comes to software. Governments around the world must make laws that compels developers to share the code of the software if they want to sell the software to people. 

With proprietary software it is possible to build back doors in the software to track user activity, since the source code is not available to the users it is not possible to verify. 

Today smartphones and tablets have overtaken computer as the most used people's computing device. The most popular operating system in these devices is the Google's Android operating system. While Google does release the source code of the Android operating system. It does contain proprietary device drivers. However the Android Operating system is relatively more free than Windows and Macintosh. 

The kernel of the Android Operating System is a modified version of the Linux Kernel. So Free Software Movement has contributed to Android development. 

Android Architecture

There are many other commonly used software that have come out of Free software projects. The freedom and opportunity to collaborate and co-operate provided by Free Software will win over proprietary software. Free software is here to stay and it will continue to grow. 

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