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Places in Malaysia
Open Source works on the principles that the source code of the software distributed must be opened or freely available with very little or no intellectual property restriction. Currently, the Open Source Initiative is the so called 'watch dog' of the open source community. They came up with 10 criterias for open source definitition.

Below is the summary of the main points of Open Source Definition Licence (To see original click the above link) :
1. Free Redistribution : The licence SHALL NOT restrict any party from selling or giving away the software and SHALL NOT require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
2. Source Code : The program MUST include source code, and MUST allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. The source code MUST be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. When the source code are not distributed together with the product, the source code MUST be obtainable from a well-publicised place with a reasonable reproduction cost. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.
3. Derived Works : The license MUST allow modifications and derived works, and MUST allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.
4. The license MUST NOT discriminate against any person or group of persons.
5. The license MUST NOT restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor.
6. Distribution of License : The rights attached to the program MUST apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.
7. License MUST NOT Be Specific to a Product : If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.
8. License MUST NOT Restrict Other Software that is distributed along with the licensed software.
9. Integrity of The Author's Source Code : The license MAY restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license MAY require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software. The license MUST explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code.
10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral : No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

Open Source has a few licences which are very popular like Open Software License v3.0, Apache License ver2 and Mozilla Public License 1.1. Apache is a widely used as HTTP / Web Server for Linux, Apple / Mac and Microsoft operating system. Mozilla is also widely used as base program for many browsers and these browsers can run under many types of operating system too. Many people may think that these softwares are free softwares because they are freely available in the internet and can be downloaded free of charge.

FreeDOS aims to be a complete, free, 100% MS-DOS compatible operating system. Its base modules are mostly licensed under GNU-GPL, GPL, some open source softwares, a few freeware and from unknown public domain. However, FreeDOS says that it is an open source software which mean that certain part of the programs which are not free software must be a very important part of it.

PostgreSQL is an open source software for database released under the BSD license. However, PostgreSQL is not as popular as other open source software database like MySQL. MySQL can now run on a few operating systems like LINUX, some Unix, Microsoft Windows 32 and Mac OS X.

There are many browsers available for free in the internet. Many of these free browsers use the Mozilla Gecko engine. One of the most popular one is Firefox. Another that I like is Seamonkey because it is very much like Netscape package. In fact, from what I see, Firefox and Seamonkey started out from Netscape. What I meant is, they were very much like Netscape package(s) and when Netscape was discontinued, Firefox took over. Seamonkey came much later.

To see a few of these licences, click Licences. In most places, Open Source Software groups usually call themselves FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) which try to combine both Free Software and Open Source Software in their group. I guess this is easier cause it is quite difficult to differentiate those two groups of software except if you look at their licences. To me, one difference is copyright issue in open source software but I am no legal people, so it is just a guess.

Malaysia has a few Open Source Software (OSS) group. One is Free and Open Source Software Society Malaysia and another is MAMPU's OSS Initiative. MAMPU is part of Prime Minister's department which is given the responsibility to implement the OSS Initiative. It provides plan for objective and framework, technical implementation and solution area. It has a centre which acts as a point of reference in the implementation of OSS.

Open Source Softwares are usually bundled together with Free Softwares in distribution packages like Redhat and Suse. This is ok as long as the licences are provided together with the softwares. Free softwares and open source softwares are not easily available in Penang stores. So I guess people in Penang will have to download the programs from the internet.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Redhat is a registered trademark of Red Hat Inc. SUSE is a registered trademark of Novell Inc. Debian is . Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. GNOME and the foot logo are trademarks of GNOME Foundation. PostgreSQL and the elephant head logo are trademarks of PostgreSQL Global Development Group. W3C is the acronym for World Wide Web Consortium. dmoz is Open Directory Project. All other trademarks are the trademarks of their respective owner. See Trademarks.

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