Terms and Definitions



Introduction 1. Setting the foundation for sustainable open source engagements Right



Term Definition

Creating a “fork” is producing a personal copy of someone else’s project. Forks act as a bridge between the original repository and a personal copy.[4]

Open source community

A group of individuals who work together to develop, test, or modify open source software products.[5]

Open source engagement

An organisation’s commitment to engage with open source software either by launching an OSS community from scratch or joining an existing community and contributing to it instead.

Open source project A specific project for which the source code is available to everyone to contribute to and reuse, as defined by the open licence used for the project.

Open source software (OSS)

Software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.[6]
Proprietary software

Occasionally referred to as closed source software, proprietary software is software that legally remains the property of the organisation, group, or individual who created it. The organisation that owns the rights to the product usually does not release the source code and may insist that only those who have purchased a special licence key can use it.[7]

Software as a Service (SaaS)

A software licensing model in which access to the software is provided on subscription basis, with the software being located on external servers rather than on in house servers. Software-as- a-Service is typically accessed through a web browser, with users logging into the system using a username and password. Instead of each user having to install the software on their computer, the user is able to access the programme via the internet.[8]

Total cost of ownership (TCO)

A financial estimate aimed at calculating the short- and long- term costs of any product or service by taking into account the complete costs. For IT, TCO includes hardware and software acquisition, management and support, communications, end- user expenses and the opportunity cost of downtime, training and other productivity losses.[9]

Vendor lock-in A situation whereby a customer becomes  dependent  on a product or service provided by a commercial supplier and cannot move to another vendor without substantial costs and/ or inconvenience.[10]