Panjab University Research Journal (Science)
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WHY HAVE OPEN SOURCE APPLICATIONS CAUGHT THE EYE OF HIGHER EDUCATION?

*R.K. Singla1 and Poonam Bansal2
1. Department of Computer Science & Applications, Panjab University, Chandigarh
2. Amity School of Engineering and Technology, New Delhi
*Corresponding author : rksingla@pu.ac.in

Abstract
The choices of software in an educational environment are based upon a range of issues; much of which involve weighing the risks against the benefits about the purposes to which the software is to be put. The educational institutes are interested in increasing the interoperability between software systems for teaching and learning and administrative purposes. The question of how to achieve interoperability hinges on the nature of the standards upon which the software is based. This is akin to determining the nature of the foundations upon which a house is to be built. Open standards that allow the standard to be seen, provide the capacity for interoperability between both open and proprietary software. Open source software (OSS) provides a concrete way of developing open standards. Rather than making open standards theoretical exercises, OSS provides the practical means for determining these standards.
This paper looks at open source, a new model of software development that brings millions of developers into a collaborative, productive community and provides an introduction to OSS in the context of higher education. It is intended to provide the basis for developing some shared understandings about what OSS is; its benefits; its limitations; and it provides a brief description of popular open source licenses common to educational applications. We also focus on the use of OSS in computer science education. The Indian Department of Information Technology has announced that it wishes to move the whole country to Linux as its’ ‘platform of choice’. This paper may provide the basis for future discussions at state and national levels.

Key words:.: Open Source, GNU, Linux, Web browser, Apache.
 

 
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