Open source has a very straight-forward meaning. If a program is open source, then it means that the 'source code' behind it is open and public for anyone to see. In other words, anyone can read the code that makes the program run. Technical users can even take the code, and compile it themselves! Open source programs have a few advantages.
- Open source software is often more secure than closed source, proprietary software. This is because the security of closed source software if dependent on the knowledge of a few developers, while open source code can be reviewed by anyone with technical knowledge to find potential vulnerabilities.
- Open source software is completely trustless, which means you don't have to trust that the person developing it has positive intentions. All you have to do is review the code yourself to determine whether or not it has malicious intent.
- Open source code is almost always much more respective of privacy, since anyone can review the source code to determine if the developer is doing something shady with user's information. In the case that they are, anyone can take the code and develop their own alternative without privacy concerns!
- Open source code often survives much longer than proprietary software, since anyone can continue to update it. Even if the original developer gets tired of working on a project, anyone else can take the code and pick up right where he or she left off.
Below are some frequently asked questions about source code, and how it relates to V0LT.
- How do I tell if a V0LT program is open source?
- Open source programs are marked with an open circle icon on the Programs page like this:
- How can I view the code of an open source V0LT program?
- To view the source code of an open source V0LT program, simply open the program's page by clicking "More Info" on the Programs page, then clicking "Source Code".
- Why aren't all V0LT programs open source?
- There are a few reasons for this. First off, I originally developed all of my programs as closed source, since I was having my programs stolen and redistributed under other people's names. I thought that providing my source code would only make the problem worse. Converting all these programs to open source would be very time consuming. Another reason is that many of my older programs use Unity, which doesn't integrate well with GitHub, the platform I use to distribute my open source code.
- How do you make money off of programs if the code is freely available?
- I don't. All the money I make comes from donations. If you enjoy what I do and want to support it, please consider making a donation. If you don't want to, or simply can't donate, a kind message to firstname.lastname@example.org is just as appreciated!
- Couldn't people just steal your code, since it's all open?
- Absolutely. However, by accessing or using open souce programs from V0LT, the user/developer agrees to follow the V0LT Source Code License. This licenses prevents certain things from being done with V0LT source code, but is designed to be very relaxed under normal circumstances.