Born out of the United States academic world in the early 1960s, open source has evolved into a golden standard of technology today. It’s become foundational to nearly all applications, operating systems, cloud computing, databases, big data, and more, according to the 2016 North Bridge & Black Duck Future of Open Source Study.
Open-source software empowers its users with inherent flexibility and freedom that allows them to accelerate not only the progress of their project but the growth of their businesses. These four projects exemplify the ubiquity and power of open source today.
Linux is a free and open source software created by Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s and is today one of the most successful and widely-adopted operating systems in the world. Linux is literally the heart of the internet, used by tech powerhouses like Google. In fact, the Android operating system, which powers 2 billion monthly active android devices, is based on Linux. Twitter and several other heavyweights also rely on Linux as a fundamental piece to their technology infrastructure.
The powerful operating system is backed by The Linux Foundation, which also supports other open source projects, and includes the members from industry-leaders likes IBM, Cisco, Intel, Twitter, and Google.
Open source content management system WordPress is used by 28 percent of the entire internet. From small blogs to enterprise websites, brands and publishers alike such as Forbes, Playstation, Microsoft, Mashable, and The New York Times use WordPress to build their online empires.
Inherently powerful, flexible, and free, it accelerates time to market and allows its users to quickly adapt their websites to new technology and trends. Unlike proprietary solutions, WordPress is also incredibly user-friendly, allowing its users to own their publishing experience.
It boasts a growing collection of more than 47 thousand plugins that easily allow you to integrate almost any functionality with your site. And now, with the recent inclusion of the REST API in its core software, the CMS can be used on the back-end to power a non-WordPress powered frontend. This is pivotal as the new headless implementation enables its users to build more dynamic web experiences but still leverage WordPress as their content management system.
WordPress is maintained by a robust (and growing) community, led by the WordPress Foundation.
MySQL is one of the most popular open-source database management tools and is a leading contender to proprietary database management solutions. In fact, it’s used by some of the world’s largest and fastest growing companies like Google, Adobe, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Square, and beyond and is a central component in LAMP ( Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP programming language), a commonly open-source software stack used to get web servers up and running.
The open-source database tool is unique in that it is available under a dual-licensing agreement. While the project is open source under the GNU General Public license, it also has available proprietary agreements that package and offer different functionality.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
AMP is proven to provide higher performance and engagement and also provides flexibility to the publishers. To date, more than 1.5 billion AMP pages have been published and more than 100 leading analytics, ad tech, and CMS providers support the format.
Open technology is essential
In today’s digital-first world, open technology is essential. It provides digital marketers and technologists with the flexibility and freedom to create in a real-time, adapt to new trends, cut costs, and accelerate time to market. There are thousands of open source projects today, which are collectively helping to share the future of the technology. These four projects exemplify how open source is not only foundational to technology today but also helping to build a better internet.