We explain that what are the examples of free software? A free software is a computer program that performs various tasks and can be used without payment for all around Internet through a computer or an intelligent electronic device. That is, this type of program can be modified, studied, altered, improved, copied, sold and distributed .
The term in English is free software and although it can be translated as “free software”, what it really refers to is the freedom that people have to manipulate it. The FSF or Free Software Foundation is the organization responsible for promoting the features, functions and benefits of free software.
At first, software was restricted to the public, and although most of them still are, in 1980 this type of program emerged, representing an evolution in the way of conceiving the information that is spread on the web . The strongest point in their favor is the lack of restrictions on who uses them. And this does not necessarily mean that these programs are free, since some of them are commercialized, but rather it talks about the freedom in their use.
Free software is based on the ideology that by sharing without limitations, everyone benefits. And although it may be a disadvantage that many access it and therefore fill the programs with bugs and errors, in reality it is done with the purpose that all users help and contribute.
Free software features
For software to be considered free, it must meet four conditions. And they are the following:
- The user has the right to use the program according to his needs. That is, you are allowed to access the source code, which is by which the software is manipulated for your personal or work use. This allows people to be exempt from paying or reporting any use or modification. You will not have to pay either until a certain period nor will it be limited to expiration dates. Similarly, you will be free to use it anywhere in the world.
- The user has the right to copy the program as many times as necessary to make it reach as many people as possible. Therefore, it will not be a crime nor will it pay as if it were an infraction, because if it were, it would lose its “free” character. This does not mean that a program is free, since it is allowed to charge for doing this; what is not allowed is to charge as if it were illegal to do so.
For its distribution, there are some conditions supported by the copyleft rule . It proposes that there are no restrictions when distributing a program and that, in doing so, it should not have a lower quality than the original program. I mean, there are no rules.
- The user has the right to understand the program, with the purpose of knowing how it works and later adapting it to their personal needs. This will be achieved since free software has no complications in its programming and files, and anyone can freely access its operating system. In short: you have control over free software.
- The user has the right to improve the program, with the purpose that other users benefit from that improvement. It is important as it helps software to have better versions. Contributors help those who do not know the programs thoroughly.
It is the same users who make free software grow , either by distributing it, modifying it, copying it, or selling it. It is like a family in which everyone contributes. So it is not only a few who own or are in charge of this task. Evolution, therefore, depends on them, since they do not expect new updates or versions from time to time, but they create them themselves. It is a huge advantage over other non-free software, as there are no restrictions of any kind.
Types of free software licenses
Each software that is acquired or that, in specific, is bought, comes with a restriction of use. That is, when you pay for it, you pay not for owning the software but for a license that allows you to use it . And the most common are:
The GPL (GNU General Public License) license: with this license, the author of a certain file owns the property right and can modify and distribute it, as long as certain terms are met. Most free software programs use a GPL license (approximately 60%). When a version is modified, the GPL license establishes that this copy is also registered under the same license. This in order that the source code remains open to anyone who wishes to use it.
The BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license : BSD systems are used under this license. Compared to the GPL license, it has fewer limitations, since it allows the reading of its source code in closed software. This does not happen in the GPL license, in which the software must be kept open or else the rule is violated.
The MPL license (Mozilla Public License): this license complies with the four conditions proposed by free software and with the definition of open source software. However, by not establishing the rule of leaving the source open, it has the possibility that software is used in a non-free or closed way.
Most popular free software:
- Ares: is a program used to download various files, especially music, from various websites (in case the file is shared by various sources). It is now obsolete, but at the beginning of the decade it was one of the most popular “free software” programs.
- eMule : is a program with which you can share and exchange P2P files, such as audio, video, images and documents in general. It uses the eDonkey 2000 and Kad network protocols and was released as software for Microsoft Windows systems. It became as popular as Ares due to its advanced features. Variants such as IMule, xMule or aMule have emerged to this, but none are as popular as eMule.
- Mozilla Firefox : is a web browser created by the Mozilla Foundation and from Mozilla Application Suite. It is one of the largest and most used browsers in the world. The team that works on it is so large that it has made the browser a free software program with great quality. Specifically, it is in direct competition with Google Chrome, which is narrowly ahead of Mozilla in terms of usage preference.
Its first version came out in 2002 and at that time it was called Phoenix. It was not until 2005 that it got the name Mozilla Firefox. It has more than 300 million downloads and has several awards and accolades that have praised its functionality.
What distinguishes it from others is the possibility of being personalized to the tastes and interests of each user. In addition, it protects the privacy of those who use it. Likewise, it has portable versions to be used only via USB, as well as versions for cell phones that are synchronized with the PC. Another of its essential characteristics is the speed in the loading of its web pages, which is higher than that of its competences.
- Linux : it is an operating system for web browsing, equivalent to MacOS, DOS or Windows. It was created by Linus Torvalds in the late 90’s and is also known as GNU). It has the dual function of serving through a graphical interface or through command lines.
- Apache : Or also known as Apache HTTP, it is a web server that allows you to create web pages and services. It is the most used in the market for its multiplatform server that, in combination with Linux, the PHP programming language and the MySQL database, provides a quality service. It processes texts, databases, graphic presentations and spreadsheets, among others.
Its advantages are its easy installation and configuration, that it is free to the public, that it has great popularity and, therefore, a team of collaborators around the world; that can be installed on various operating systems such as MacOos, Linux and Windows; that its performance supports a large capacity of users at the same time (it has more than a million visits per day); and that provides security and support.
- jDownloader : this program allows the direct download of practically any type of document on the network. It works as long as its basic management options are simple and efficient; for example, it resumes paused downloads and limits the number of simultaneous downloads, thus preventing the server from crashing. In addition, its configuration options and management of the download lists are something that other programs do not have.
It is compatible with RapidShare, Hotlife and Fileshare, among others. For its use, it is not necessary to have a Premium account, since being free software, it allows all users to use its services. This makes it one of the most used today.
- Audacity : It is possibly the largest program for recording and editing digital sound. Due to its multiple functions and the ability to process audio files, it is one of the most used.
It emerged in 1999 thanks to Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg. It was published the following year, in May 2000, and by 2008 it was already a consolidated program in the world.
This program allows real time audio recording; editing Ogg Vorbis, MP3, AIFF, LOF, WMP and AU sounds; editing and importing formats such as MIDI and RAW; converting files from one format to another; and the possibility of including effects and retouching on the tracks to achieve better quality.
100 Examples of free software:
- To MSN
- Ares Galaxy
- Audacity Accepting
- Avogadro 1.1.1.
- Bit torrent
- C Dex
- Clam Win Free Antivirus
- Clip Art Library
- DC ++
- Dev-C ++
- DOS Box DOS Emulator
- Elgg 1.12.2
- eMule Morph
- eMule Plus
- eMule X treme Mod
- FD show
- File Zilla
- Ghost script
- GNU Solfege
- Gnu Win
- GTK + and The GIMP installers for Windows
- Media Coder
- Min GW – Minimalist GNU for Windows
- Miro Video Converter 3.0
- Mozilla Application Suite
- NASA World Wind
- Notepad ++
- Open Movie Editor
- PDF Creator
- Peer Guardian
- PortableApps.com: Portable Software / USB
- Radio Downloader
- Simple Directory Listing
- Snack Amp
- Spybot – Search & Destroy
- Tight VNC
- Tom cat
- Tortoise SVN
- TUX Paint
- Tux Typing
- Ultra VNC
- Uniform Server
- Vim Editor
- Virtual Dub
- Virtual Dub Mod
- Visual Boy Advance
- Vuze (formerly Azureus)
- Wave surfer
- Web min
- Win SCP
- Wire shark