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Open source in software programming refers to the source code which is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. The rise of the Internet has spurred on the development of many open source platforms from the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.[1]

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The open source community has spread outside the software community into production and development where people share ideas, concepts and models and schematics, plans and blueprints for the development of various projects. Under the open source model of production and development, designers, architects and engineers effectively give away their ideas to people who are interested in taking the idea or concept further through a universal redistribution via a free license. Below are a few examples of some of the Open Source tools already providing people with ideas and solutions.

Check Out Farm Hack – Open Source Enabling Innovation In The Farming Sector

Farm Hack is an example of an open source tool that is enabling innovation in the farming community. Farm Hack provides photos, blueprints and information for those in the farming sector that wish to develop a more resilient way of farming. Everything from an encyclopedia of farm knowledge, water wheel transplanters, chicken coops, germination chambers, drip line installation tools, remote compost monitors, water pumps, mobile distilleries and pedal powered harvesters can be found on the web with how’s to for each tool.[2] Another open source site Precious Plastics offers people access to ideas on how to recycle plastics by turning them into useful products via means of extrusion, shredding and intrusion.

Open Source Recycling Plastics The Precious Plastics Way

With the amount of plastics that go to landfill the plastics team suggests that plastic can easily be recycled using their open source tools under relatively low temperatures and pressures.[3] The open food movement has also been supported by open source with projects like the Australian-based Open Food Network, a free and open source project aimed at supporting diverse food enterprises and making it easy to access local sustainable food. The Open Source food network has been developed to accumulate and protect open source knowledge, code, applications and platforms for fair and sustainable food systems.[4] This essentially decentralised model of production and distribution has applications across a whole range of industries giving entrepreneurial people the ability to take on and expand on current ideas that are not subject to copyright laws. Open source can be found in almost every industry from electronics, medicine, science and engineering, fashion, computer software and digital content. Exciting times ahead.

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing  and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

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