A philosophy, a way to develop computer software and programs, a way to develop ideas and products, a way to debate ideas and pop culture, a way to disseminate information – there are many more examples, definitions and ideas of just what Open Source actually is. Ultimately, however, open source comes down to an idea that an end result, and the materials needed to get there, should be free and available to everyone so they can help further the creation and production process.
Open source relates directly to content management systems as a large number of them are open source. Open Source CMSs like Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress are free to use, with their source codes open to developers and users who work together to create the type of product they want to see. These, and the many other open source CMSs out there, have helped lead to the proliferation of Web sites and blogs on the Internet as the software needed to publish content is easy to use and can be found free on the Web.
Open source projects and organizations extend to other areas of the Internet as well, with organizations like Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg providing content freely to users while also asking their users to help make the content better with additions. From open source video games and Web browsers to open source ecommerce and message boards, open source has permeated the Internet extensively. And while open source existed before the Internet, the Web’s ability to make information and access available to everyone has broadened its scope and potential.