software it is an English language term that is part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ). Its about computer program which allows the execution of various tasks in a computer (computer ).
Free , on the other hand, is an adjective with multiple uses. This time we are interested in staying with his meaning as that which is not subject to something or who is exempt of some imposition.
The notion of free software refers to computer program that gives great freedom to the user . The one who installs a Program free software, can use it , modify it , copy it and redistribute it Without restrictions.
Specifically, it is determined that for a software to be considered free it is essential that it offers the user four great freedoms such as these:
- Freedom to be able to execute the program in question as you wish and for the purpose you deem appropriate.
- Freedom to redistribute the copies that you consider useful in order to "offer" help to the people around you.
- Freedom to study the program in depth, find out how it works and even change it if you consider it appropriate.
-Liberty not only to modify the software but also to be able to redistribute it once changed, so that more people can enjoy it.
These are freedoms that the user in question can choose whether or not to use them. However, you can even determine that you are going to use them all at the same time.
It is important to note that there are several licenses of software. To understand what free software is, the simplest thing is to oppose it to programs whose licenses are due to buy and that include different limitations : prohibition of copying, distributing, modifying, etc. Most programs, in fact, do not belong to free software, but are commercial computer programs.
Among the set of licenses that exist in this regard we would highlight, above all, the GPL, the LGPL, the AGPL or the APSL, not forgetting the Apache.
In various areas and areas free software is used and among them especially in education, which, among other things, is another step towards the development of ICTs.
Do not confuse, however, free software with the free software or freeware . Since free software can be modified and redistributed, a user can make the decision to market it. Freeware, however, may be free but prevent modifications, to cite a possibility.
Access to source code of the program is essential in free software: otherwise, making modifications is almost impossible. A user who does not have access to this code You will face great difficulties to modify and adapt the software.
In addition to all of the above we can clarify that there are people who resort to the use of the term free software as a synonym for open source, however, for others that is a mistake. The latter establish that they are not the same because they differ that the former refers to freedoms and the latter, however, bets more for what the price is.