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Open Source Software

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Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents


General Information

What is open source?

While there is agreement on the broad term "open source" as meaning approximately what is captured in the Open Source Definition the term has, ironically, now become so popular that it has lost some of its precision. We strongly encourage everyone who cares about open software to use the term only to describe licenses that conform to the OSD, or software distributed under such licenses; but since the term has passed into more general use, we also encourage people to refer to the "OSI Certified" mark, which has precision and legal force in identifying software distributed under licenses that are known to meet the OSD requirements.

What is the definition of open source?

The open source definition can be found at the Open Source Initiative (OSI) web site.

What is the history of open source?

The history of open source can be found at the Open Source Initiative (OSI) web site.

How do I report broken links?

First check to see whether the link is listed as broken on the project's page. If it is, we know about it and have contacted the project's maintainer. If not, please let us know.


Miscellaneous Questions

I think I found a bug! How do I report it?

Submit the bug report to opensource@gsfc.nasa.gov.



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  • Page Last Updated: February 27, 2015
  • Page Editor: Adil Anis
  • NASA Official: Enidia Santiago-Arce