Open-Source Language

What Does Open-Source Language Mean?

An open-source language refers to a programming language that falls within the parameters of open-source protocol. This basically means that the language is not proprietary, and with certain provisions (depending on the open source license), can be modified or built upon in a manner that is open to the public.


Techopedia Explains Open-Source Language

Programming languages were developed following the invention of the first digital computers in the mid-twentieth century. As they evolved and diversified, many in the computer and software development communities began to see a potential for non-proprietary software and coding languages.

This eventually led to the foundations of the open-source movement. Out of that, open-source programming languages evolved. The rules for those languages include the following:

  • Source codes must be open and accessible.
  • Derived works must also be open source.
  • The languages must be freely distributed.
  • The integrity of the source code must be maintained.
  • Licenses must not restrict other software.
  • There can be no discrimination against fields of endeavor.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.