Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner (Wikipedia). This software development methodology is described in Eric S. Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
- The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
One important difference between the GNU Public License and the Lesser GNU Public License that Liferay uses is the exception for software that has a different license. While Liferay Portal itself retains the benefits of being free software, if you build an application or run your site on Liferay's platform, you are in no way obligated to release your code under the LGPL. Instead, you are free to use any license you like: open source or proprietary, or none at all. In this way, Liferay preserves your freedom to release your software (or not) in any way that seems right to you.
Liferay also follows a collaborative model common (but not always true) of Open Source software development. In particular:
- Development tasks can be followed in real time in our Issue Tracking System.
- Source Code is made available as it is being written at GitHub
- Everybody is welcome and encouraged to contribute following our Contribution Guidelines
- A very active public forum is available for all users and developers to communicate among themselves at forum.liferay.com
Additionally, Liferay also falls into the category of Enterprise Open Source Software because it's backed by a company (Liferay Inc) that provides subscription services, training and professional services to back any deployment, including mission critical applications that need 24x7 support.
Finally, Liferay is a complete development framework for mobile and web applications. This site is the perfect place to learn about how you can use Liferay's platform to write and distribute your applications in Liferay's vibrant marketplace, under any open source or proprietary license you wish to use.