Open Source Software is computer software that is available to others at no cost, meaning that its source code can be used for free.
It’s relevant in the sense that people can use it to create other things, leading us to new places in the world of technology.
It started out as a way to efficiently develop software by assigning people different roles to be able to create and execute something new.
It’s beneficial because people with different minds and ideas are able to flex their skills without having to pay for it first.
The tradeoffs are that since it’s made widely available, anyone can access it. The downside is that people may not use it correctly or to create anything worth using.
An example of an open source project would be the web browser Firefox. Users that are familiar with its source code can create extensions that can be used with Firefox. When I used Firefox, I had an extension called Ad-Block that someone had created in order to block ads from web pages that I would’ve normally seen while using Firefox.
Microsoft Word, for example, is not open source software, meaning that unless the people at Microsoft created a component of it, no one else would be able to either.