"What we know as software is the end result of painstakingly
typing thousands, sometimes millions of lines of text in
programming language. This text is commonly known as 'source code.'
The source code is unrecognizable to most unless you know something
about programming, but this text is the 'secret formula', the
underlying schematic that enables each process and function of a
software product to work.
"The open source debate is about keeping secrets. Completed
(written) software is often locked by its programmer, hiding the
underlying code from its user. Software can only be modified in its
'unlocked' state when source code is viewable. Software's locked
state is also described as its 'executable' format. Executable
software is commonly sold in stores and avalable commercially.
Executable software accompanies binary code also known as machine
code. This binary code is readable by the host PC and used to
mechanically operate the software.
"Developing software inherently creates two versions--one that
is sealed or executable and one that is open source, disclosing the
underlying code. The decision to keep the code secret is the
prerogative of the programmer. And it is this prerogative that
propels us into the open source debate..."
[The primary link to this white paper was temporarily down,
according to a one-page PDF document released by ADTI. Upon
contacting ADTI, a representative informed us that he was not sure
why the paper was off-line, but he believed "they had to make a
couple of revisions to the paper." The paper's author, Kenneth
Brown, was unavailable for comment. The link to the (presumably
revised) paper has been reestablshed and can be found with a link
to the original version of the white paper below.
As of June 18, this paper is now only available through
ADTI's online store for $5.95 US. The links to both versions of the
paper have been removed in favor of a link to the introduction page
for the paper. -ed]