High-integrity software developers benefit from free and open source tools

BOSTON, 28 March 2007. The late-morning conference sessions at the 2007 Military Technologies Conference boasted a presentation, titled "Why High-integrity Software Requires Open Source Tools," by Robert Dewar, president and CEO of AdaCore. Combining Ada Core Technologies in New York and ACT/Europe in Paris, AdaCore is committed to Free Software, a term coined by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation. "Free as in freedom, not free as in free lunch," Dewar notes.

By Courtney E. Howard

BOSTON, 28 March 2007. The late-morning conference sessions at the 2007 Military Technologies Conference boasted a presentation, titled "Why High-integrity Software Requires Open Source Tools," by Robert Dewar, president and CEO of AdaCore. AdaCore is an organization that combines Ada Core Technologies in New York and ACT/Europe in Paris. AdaCore is committed to Free Software, a term coined by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation. "Free as in freedom, not free as in free lunch," Dewar notes.

Free/Libre/Open-Source Software (FLOSS), Dewar explains, combines the notions of Open Source software and Free Software. Dewar distinguished between Free Software and Open Source, the notion of freely providing sources and encouraging a wide community to participate in development.

Dewar also points out that proprietary programs and Free Software applications are somewhat similar. Microsoft, he uses as an example, sells exclusively proprietary programs with a restrictive license, whereas AdaCore sells programs covered by a Free Software license (GPL and GMGPL). The difference then, he explains, is only the terms of the license. "The license conditions are very different," says Dewar. "Microsoft license is all about strictly limiting usage and copying. The AdaCore license is far more liberal."


More in Home