Titles to get started with free and open source software.

Brave web browser is an open source alternative to Edge and Chrome

Although we are not all the same, and there is probably no shortage of people who want to start making a 3D animation with Blender installed in Gentoo, the majority will probably start by installing a program in Windows. For them, in this post we recommend some titles to get started with free and open source software.

Like many at the beginning of the century, I started with the Firefox browser, in fact, it was the first thing I downloaded when I signed up for Internet at home. At that time it was impossible to search for something on Google without it recommending it to you and it was much better than Internet Explorer.

Free and open source software

From now on I warn the purists that since this is an introductory article, not only are we not going to delve into the differences between both terms, but we will use them as synonyms. Anyway, Here's a brief explanation of the differences:

Every computer program is distributed under a more or less restrictive license that indicates the rights and obligations of users. When these rights do not include the possibility of accessing, modifying or distributing the source code of the program, it is proprietary software, if permitted, it is free or open source software.

Broadly speaking, the differences between free and open source software are:

Different entities

The governing entity for free software licenses is the Free Software Foundation. The certifying entity for open source licenses is the Open Source Initiative.

Rights and obligations of users

The Free Software Foundation establishes that to be considered free software a program must allow:

  1. Freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  2. Freedom to study the operation of the program by accessing the code and modifying it.
  3. Freedom to distribute the program with the original code or with modifications.
  4. Obligation to respect the original license.

For its part, the Open Source Initiative requires:

  • Right to free distribution of both the original program and modifications
  • Free access to the source code (Original and its modifications)
  • Respect for the integrity of the author's source code.
  • Be neutral with respect to the use, user, product, technology or other software.

Titles to get started with free and open source software

This list includes titles that can be used on Windows and Linux, in some cases also on macOS.

VLC media player

I don't know now, but there was a time when if you wanted to watch certain video formats on Windows you had to download the codecs or install a program called Real Player. VLC not only came to remedy that, but it includes other really interesting capabilities.

this player audio, video and images Not only does it play almost any format, but it allows you to convert between them and even transmit it to another device connected to the same network. If you have VLC on your smartphone, you can use it as a remote control to control the computer.

The program supports the use of subtitles, allows you to choose the audio channel and create playlists. You can also use it to transmit what your webcam captures over the Internet.

Caliber book collection manager

This suite (Includes a collection manager, an Epub editor and a multiformat reader) VLC is to e-book collections what VLC is to multimedia. The manager allows you to classify them into collections, assign them labels, export them to other devices and convert between multiple formats. With the Epub editor you can alter its appearance by changing the typography and background.

For its part, the reader allows you to configure the size, type and color of the typography, decide the change of page, remember specific positions of the text and highlight paragraphs.

Brave web browser

It is clear that Microsoft is determined that Windows users use Edge whether we like it or not. And, the same can be said for Google with Chrome. And, the big loser in this is Firefox which, by using a different rendering engine, sometimes cannot match the performance.

The Brave Browser It uses the same rendering engine as Chrome and Edge so whatever works in those browsers will also work with it. But, it also incorporates features that protect user privacy such as an integrated ad blocker (which is not usually detected like other better known ones) and two privacy modes, the traditional one and one based on the Tor network.

What free software program did you start with? Which one would you recommend to those who want to start using it?

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