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Open source software is software distributed along with its source code, using a permissive license that allows anyone to view, use, or modify it. The term “open source” also refers more broadly to a philosophy of technology development which prioritizes transparency and community development of a project. Typically, development is managed by a governing body, whether a company, foundation, or just a group of passionate users, and work is done in public repositories like Github. Nearly every corner of the software engineering world has been impacted in some way by open source. Well-known open source projects include Linux, Kubernetes, and WordPress.
Kevin Xu is the author of Interconnected, a bilingual newsletter on tech, business, and U.S-China relations. He is an investor in open source startups at OSS Capital, and formerly served in the Obama White House. He joins the show today to talk about the benefits of open source in the public and private sectors, and how open source will be critical to the development of high-tech industry in our country as we pivot to facing some of the 21st century’s most pressing challenges.
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