Concepts Related to Software Packages

Concepts Related to Software Packages: Open-source software is computer software whose source code is available under a licence that permits the users to study, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified form.

When we talk about the software packages especially Open Sources Software, we will come across some concepts or terminologies or term. Some of such popular concept or terminologies are discussed below-

a) Open Archives Initiative (OAI): The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) is an attempt to build a low-barrier interoperability framework for archives or institutional repositories containing digital content. It allows service providers to harvest metadata from the data providers. The collected metadata thus obtained is used to provide "value-added services". More:

b) Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH): It is a protocol developed by the Open Archives Initiative. It is used to harvest (or collect) the metadata descriptions of the records in an archive so that services can be built using metadata from many archives. A number of software systems support the OAI-PMH, including GNU EPrints from the University of Southampton and DSpace from MIT. The OAI Protocol has been widely adopted by many digital libraries, institutional repositories, and digital archives. Commercial search engines have started using OAI-PMH to acquire more resources. Google has started to accept OAI-PMH as part of their Sitemap Protocol, and they are using OAI-PMH to harvest information from the National Library of Australia Digital Object Repository. In 2004, Yahoo! acquired content from OAIster (University of Michigan) that was obtained through metadata harvesting with OAI-PMH. The mod_oai project is using OAI-PMH to expose content to web crawlers that is accessible from Apache Web servers. A number of large archives support the protocol including arXiv and the CERN Document Server.

c) Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR): OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. It provides the facility to “search for repositories” or “search repository contents”. It also provides tools and support to both repository administrators and service providers in sharing the best practice and improving the quality of the repository infrastructure. Website:

d) Richard Matthew Stallman:  Richard Matthew Stallman often abbreviated as “rms” ( is an American software freedom activist and computer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project ( to create a free Unix-like operating system. In October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft and he is the main author of several copyleft licences including the GNU General Public Licence, the most widely used free software licence.

e) Application Programming Interface (API): An Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface implemented by a software programme which enables it to interact with other software. It facilitates interaction between different software programmes similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. An API is implemented by applications, libraries, and operating systems to determine their vocabularies and calling conventions, and is used to access their services.

f) The Digital Library Federation (DLF): The Digital Library Federation (DLF) is an international consortium of libraries and related agencies that are pioneering the use of electronic-information technologies to extend collections and services. Since its formation in 1995, DLF has made a number of significant contributions to the academic library and library services vendor communities. Website:

g) The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative: The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, or "DCMI", is an open organization engaged in the development of interoperable metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. The Dublin Core set of metadata elements provide a small and fundamental group of text elements through which most resources can be described and catalogued. It can describe physical resources such as books, digital materials such as video, sound, image, or text files, and composite media like web pages. Metadata records based on Dublin Core are intended to be used for cross-domain information resource description and have become standard in the fields of library science and computer science. Implementations of Dublin Core typically make use of XML and are Resource Description Framework based. Website:

h) Search / Retrieval via URL (SRU): SRU is a standard XML-focussed search protocol for Internet search queries, utilizing Contextual Query Language (CQL), a standard syntax for representing queries. Website: or

i) Free Software Foundation (FSF): The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Richard Stallman in October 1985 to support the free software movement, a copyleft-based movement which aims to promote the universal freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software. Website:

j) Open Source Software (OSS): The Open source software (OSS) is defined at the website as “Open source promotes software reliability and quality by supporting independent peer review and rapid evaluation of source code. To be certified as open source, the license of a program must guarantee the right to read, redistribute, modify, and use it freely.” Open source software is normally created and maintained by developers crossing institutional and national boundaries, collaborating by using internet-based communications and development tools. In case of OSS, the developers take personal pride in seeing their working solutions adopted but not gaining profit drive.

k) Copyleft Licenses: Copyleft is a general method for making a program (or other work) free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well. It means releasing the content giving with permission for anyone to use, copy, and distribute, either verbatim or with modifications, either gratis or for a fee. The GNU General Public Licence, originally written by Richard Stallman, was the first copyleft licence to see extensive use, and continues to dominate the licencing of copylefted software. Creative Commons, a non-profit organization founded by Lawrence Lessig, provides a similar licence called ShareAlike.