Thinking beyond liberty of Source...


Thinking to start or contributing to Open Source project ...?

Have you ever wondered at the richness of the Wikipedia, the amount and variety of information it contains? You can think to find there almost everything under the sun over there,.. and if you don't, you can always add it there. Great, isn't? All this richness was possible only because people all around the world can participate in authoring the Wikipedia. One can never think of such a great encyclopedia being authored by one or a few authors. You can always create new pages, edit or add to the existing ones and thus add to the richness of the Wikipedia.

Now think of the same richness and flexibility being brought to the Software world. Wow! that would be fantastic!! Yes, OPS4J provides you this flexibility with the philosophy - “wiki brought to coding”.

Here is the reproduction of the OPS4J philosophy from their wiki's home page:

OPS4J stands for Open Participation Software for Java, and this community is trying to build a new, more open model for Open Source development, where not only the usage is Open and Free, but the Participation is Open as well. Removal of barriers, let more people in, have more fun and less politics. I have also seen Open Development as a term to describe this.

Think of it as Wiki brought to Coding. Wikipedia is of course the most outstanding example of open collaboration.

If this is your first visit to OPS4J, we recommend you the Introduction.

What is “wiki brought to coding” ?

Wikis that drive the Wikipedia is a collaboration tool where contents or media could be added, edited and updated by virtually everyone with valid credentials. However Wikipedia just allows this credentials to anybody who just registers with it – no special merit is needed for you to obtain the credentials.

While both the philosophies of FOSS – Open Source and Free Software promote the openness in the software source and the liberty of the user to modify and redistribute the software without royalties, none of them actually dictates the ways in which someone could actually be a part of the project itself.

Beyond the FOSS philosophy

OPS4J extends the concept of wiki into the software world. You just need to register with the site and then you can create, modify and contribute to the software or its documentation.

The site itself is wiki-based, meaning that once registered, you can add and edit wiki pages that make up the site – just like Wikipedia. You also have write access the SVN, meaning that you can create your own projects, or add to the existing ones. So,.. no more patch submissions and waiting for you to prove yourself to be meritorious to have the write access to the SVN. Whats more – you also have almost an unrestricted access to the JIRA too!

Its a home away from home for a developer. You have access to almost all the tools and rights needed to operate a software project. The whole world seems to be your team.

Why this “No Barrier” approach to Open Source?

There are already Open Source promoted by organisations such as Apache, SourceForge, JBoss and the like, but they do not adequately allow everybody to participate. These projects are either merit based, privately owned or commercially controlled. They have their own way in how it restricts people from participating in the software evolve.

These and similar thoughts on its philosophy is explained clearly here, and at the links given at the references.

It also answers few other questions that maybe coming up in our minds such as:

  1. Why does "No Barrier" projects make sense?

  2. When does a "No Barrier" project not make any sense?

  3. How about the bad guys (trying to destroy the code bases)?

  4. How does it work here at OPS4J?

  5. Who is in control at OPS4J?

  6. As a user, what licensing applies to me?

  7. What can I do to make OPS4J better?

  8. I want to start sharing some code and invite others to help out. How do I do that?

  9. I have found a bug in some code, what shall I do now?


Essentially the OPS4J is right in its innovative philosophy to promote Open Source that is essentially liberal. All those who have worked behind this upcoming idea has to be given all the credits.

So what are you waiting for? Just jump ahead, create your account and start participating and see your ideas grow and mature!


OPS4J itself has much to say about the philosophy of “No Barrier” and “Open Development”, and how it tries to implement them. If these ideas excite you, please make sure to go through the following links.

  1. – Home Page

  2. – Introduction

  3. – Community Tour

  4. – Principles of Open Participation Software

  5. – Practicalities at OPS4J

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