In contrast, FLOSS refers specifically to software that is free to use and redistribute. Software that is free to use and redistribute may or may not be FLOSS, because the implementation of a software product may be proprietary (closed source). An open source software product is generally distributed under an open source license, such as the GNU General Public License (GPL) or the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). This is true even for commercial open-source products. Licenses are used to ensure that the software remains free.
Open source also refers to the licensing of open-source software. The terms open source and free software are often used synonymously and interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences in the meaning of each term.
Open standard is a concept that is frequently conflated with FLOSS or FLOSS itself. It is a term used to describe something that is open to all to see and use. In software, open standards are sets of rules or techniques that govern how something is done, rather than what is done. The criteria used to determine whether something is open depends on the context, and may involve technical, legal, ethical, or social factors. The term FLOSS and open source are often used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. Thus, a software package can be proprietary (closed source) and still be free to use (free software).
Open source software is software for which the source code is publicly available. This refers not only to the software code but also to the source code that guides the design of the software. FLOSS is software that is free and open-source, meaning that the software code, documentation, design and distribution are all available under an open license, such as the GNU GPL. FLOSS is a very large and fast-growing segment of software development, and it continues to grow at a rapid rate. When we compare FLOSS to proprietary software, we find many benefits for FLOSS in terms of cost, deployment, interoperability, and collaboration.
The software is developed and maintained with a strong focus on user-friendliness and easy integration into existing workflows. It offers a simple yet powerful way to interactively examine and visualize DICOM and PACS images. The software works seamlessly with a large collection of hardware and software available in the market. In contrast to commercial DICOM viewers, WAsIS is (1) free/libre, (2) it is not limited to a single vendor, (3) it is cross-platform and runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, (4) it is open source, and (5) it is developed and maintained with a strong focus on user-friendliness. It is optimized to host large numbers of images, and to scale to run under heavy load. The software allows high-quality renderings with high performance through the OpenCV library. WAsIS runs on a range of hardware from embedded devices to high-end workstations.
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