About open source
by Mahara ePortfolio System
Mahara is provided freely as open source software (under the GNU General Public License version 3 or later). Because it is open source software, other organisations are welcome to contribute to the software's evolution. The system is modular in design to maximise flexibility and extensibility.
In brief, open source means that you are allowed to copy, use and modify Mahara
provided you agree to:
- include the source code when distributing Mahara to others;
- not modify or remove the original license and copyrights, and
- apply this same license to any derivative work.
There are several related reasons, not in any order of importance.
- Mahara was started with the assistance of the Tertiary Education Commission of New Zealand, and has since been supported by a broad base of organisations through-out the world. The funding was intended for wide utilisation and to encourage innovation and collaboration in our education systems. With this remit, open source makes the best sense.
- The Mahara team strongly believes in open source not only for philosophical reasons but as the best development methodology for us to harness different ideas, approaches and resource efforts. While Mahara started in New Zealand, we appreciate the wide range of contexts and innovations in the ePortfolio and personal learning environment space. We welcome development input and collaborations from throughout the world with Mahara Partners and the broader community of users. You can get involved in Mahara in many ways and can ask and answer questions in the forums.
- Our mission is to provide the best ePortfolio system available, open source or otherwise. Proprietary software vendors can spend in excess of 50% of revenues convincing customers to buy their product (sales and marketing) and less than 10% of revenues actually making better software. We want to devote all of our available resources towards great software and value-added services like training.
- We believe open source is a key driver of open standards and open standards underpins flexible systems on the internet.