The Basic principles of Open-source Software

The WordPress Foundation aims to educate the public about WordPress and related open-source software (OSS). Towards that end, the WordPress Foundation created the Introduction to Open-source workshops, which shed more light on the potential of open-source software, particularly in countries where there is less participation in OSS projects. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these workshops have moved online. The WordPress Foundation hopes to see more open-source workshops held online this year to help spread awareness about the importance of open-source software.

What are open-source software and Free Software?

Open-source software is software whose source code is available for anyone to view, modify and enhance. Free software refers to software that complies with “four essential freedoms” – to use, study, modify and distribute software for any purpose without legal restraint. Open-source software is characterized by the public accessibility of its code, while free software focuses on the capabilities for using and sharing the software.

Advantages of Free and Open-source Software over Proprietary software

Proprietary software is distributed in executable files where the source code is encrypted and not available. Free and Open-source software enables users to read and modify the code, thus allowing a host of advantages such as little (or no) cost, faster distribution, greater customization, and easy availability of bugs and security patches, to name a few. 

The Introduction to Open-source workshops cover the difference between different software types, the history of open-source software, its advantages over proprietary software, and how this applies to WordPress. The workshop also explains the differences between free and Open-source software and highlights the different types of software licenses. 

Want to learn more about Free and Open-source software? Participate in an Introduction to Open-source workshop!

There are four ways you can participate in an Introduction to Open-source workshop! 

  1. You can attend the Introduction to WordPress workshop from the comfort of your home! Learn WordPress now features an Introduction to Open-source video workshop that you can watch at your convenience. 
  2. Community members can also now host or participate in Introduction to Open-source workshop discussion groups in the Learn WordPress meetup group for a global audience. Sign-ups are now open for the following two discussion groups:

If you would like to host an Introduction to Open-source discussion group for a global audience, please apply to become a discussion group facilitator. 

  1. WordPress Meetup groups worldwide are also encouraged to organize an Introduction to WordPress watch party + discussion group (based on the Learn WordPress workshop on Introduction to Open-source) as part of their meetup (it does not need any prior approval). 
  2. Lesson plans for the Introduction to Open-source workshops are available! Meetup group organizers can plan their live open-source workshop based on the lesson plans. 

The WordPress Foundation invites community members across the world to join these open-source workshops and to organize workshops and discussion groups in their communities to help spread our mission of serving the public good with the help of Open-source software.

Meetup groups organizing Introduction to Open-source workshops will be featured on this website. All you need to do is to reach out to us with a brief write-up about your workshop along with pictures, and we’ll publish them here!

WordPress Meetups

In our October update, we mentioned the WordPress Foundation has an official Meetup.com account through which it covers costs of organizer dues.

As of this month, 23 meetups are now under this central account.

There’s a lot of cool stuff in the works for the Meetup.com Program:

  • Making WordPress Events is a discussion forum for WordPress event news and updates, as well as an online resource for organizers and volunteers (including, most recently, a series on meetup best practices).
  • Buying and sending out items like projectors and video cameras to meetup groups that need them.
  • A variety of training sessions, with the help of the Support and Community teams, to bring professional WordPress education to more people. As curriculums are tested and approved, they will be available online for use by meetup groups running official training sessions.
  • A core team of volunteers to work on meetup guidelines for organizers.
  • Other plans to expand the program, from a monthly email that suggests and provides possible content to groups, to meetup starter packs with fun stuff like flyers, table signs, buttons, stickers, sign-in sheets, and a T-shirt for a new organizer to wear to their first meetup.

As you can see, 2013 is already a busy year for WordPress meetups. We expect more groups to join in this spring — if you’re looking to add your meetup group to the WordPress Foundation account, please visit and follow along at Making WordPress Events for what’s happening with meetups.