Third-party software generally falls into the following somewhat
- Commercial software products are developed, distributed and maintained
under a licensing agreement with a vendor or organization, generally for a
fee. Commercial software products are normally installed like the vendor
supplied software, but in a separate directory.
- The author of a software identified as shareware,
would normally expect some payment for downloading the software
and accompanying documentation. The payment is often voluntary
and made to a specified organization.
- According to the 'Free Software Foundation', freeware is a
software that everyone is free to copy, modify and redistribute. The word
"free" pertains to freedom. It does not imply that it is free of charge,
so anyone can sell free software so long as they don't impose any new
restrictions on its redistribution or use. GNU software is an example of the
freeware. The right to redistribute the software is legally bound with the
condition that the distribution include original code, complete documentation
including the changes made.
- Total absence of copy right protection is the characteristic of
public domain software. Any one can copy, modify or use it in
any way the wish. The author has no exclusive right and has no legal
responsibility associated with the use of the software.
Publically accessible software, including shareware and freeware, may be
accessed via anonymous FTP or the WWW from an archive site on the internet.
A network search utility named
may be used to search databases of Anonymous FTP host directories and locate
Some well-known archive sites in USA include the
GNU archive site and
Popular busy archive sites often may have mirror sites which keep copies
of specific directories or files to make them quickly available to local
users and to reduce the load on the original site. For example,
mirrors several popular software distributions including, gnu, linux,
mosaic, netscape, perl5, and sendmail.
Installing Third-party Software
Software distributed over the network will often have the suffix
.tar.Z or .tar.gz. The suffix .tar indicates the
file is written using the tar utility, and the suffix Z would
indicate that the tar file is compressed using the Unix compress
utility whereas the suffix gz indicates the
file compression using GNU gzip utility. Therefore to extract the files
from a software distribution, the tar and uncompress or
gunzip utilities are required. The error message "Checksum"
during the uncompression often indicates problem with downloading the
package. Make sure that 'binary' mode is selected for ftp transfer.
A software distribution may include pre-compiled and packaged binary
executable modules for specific operating systems.
A list of FTP sites which distribute software ported to a specific platform
may be found on the UWSG home page.
If the software distribution includes only the source code and documentation,
it is necessary to build the executable machine code specifically for your
operating system. The process normally includes compiling and/or assembling
the source code, linking with appropriate libraries, moving the files
to appropriate directories and testing the installation. In general, all
software distribution will include the files; README, INSTALL, and
Makefile. The Makefile will have the necessary instructions
to build the library (if one is necessary), the executable module, and the
documentation. Most systems come with a make utility required to
process the Makefile. The files README or INSTALL
will have the necessary instructions to install the product on each
system to which the product is ported.
Unix tools, imake and xmkmf, distributed with the X window
system are quite useful in generating a Makefile specific to
a platform, taking into account the machine dependencies, such as compiler
options, alternate command names, and special make rules.
Anonymous FTP, mirror site, GNU, GNU archive site,
checksum, compiler, assembler, make,