If you've ever modified the source code of an open source program, you know that it is possible to make the program work better for you, or perform better with certain systems. Unfortunately this is not possible with most programs as the designers do not want their competitors to plagiarize their hard work. Programmers at the University of Washington have announced that they have found away around this problem, and have given details about what it can and will do.
Prefab, as this program is called, does not actually give you full access to the source code itself, but rather hijacks the pixels displayed on the screen for your use. When a user is typing a document on Microsoft Word, they may want to listen to a couple of songs from their iTunes library. Without Prefab, the user would have to click back and forth between the two windows and generally slow down the work being done. If the user is using Prefab, they could simply add a couple of iTunes control buttons to the Word toolbar and continue on with their work. While Prefab can be used without breaking copyright laws on ones computer, the user would be unable to lawfully share the edited version with friends or other people online, or in disk format.
The creators of Prefab have not announced when or even if the program will be released to the public, and it does not yet have a set price.