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Re: Question on About Page

Hi Russ,

Thank you for your response. I think I understand your concern about
flame wars; and I'm definitely not looking for one. I understand it can
be difficult to represent someone else's position in a single sentence,
but I think the effort to be accurate is not in vain. For the more
political topics, it might be even more important to represent any side
involved as accurately as possible with the few statements made.

I think your modification is a good improvement towards better accuracy.
In my opinion, it does a better job at communicating an important fact
that might lead readers to investigate the details a bit further --and
(hopefully) help keep others from throwing a tantrum.

Thanks again.



On 06/06/2014 10:42 PM, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Raymond <ray.l.rivera@gmail.com> writes:
>> I noticed the following statement in the introduction of your about
>> page:
>>     "In February 1998 a group moved to replace the term "Free Software
>>     <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw>" with "Open Source Software
>>     <http://opensource.org/docs/definition.html>". They both refer to
>>     essentially the same thing."
> For those who, like me, had difficulty finding this, it's:
>     https://www.debian.org/intro/free
> at the top.
>> Why is this? After reading from both locations, I think the statement
>> that "They both refer to essentially the same thing." is not accurate.
>> For example, the GNU definition of free software focuses on the freedom
>> of the users, while the definition of the open source movement uses the
>> word "free" only in the context of money, but never in the context of
>> freedom for the user. The difference may be subtle, but its implications
>> are vastly different. It's a difference in the basic underlying
>> philosophy.
> This whole thing is hugely political and spawns endless repetitious
> flamewars.  It's hard to make any statement that doesn't set off another
> one, usually accomplishing very little.  But perhaps a less controversial
> statement (since I think this part of the about page is trying to avoid
> controversy) would be something like:
>     In February 1998 a group moved to replace the term "Free Software"
>     with "Open Source Software".  This terminology debate reflects
>     underlying philosophical differences, but the practical requirements
>     placed on software licenses, and the discussion in the rest of this
>     page, are essentially the same for both Free Software and Open Source
>     Software.

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