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Re: open source or free software?

On Sun, Aug 31, 2014 at 08:40:16AM +0200, Daniel Pocock wrote:

> What I'm really getting at is how do we explain it concisely to new people
> and boost recognition of genuine free software. I didn't say "ban this or
> ban that", I was just pointing out that many people are using their own
> definition of open source.

So, to that end, are there any examples of folks calling something "open
source" and that thing using something other than an OSI-approved license? I
think anyone who's aware of the concept tends to use the right term, at least
as far as I can remember. People are either completely unaware of the concept
and use "free" as a grab-bag for "freeware" (meaning closed-source or
proprietary software that's gratis) as well as free sofware in the sense free
software/open source advocates have in mind, or they're clued in enough to
mean (and understand) what they say when they say "open source".

In particular, "open source" is an easier terminology to use with folks who
are new to the concept, as it avoids the whole "gratis versus libre"
explication, which despite the best of intentions can come across as being
somewhat pompous, or at least tediously hairsplitting, whereas "open source"
is pretty unambiguous.

Stallman says in http://tinyurl.com/3kqjz2r:

    However, the obvious meaning for the expression “open source
    software”—and the one most people seem to think it means—is “You
    can look at the source code.”

I haven't ever encountered this interpretation. It sounds more like RMS is
describing a "source license" here. Maybe there are people who confuse the
two, but I have not noted them.

I personally prefer the term "free software" and I'm happy to explain it to
people, not least because I don't fear being seen as a relentless pedant.

On Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 09:11:02PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

> If you want to avoid politics entirely, good luck finding a small cabin in
> the woods where you can withdraw from all other humans. Which, I should
> note, is also a political act.

The only nit I'd pick with you is that my political statement was overtly
political, versus something that suggests that it's simply trying to find
clarity of communication but that's suspiciously like a talking point on the
FSF document I linked in my first volley^H^H^H^H^H^Hreply.

Mason Loring Bliss   ((  "In the drowsy dark cave of the mind dreams
mason@blisses.org     ))  build  their nest  with fragments  dropped
http://blisses.org/  ((   from day's caravan." - Rabindranath Tagore

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