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Re: Effect of GR 2004_003

On 2004-05-22 02:38:20 +0100 Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> wrote:

actually, he didn't. he was perfectly correct that "software" did not include
documentation, fonts, device firmware or other *DATA*.

Not at all. The inclusive one is the original and proper meaning, as far as I can tell. It seems to be a neologism created to cover *all* things stored in the computer, when the WW2-ish phrase "stored program" was not adequate. The first known use in print is John W Tukey in the January 1958 edition of American Mathematical Monthly, with a short and vague explanation as "interpretive routines, compilers, and other aspects," but contrasted with hardware. As with any neologism, it may have fuzzed a little, but the contrast with hardware (rather than data) is constant.

Now, if you just want programs, you could just write programs (or stored programs). We already have a term for that. We don't need a perfect synonym for it.

if he was mistaken, then why was there any need to change the SC?

To stop people getting confused about this issue because of people who slavishly obey attempts to redefine our language. Think! Why would the mass media want the idea of "free software" not to cover their productions?

My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing
Help hack the EuroParl! http://mjr.towers.org.uk/proj/eurovote/

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