The confusion started when Open Source was invented.

Story: Theme for the Weekend: Open Source Problems/MisuseTotal Replies: 6
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Mar 19, 2006
9:39 AM EDT
The confusion is built in into Open Source. The term was coined to make Free Software attractive to Suits. Free Software was deemed business unfriendly, so a new label was needed to muddle things up. Never mind that Free Software is business friendly.

Free Software respects its users. Since users are customers, Free Software is about respecting your customers. Respecting your customers makes business sense. Just see Red Hat for a prime example. All Free Software and nice profits to boot.

To "solve the problem" just call Free Software what it really is, namely Free Software. If some Suits get nervous about the term Free Software, it just signifies they are nervous about respecting their customers and therefore are more likely to screw you over for some short term profits. Would you want to do business with someone who is nervous to respect you as a customer?

Mar 19, 2006
1:20 PM EDT
Now is that Free as in beer or Free as in speech?

You see the biggest problem I have with Free software is that all the everyday american understands is that it's free just like that buy one get one free coupon they used Grocery store last week. They don't give a rats arse that it's easy to modify.

Open Source is just as bad, as the definition of Open is well open to interpretation (*Cough* Shared Source *cough louder*)

Libre or Liberty software is better but still doesn't do the concepts justice.

I don't blame name Open Source. Open Source at least is easier to understand than Free Software for the average person. The concept of paying for "Free Software" is what really hurts companies like Linspire, Novell, Red hat. Why should someone pay for something that is free? Or was that free as in speech?

Libre Software well you can charge for it, but programmers can play with it. Theirs rights to modify & redistribute code remain intact. Companies can sell it without confusing the general population, and the only who can't benefit is MSFT, who is trying to slow down anything they can't control.

Mar 19, 2006
3:00 PM EDT
Well, if more companies would take the the same approach as RMS and just state that the Free refers to Freedom as the most prized asset and not cost, the confusion would be over in a year.

Free as in Freedom should be the primary meaning of the word Free and not Free of Charge. Just reinstating the complete Free of Charge moniker would solve the problem too.

There is no magic bullet against willful ignorance. The FSF has been explaining about Free Software from its inception. The info is available. If someone is still asking why you need to pay for Free Software after you've been explained that the Free is refering to Freedom... I guess that person is beyond saving...

Mar 19, 2006
7:42 PM EDT
One of the greatest -- and most pointless -- forces limiting the growth of Open Source is the debate between the "free software crowd" and the "open source crowd".

There is code to be written, work to be done, relationships to be built -- each and every day.

And here we are engaging in this endless, mind-wasting, discussion. Makes one long for the old vi versus emacs days.

The idea that some folks are "bad" while others are "good" is as poisonous when talking about code as it is when talking about religion.

Just try to find an area when minds can meet and productive work can be accomplished.

Mar 20, 2006
2:46 AM EDT
> One of the greatest -- and most pointless -- forces limiting the growth of Open Source is the debate between the "free software crowd" and the "open source crowd".

Well, simply put, I disagree. The open source licenses are being subverted into something incompatible with free software. People who neither believe in nor want free software are attempting to co-opt open source. This makes defining your position extremely improtant.

> Makes one long for the old vi versus emacs days.

You haven't been watching the Ferricyde/Dinotrac discusssions, have you?

Mar 20, 2006
5:56 AM EDT
Re my position, see

Why I'm Proud to be an OSS Programmer,

Mar 20, 2006
9:28 AM EDT
As long as the Open Source software is still a subset of Free Software and not only Open Source thus not Free Software, I don't really care about the moniker. As soon as something is Open Source but not Free Software, I begin to feel uneasy.

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