Linked by David Adams on Tue 3rd Aug 2010 17:23 UTC, submitted by fsmag
GNU, GPL, Open Source Free Software Magazine published an interesting lexicon of terms that are thrown around within the Free Software and Creative Commons worlds that have particular meaning, and might not be familiar to people who aren't open source or free culture advocates.
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v Gratis and Libre are Spanish, not French
by GatoLoko on Wed 4th Aug 2010 05:19 UTC
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

The article sais they are French words, then a comment sais one is French and the other one is "rarely used English" when in fact both are Spanish.

Stallman speaks Spanish (more or less), and he said it many times.

You're wrong. Both are french words too, and I know this, because I'm french, born 36 years ago.

http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/gratis#Fran.C3.A7ais

And for libre :

http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/libre#Fran.C3.A7ais

Too bad for you not knowing better french ;)

Reply Score: 2

GatoLoko Member since:
2005-11-13

Well, my fault, I don't speak any French.

But I'm sure Stallman took them from Spanish because he has said so many times, and even at a conference in Spain.

Reply Score: 0

fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

I don't think so. RMS speaks french fluently, and he helped verifying french translation of his biography.

And as spanish and french are close languages... ;)

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Gratis is latin and it appear in many languages other than french and spanish.

Reply Score: 4

fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

Any latin language : italian, french, portuguese and of course spanish ;)

Reply Score: 1

jonas.kirilla Member since:
2005-07-11

And of course many other, decidedly non-latin languages too, as loan-words.

Perhaps the free software movement will spread these words to the remaining languages. La Resistance is futile. ;}

Reply Score: 2

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Gratis is latin and it appear in many languages other than french and spanish.

Technically, "gratis" is an English word too; it's just rarely used.

I find that, here in the U.S., "libre" is used fairly often in certain contexts, mostly as a loan word from Spanish.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

<double post>

Edited 2010-08-04 07:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

who cares about the jargon?
by RawMustard on Wed 4th Aug 2010 11:02 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

I want to know how I can make money from writing freedom software. I don't want to lockup the code, but I can't afford to give years of work away for free either. Unfortunately, government and council still require me to pay my taxes and my bank doesn't care that I write freedom software, they want my mortgage money every month.

Not all freedom writing coders get paid by Redhat, Canonical, Novel etc....

Hardware makers are getting around this by locking up their hardware as can be seen by the phone makers, tivo types.

Others are trying to con people by spying on them with google crap and ads(something I absolutely despise just quietly). The support model doesn't work on regular users, so what's left? Why should I care about the jargon, I want the cash for my hard work, but I also respect that you should be able to see my code and modify it to your hearts content as well as learn from it.

Why not talk about this conundrum?

Reply Score: 1

RE: who cares about the jargon?
by phreck on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:04 UTC in reply to "who cares about the jargon?"
phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

Because this article is about the jargon.

But you have the freedom to propose other articles about what you'd like to read about.

Edited 2010-08-04 12:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: who cares about the jargon?
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:18 UTC in reply to "who cares about the jargon?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I want to know how I can make money from writing freedom software. I don't want to lockup the code, but I can't afford to give years of work away for free either. Unfortunately, government and council still require me to pay my taxes and my bank doesn't care that I write freedom software, they want my mortgage money every month.

Not all freedom writing coders get paid by Redhat, Canonical, Novel etc....

...

Why not talk about this conundrum?


It sin't a conundrum at all ... there are circumstances in which the authoring of freedom software makes absolutely perfect economic sense.

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?435066

It makes economic sense where the goal (for a company or organisation whose primary business is not writing software) is to reduce its software costs rather than to sell software for money.

Now ... since almost every company or organisation is not primarily in the business of selling software, it makes sense for almost every company or organisation to hire the odd programmer and contribute to a cooperative effort to produce, at very low cost, good quality software for that company or organisation (and every other company and organisation and individual) to use. That means freedom software.

Typically, companies large and small would save millions:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/google/google-axes-windows-saves-millions...

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/insurer-slashes-1m-fr...

This is why non-software-making companies hire programmers to contribute to open source software. Even insurance companies, for example (as in the example of Allianz in the link above), need IT. They might spend say only 5% of their former budget on IT, and end up with better software stack, and have no worries about license compliance or software audits or other such silliness.

It is actually pretty hard to put a value on the freedom they gain, but it is worth a huge amount of money, make no mistake about it.

(Almost) everyone wins. Certainly everyone who is a net consumer of software wins, and that represents say 99.9% of people, or perhaps even more.

Edited 2010-08-04 12:34 UTC

Reply Score: 4

hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

Did you even read the articles?

The ZDnet claims they are gonna save millions but in the article they write "Microsoft has really cryptic licensing rules, so coming up with an exact savings number would be almost impossible, but for sure it’s a huge chunk of change" and yet they know it's millions.

In the theaustralian article they actually cut down on the numbers of servers. Even if they did'nt switch to red hat linux they would save money. But you somehow forget to mention that aswell... It's not as if redhat don't charge quite an amount of money for their offerings...

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Did you even read the articles?


Did you?

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?435082

This one is especially interesting, I think:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Tv_dvUonEzYJ:www.opensour...

One trillion dollars per year savings.

Talking about macro-scale economic benefits of freedom software, do you realise that the marginal cost of production of software is almost zero?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_cost

(Each additional copy of a software image is virtually zero cost).

This means that software "sales" are sales driven by artificial scarcity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity

That is to say: making people pay for something that really costs nothing to produce. For once, lets call a spade a spade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

The inefficiency associated with artificial scarcity is formally known as a deadweight loss.


This costs everyone dearly ... all for the profit of a megacorp software company.

There is, however, a solution.

Fortunately, with freedom software, you do not have to bear the burden of deadweight loss due to the artificial scarcity of proprietary software.

You can enjoy quality software for near-zero cost.

Enjoy! Prosper! Everyone wins! (One possible exception ... previously-mentioned megacorp software company).

Edited 2010-08-05 11:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

In the theaustralian article they actually cut down on the numbers of servers. Even if they did'nt switch to red hat linux they would save money. But you somehow forget to mention that aswell... It's not as if redhat don't charge quite an amount of money for their offerings...


You are barking up the wrong tree. Savings derived from using freedom software don't necessarily come from a large volume of small per-unit price savings. In many instances, the biggest gains come from avoiding the insanity of IP (artificial scarcity) costs.

Here is an example:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/08/cia-software-developer-goes...

We aren't talking about small savings on a high volume of units here ... but we are talking about significant savings and simplification all the same.

BTW, if you are concerned about the per-unit costs of using RedHat, then don't use RedHat:

http://www.acunetix.com/blog/web-security-zone/articles/statistics-...
Next, I wanted to calculate which are the most popular Linux distributions. CentOS, Debian and Red Hat are pretty close to each other, with CentOS the current winner.


http://www.acunetix.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/linux_distr...

CentOS and Debian both are zero-cost-per-unit. (CentOS is RedHat compatible).

CentOS is derived from Red Hat sources.


Clearly, anyone who is paying for RedHat wants to pay for what RedHat offers them.

As for the actual software behind the servers analysed in the above article, it is very clear that the bulk of the server admins have got the clear message by now:

http://www.acunetix.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/web_servers...

Apache dominates at 68.31%, IIS is a distant second at 20.23%. It is clear that most people who run web servers have got the message: you don't have to pay for proprietary software, you can cut your costs and save a fortune and there is absolutely no penalty to pay for so doing.

Once again, everyone wins. Even people who pay RedHat still win, because they win on the IP/no-EULA/no-CALs front.

IMO, it is only a matter of time before the desktop market breaks down in a similar fashion, with perhaps a fifth of the market still staying with proprietary holdouts who aren't very good at simple cost accounting.

Edited 2010-08-05 12:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

I do find it funny... You answer in 2 posts and yet you fail to answer any of my points. You just post more articles...

I'm not worried about the cost of red hat. But it doesnt come without a price tag. And yes i do know that you can use debian and cent os but is it relevant when the article you linked to was about a migration to red hat?

I worked in a company that used red hat because of the support and they just shiped the price tag with our profit onto the costumer.

I havent talked against using open source so why even bother talking about apache? I use open source when it's the best for the job. I simply read your articles and found that you used them in a illformed way.

Reply Score: 2

RE: who cares about the jargon?
by Yamin on Wed 4th Aug 2010 14:41 UTC in reply to "who cares about the jargon?"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

While this article is about jargon and terms... not doubt we will see generic debates about open source.

How you make money on open source really depends on your business.

1. You sell hardware solutions. In which case your customers are paying you for the whole package deal. It's like if I got the blue prints for my car (the open source car) It's great and all... but I'm not about to go out there and try and build my own car.

1b. You sell software solutions. I'm a developer and even I get tired of customizing and installing... sometimes a good package can make money. That's how enterprise linux generally works. Fer companies want to spend the time dealing with all the packages, updates, hardware certifications... So they let red hat do it.

2. You do custom work. In which case, you probably want to minimize your costs by using an open source platform. The work is specific to a customer, and is of little use to anyone else.

3. Get a job in academia. A large part of open source is actually subsidized by the government. Universities produce a fair amount of open source material... and they are funded by the government.

4. While not 'open source' by the jargon here, you can sell commercial software and give the source code away as well. This way your customers can edit things if they want... but are still bound to pay you for your work. A lot of corporate-corporate stuff works like this... especially in the embedded world.
...

All that said... if you can't make money on open source... then you need to decide if you want to write open source. There's nothing 'wrong' or 'immoral' about not wanting to give your labor away for free.

Maybe you just enjoy working on software.

I personally don't think open source is all that important. I'll use it if its useful. I'll contribute if I can.. especially to common items that are trivial. I won't release a final product as open source if I want to make money just on the software.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Halo
by Halo on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:32 UTC
Halo
Member since:
2009-02-10

I wish Stallman was slightly more pragmatic, and would abandon the counterintuitive term 'free software' in favour of something less ambiguous.

The FSF adopting 'open source' would be simplest, since the ideological difference between 'open source' and 'free software' is in practice incredibly small, and it would allow the FSF to put its emphasis on 'copyleft'. Still, they find it objectionable due to its lack of emphasis on freedom and, although they probably wouldn't admit it, FSF control.

Even so, there's still options that are more freedom-oriented. Why not 'liberated software'? It's a more brand-aware version of 'software libre' and I'm sure you could bring the OSI people on board with such a term, uniting everybody under a single banner. Sadly, it's clear that Stallman has decided that changing the English language is easier than changing his own brand. A tiny, tiny amount of pragmatism really would go a long way.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Halo
by fredb1974 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Halo"
fredb1974 Member since:
2006-01-31

I wish Stallman was slightly more pragmatic, and would abandon the counterintuitive term 'free software' in favour of something less ambiguous.


Less clear than freedom ? What do you want ?

The FSF adopting 'open source' would be simplest, since the ideological difference between 'open source' and 'free software' is in practice incredibly small,


Not that small. Free Software is far more ethical than open-source.

and it would allow the FSF to put its emphasis on 'copyleft'. Still, they find it objectionable due to its lack of emphasis on freedom and, although they probably wouldn't admit it, FSF control.


No comment...

Even so, there's still options that are more freedom-oriented. Why not 'liberated software'? It's a more brand-aware version of 'software libre' and I'm sure you could bring the OSI people on board with such a term, uniting everybody under a single banner.


Liberated means they were caught in jail before. Not really good.

Sadly, it's clear that Stallman has decided that changing the English language is easier than changing his own brand. A tiny, tiny amount of pragmatism really would go a long way.


He has done more than you I think to help freedom and not only in computing.

As we say in France : "Les moralisateurs sont les plus immoraux". Don't know the english for it, sorry.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Halo"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As we say in France : "Les moralisateurs sont les plus immoraux". Don't know the english for it, sorry.


Translate "les moralisateurs sont les plus immoraux" from French

les moralisateurs sont les plus immoraux - the moralists are the most immoral

Spot on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by Halo on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Halo"
Halo Member since:
2009-02-10

Google "free software". 7 out of the top 10 websites (excluding sponsored links) refer to 'freeware'. If you asked someone who had never heard of 'free software' what it meant, they'd think of 'freeware'. It's not clear and unambiguous. Free beer doesn't imply beer with freedom to most people. There's a reason why 'open source' and 'FOSS' exist.

The definitions about 'open source' and 'free software' aren't about morality. In fact, the FSF concede the difference is subtle, the main difference being where the emphasis is.

Liberated in contrast with proprietary software. Since the FSF regard proprietary software as immoral, perhaps the prison comparison is apt.

Just because someone has made a positive contribution doesn't make them immune from criticism. By creating the GPL and GCC, he helped bring computing forward. I don't think he has since.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Halo"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Liberated in contrast with proprietary software.


"Liberated" implies that something has been set free.

Freedom software was never un-free in the first place.

The whole point of writing code and releasing it under a freedom software license is to make the software free-as-in-freedom to start with, and for it to remain that way forever.

IMO it can't be "liberated" if it wasn't "captured" in the first place.

"Freedom software" is the best term. "Freedom software" is a bit clumsy to say, and that is a good thing because it clearly makes a distinction with "freeware", which is much easier to say.

PS: If software was closed to begin with, then making it open source (aka as "open sourcing" it) smacks a little of stealing, IMO.

Edited 2010-08-04 13:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Halo
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 4th Aug 2010 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Halo"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"Freedom software" is the best term. "Freedom software" is a bit clumsy to say


And it sounds like something that should come with a side of Freedom Fries.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Halo
by BluenoseJake on Thu 5th Aug 2010 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Halo"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Freedom software is a horrible term. It sounds like a a company, not a type of software development and distribution philosophy. I wouldn't be caught dead using it. Open Source sounds better, is more correct (The source is open, and available), and less ambiguous.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by Zifre on Wed 4th Aug 2010 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Halo"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Less clear than freedom ? What do you want ?

In English, most people associate "free" with no cost or gratis. There really is no word in English that corresponds with "libre", which is what RMS means when he talks about "free software". Thus, it causes confusion. If you ask a random person off the street what they think "free software" means, they'll say software that doesn't cost anything.

Not that small. Free Software is far more ethical than open-source.

How? They mean the same thing. The term "open source" was simply created to avoid the confusion caused by "free software".

Imagine these situations:

1. I write an awesome new program licensed with GPLv3. I call it "free software".

2. I write an awesome new program licensed with GPLv3. I call it "open source".

Are you somehow saying that I am being more ethical in situation 1?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by Halo"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The FSF adopting 'open source' would be simplest, since the ideological difference between 'open source' and 'free software' is in practice incredibly small, and it would allow the FSF to put its emphasis on 'copyleft'. Still, they find it objectionable due to its lack of emphasis on freedom and, although they probably wouldn't admit it, FSF control.


I think you are very confused here. The FSF do not control most of the software written under copyleft license terms (i.e. the GPL).

The FSF wrote the GPL, but it is a template.

For example a project, such as KDE, writes software, and licenses it under the GPL. All that means is that the KDE project has taken a copy of the GPL text, and used it as the license text for their project. It is like a template. KDE might have done a search-and-replace and replaced all occurrences of the text string "the software" in the GPL template text with the text string "the KDE Software Collection". Now the GPL template text has become KDE's license, for KDE's software.

The KDE SC software, even though it is licensed under GPL terms, is completely owned by the KDE project (who wrote the code). FSF has absolutely no control over it, and no ownership of it, whatsoever.

Edited 2010-08-04 12:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by Halo on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Halo"
Halo Member since:
2009-02-10

I'm not confused at all, you just completely misunderstood what I meant.

The definition of open source is set by OSI, with open source licences typically being OSI-approved.

The definition of free software is bet by the FSF, with free software licences typically beeing FSF-approved.

If FSF pragmatically adopted the term 'open source', people would be less likely to care about licences being FSF-approved. This would reduce FSF's influence on free/open source software.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Halo"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm not confused at all, you just completely misunderstood what I meant.

The definition of open source is set by OSI, with open source licences typically being OSI-approved.

The definition of free software is bet by the FSF, with free software licences typically beeing FSF-approved.

If FSF pragmatically adopted the term 'open source', people would be less likely to care about licences being FSF-approved. This would reduce FSF's influence on free/open source software.


Open source (as defined by the OSI) is off-topic for this thread. Since it lacks copy-left, open source (as defined by the OSI) has almost no guarantee of freedom.

Sure, one could write open source code, and license it under terms defined by the OSI as open source, and one could even distribute out that code to some people, and share it in a freedom-like fashion. No problem up to that point. But as soon as the code became useful, some proprietary parasite company might then appropriate it and use it in a closed product. They might then sell that closed product to yet other people, and retain the control and profit for themselves, based on the un-rewarded efforts of the original authors.

Where is there any freedom or justice in that, either for the original authors, or for the people who later paid for a closed non-free product? To add insult to injury, the latter people might even have had harsh EULA terms imposed upon them by the parasite company.

OSI open source is not freedom software. It is very important to realise that.

PS: None of your argument equates to a claim of FSF "control" over freedom software projects. I think you were confused, and are now covering your tracks. Your current argument is certainly very tenuous as to how it could be considered "control" by the FSF in any way at all.

Edited 2010-08-04 13:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Halo
by Halo on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Halo"
Halo Member since:
2009-02-10

You are very confused. Please read the parent article or FSF's site.

You don't seem to understand that the terms "open source" and "free software" mean nearly the exact same thing. BSD/MIT, GPLv2, GPLv3 and the Apache License are all examples of "free software" (FSF-approved) and "open source" (OSI-approved) licences. 'Software freedom' is about the ability to run, study, and redistribute code.

Copyleft, however, is different. Copyleft is forcing redistributors to provide a user-modifiable copy and associated right when they redistribute. GPLv2 and GPLv3 are copyleft licences, whereas BSD and the Apache License are not.

I never said that the FSF have 'control' over 'free software' projects. They do, however, have control over the canonical meaning of the term 'free software'. If they adopted the term 'open source', they would lose that control.

Edited 2010-08-04 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Halo"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You are very confused. Please read the parent article or FSF's site.

You don't seem to understand that the terms "open source" and "free software" mean nearly the exact same thing. BSD/MIT, GPLv2, GPLv3 and the Apache License are all examples of "free software" (FSF-approved) and "open source" (OSI-approved) licences. 'Software freedom' is about the ability to run, study, and redistribute code.


In and of itself, this is correct.

Copyleft is different. Copyleft is forcing redistributors to provide a user-modifiable copy and associated right when they redistribute. GPLv2/GPLv3 are copyleft licences, whereas BSD is not.


And this is a vital, critical difference that you seem to vastly under-rate, or misunderstand completely. Copyleft is the essence of the difference between mere "open source" and true "freedom software".

That difference is an enormous gulf, really. It is the reason why copyleft licenses are many times more popular than mere open source licenses.

I never said that the FSF have 'control' over free software projects. I say they have control over the the canonical meaning of term 'free software', a definition they have changed at least once in recent years.


Revisionism. This imaginary "control" is a meaning you have changed at least once in this very thread.

Scratch that ... I have reconsidered ... here is your quote:

"The FSF adopting 'open source' would be simplest, since the ideological difference between 'open source' and 'free software' is in practice incredibly small, and it would allow the FSF to put its emphasis on 'copyleft'. Still, they find it objectionable due to its lack of emphasis on freedom and, although they probably wouldn't admit it, FSF control."

On re-reading, you probably were talking about control of the terminology rather than control of the software.

Mea culpa then.

PS: I still however strongly disagree with your notion that there is only a small difference between open source and freedom software.

Edited 2010-08-04 13:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Halo
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 4th Aug 2010 15:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Halo"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I wish Stallman was slightly more pragmatic, and would abandon the counterintuitive term 'free software' in favour of something less ambiguous.


The ambiguity is a deliberate marketing ploy, done for the same reasons that people try to paint stark puritanism as "family values". If anyone dissents, they can be shouted down with Bush-esque rhetoric about "hating freedom". You don't hate freedom, do you?!?!?!?

And of course the term "free software" is so much more catchy than "software that is restricted in ways that promote 'freedoms' that we have arbitrarily deemed to be more important than all others".

Reply Score: 0

Maybe y'all will get this...
by jaklumen on Wed 4th Aug 2010 17:39 UTC
jaklumen
Member since:
2010-02-09

All these linguistic and nerdy arguments (especially the ones about a KNOWN social inept like Stallman) seem like the Spocks of the world are trying so very hard to convince the Dr. McCoys why they are so perfectly illogical.

And yet if you remember correctly, it was always DeForrest Kelley's character getting exasperated with Leonard Nimoy's character. Spock wasn't getting all flustered with "Bones"; it was the other way around.

The beanie propeller hats, thick glasses, and pocket protectors aren't going to dominate the proverbial catwalks of Madison Avenue, so... heh, I'm sure I'm pissing in the wind trying to give etiquette lessons to a bunch of Pointdexters ;)

Let me put it this way-- more Steve Wozniak, less Bill Gates when Melinda ain't dressing him, capiche?

Reply Score: 0