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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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 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:43 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by Halo on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:30 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by Zifre on Wed 4th Aug 2010 16:33 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Halo
by lemur2 on Wed 4th Aug 2010 12:40 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Halo
by Halo on Wed 4th Aug 2010 13:13 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Halo
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 4th Aug 2010 15:29 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 Parent Score: 0