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Re: Open source - Free software

From: Roger Johansson
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: 27 Sep 2006 01:38:22 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

Jim Richardson wrote:

> "freeware" and "Free Software" are not the same thing. Free Software
> refers to (mostly) GPL stuff. (See the FSF for details) that's all Open
> Source, as well as "Free Sosftware" freeware, is just the usual "try our
> stuff before you buy" thing. A whole different kettle of fish.

At the heart of this matter we find a group of people who have created
the FSF you mention, Free Software Foundation.

Obviously they think they can hijack a common word like free, and
decide that it can only mean one thing in connection to software.

To fulfil that mission they have tried to stop people from using the
word "freeware", in wikipedia and elsewhere, because it reminds people
of the expression "free software" which they have decided to hijack and
make their own expression, which can only mean what they decide that it

Their intentions are very good, but they have gone overboard with the
idea that they can regulate and control how people use the language.

Such a common word as "free" can mean many different things to
different people.
The most likely meaning to most people, if you ask them what they think
"free software" means, is probably that it is free to use without

It is good that FSF is trying to educate people about other meanings of
the word free, but this talk about free beer is just confusing people
who have not joined the FSF movement.

Learn to explain what you mean better, instead of trying to regulate
and control how people use the language.

There are a lot of angry and aggressive young men in this world, and
some of them think they are doing the right thing when they struggle
for the goals of FSF with questionable means. Try to teach them how to
behave correctly, FSF.

And that goes for all other movements of interest too, whether
religious or otherwise. Your first and most important task is to teach
and control the angry young men who are your own supporters.

Roger J.

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