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Re: Open source - Free software

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2006 23:18:02 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.2 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Al Klein <rukbat@pern.invalid> wrote:

> On Wed, 27 Sep 2006 13:18:14 -0400, Barry Margolin
> <> wrote:
> >I think it is.  Note that I was talking about "free software", the term 
> >coined by Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, not 
> >"freeware", which is just software you don't have to pay for.
> "Free Software" is open source.  Free software, like free milk, is
> something you aren't charged for.  It's a shame they chose such an
> ambiguous word.

While it may be a shame, they've been using the phrase for about 20 
years now.  It's become part of the industry lexicon.  Similarly, we 
have the jargon "freeware" that refers to software distributed at no 
cost.  So there shouldn't be much ambiguity when the context is 
understood -- we have distinct terms for these different concepts.  
AFAIK, there's no other common term for what is called "free software", 
so it's the only phrase we can conveniently use.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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