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Re: Open source - Free software

From: Roger Johansson
Subject: Re: Open source - Free software
Date: 28 Sep 2006 13:56:02 -0700
User-agent: G2/1.0

Barry Margolin wrote:

> > > 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",

> > Why not call it "open source software", or GPL or LGPL software, or
> > public domain software, etc..?

> Open source software is not the same as free software (as I've mentioned
> elsethread, open source is a subset of free).  And GPL is just one free
> software license, so it's not an appropriate general term.

But you should be aware of the fact that outside the small group of
"free software" advocates the word "free" in the english language has
more than one meaning, and the most common, shared by billions of
people who speak english, is that it means gratis, you don't have to
pay for something that is free.

> I don't think I have an agenda.  I think the posters who refuse to
> accept that a phrase has acquired an idiomatic meaning beyond the
> literal interpretation of the constituent words are the ones who have an
> agenda.  I didn't create this term, and after 20 years it's no longer
> "new".

To the overwhelming majority of the people in the world who speak
english it is not even new but totally unknown.

If you have spent 20 years of your life in a small group which uses the
word "free" in another way than it is used in the real world outside
your little group that is your problem, you can not speak proper
general english. You have to learn to speak normal english if you want
to speak to people outside your little "special SFS english" group.

Roger J.

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