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Re: Revisionist Open Source

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Revisionist Open Source
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 22:41:47 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Rjack <> writes:

> Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
>> "I never imagined that the Free Software Movement would spawn a
>> watered-down alternative, the Open Source Movement, which would
>> become so well-known that people would ask me questions about
>> 'open source' thinking that I work under that banner."; Richard
>> Stallman
>> Even though the BSD license was first used in 1980,
>> and the first use of the GPL
>>  license was in 1988, the
>> outright lying and revisionist propaganda efforts of the Free
>> Software Foundation continue to this day.
>> Where exactly did RMS imply that the BSD license was written
>> before the GNU GPL?
>> The Open Source movement was created after the Free Software
>> movement, you can ask ESR about that.
> The conceptual underpinnings of "open source" and its benefits
> predated ESR -- you're indulging in revisionist history again.

Not at all.  Like the Free Software movement, the Open Source movement
is a political manifestation of principles that were at work without a
formal definition or organisation behind it before.

In contrast to the Free Software movement, the Open Source movement did
not initially introduce its own licenses for meeting their purposes:
they basically just reinterpreted the aim of existing licensed according
to their views.  The aim was not actually changing the licensing
practises - the Open Software movement is fine with the GPL as a license
- but rather changing the industry views of those licenses.

It may be argued that the Creative Commons licenses were coined as a
reaction and in view of Open Source views and focuses.  But they came
considerably afterwards, and not in connection with the original
creators of the term.

> The term "open source" wasn't formally coined until 1998 around the
> code for Netscape Navigator -- long after computer program source code
> was openly available. Playing with the word "movement" until it fits
> your particular definition is constrained by *real* open source
> philosophy and history.

There was no cohesive philosophy and history before ESR invented the
term and wrote the corresponding papers.

> The Computer Science Research Group (1977-1995) at Berkeley was one of
> the root source communities underlying open source software. The Free
> Software movement was "spawned" by MIT's Richard Stallman and his
> attempt to co-opt open source code licensing. By no stretch of the
> imagination did the CSRG co-opt the closed socialist goals of RMS --
> that's simply revisionist bullshit from Stallman worshippers.
> Sincerely,
> Rjack :)

Well, either this "Sincerely" is quite the opposite, or you are
incredibly shoddy and/or stupid in fact-finding.

David Kastrup

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