• @waldyrious@lemm.ee
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    6210 months ago

    IMO both of these ended up being poor names.

    “Open source” can be co-opted to mean any project with public source code even if it’s not open contribution (think SQLite, and many of the projects effectively run by major tech corporations).

    “Free software” falls victim to the eternal mixup with freeware, requiring the endless repetition of the “beer vs. speech” analogy.

    I personally think “Libre software” is the term that best encapsulates the intended meaning while being unambiguous and not vulnerable to misinterpretation.

      • NormalC
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        910 months ago

        FOSS is even worse. Free and Open Source makes it sound like free of charge and see my source code.

        It’s also a politically neutered term and an acronym of conflated concepts.

          • NormalC
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            10 months ago

            FOSS attempts to conflate two different positions on software by presenting them as one entity. FLOSS is a better term for pure neutrality’s sake but still falls in the same trap (attempting to send meaning as acronym/conjoining two historically different movements). Free software advocates do not bother with a neutral term because we desire a world of total software liberation and an ultimate death to non-free software. Open-source movements seek to collaborate with proprietary software or at the very least not to get in its way (it seeks olive branches over systemic change). Each group’s rhetoric serves to reflect this fundamental difference. There is an overlap in both movements, but each person has to choose between compliance to the status quo or fighting to break it altogether.

            Look at it this way, hypothetically, if it turned out that the Linux kernel was objectively the technically superior computer kernel to have ever existed and will ever exist and everyone in the entire world knew this: we would still end up in the same exact status quo because corporate oligarchs are already allowed to use the kernel to subjugate their users (nonfree firmware, tivoization/weak copyleft, proprietary userland) and have enough leftover propaganda (what they call marketing) and staying power to ensure their survival. Or in other words: if Linus Torvalds, the man who figuratively holds the keys to the most successful open source project in the world (that powers the entire internet) is still subjugated by firmware blobs and nonfree drivers, what chance do we have with these unethical firms?

            FOSS is… Literally as you described it … It’s pretty obvious.

            Please don’t reduce decades of uncomfortable and complex history to what is a marketable buzzword. I doubt we disagree all too much here, but the goal is to educate, not condense and dilute.

    • Bady
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      710 months ago

      “Freedom-respecting software” is another less ambiguous term.

      • @AccountMaker@slrpnk.net
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        110 months ago

        And yet our professors at university translated “free software” using our word meaning “free of charge”, my ears bled. It should have been libre software from the beginning.

    • Deconceptualist
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      10 months ago

      It works better in other languages.

      e.g. Es ist frei, nicht kostenlos.

    • lad
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      410 months ago

      Every time I see this phrase it makes me wonder, if the libre software grants the user a right to redistribute itself wouldn’t that imply that it is both free as in speech and as in beer?

      I mean, it may be sold, sure, but it would work more like donation, since you also can get a copy from another user instead.

    • @cloudy1999@sh.itjust.works
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      210 months ago

      I don’t often hear it called libre software, but I like it. Better than open source or free software. I’m glad this kind of discussion is back again. It’s more important than ever with the increasingly clear unfolding corporate takeover of the Internet.

  • NormalC
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    1310 months ago

    Lets not forget: Linus Torvalds and the Linux Foundation’s policies don’t actually believe in software freedom. The refusal to upgrade to GPLv3 has directly impacted those who use ChromeOS, Android, and WSL; as well as appliances that use GNU/Linux.

    They do not believe in liberation.

    (Inb4 someone parrots the “pragmatism” fallacy and proves my point again)

    • Chemical WonkaOP
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      10 months ago

      Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman never agreed one another. Their principles are very different, Torvalds is more like a tech boy that is inclined to business in other hand we have Stallman that is more a tech philosopher. I am with Stallman. But both are very important for FOSS community. I equally respect both.

      • NormalC
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        10 months ago

        I also respect both I agree (no GNU/Linux user would deny that), but Torvalds has faced little to no mainstream criticism on his hypocritical stance. Take one look at the Linux Foundation’s top board members and see if they represent the Freeworld. Torvalds directly benefits from a lack of political ethos on Free software.

        Stallman asks for the name GNU/Linux to be used and gets bullied online (to this day) by ignorant users who refuse to learn the history. Torvalds directly enables the subjugation of others via tivoization and weak copyleft? The “FOSS community” is near silent in comparison. All in the name of pragmatism that has left so many users uneducated and confused.

        When Stallman tells us to say “Free software” he does not mean to say “free for me but not for thee (because I have to feed my rhetorical family in this fast-paced economy).” He seeks total liberation.

      • Bady
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        410 months ago

        The question is why the term “Open Source” was coined when “Free Software” was already there. You can refer https://opensource.org/history for the answer.

        The conferees believed the pragmatic, business-case grounds that had motivated Netscape to release their code illustrated a valuable way to engage with potential software users and developers, and convince them to create and improve source code by participating in an engaged community. The conferees also believed that it would be useful to have a single label that identified this approach and distinguished it from the philosophically- and politically-focused label “free software.” Brainstorming for this new label eventually converged on the term “open source”, originally suggested by Christine Peterson.

        In short, Open Source is more about business than user’s freedom. They didn’t want the philosophical and political baggage that comes with the term Free Software but at the same time want all practical benefits that comes with it.

        Apart from this, people also confuse Free Software as “copyleft” licensed software and Open Source as software with “permissive” license which aren’t true. Almost all Open Source software are also Free Software, there are only a few exceptions.

        Similar to the political differnece between the terms Free Software vs Open Source, I also see a political issue in using the term “permissive license” instead of “non-protective license”. Non-protective licenses don’t protect what “protective” (copyleft) licenses protect, user freedom.

        As an ending note, I want to emphasise that I don’t encourage splitting the communities in the name of political and philosophical differences. While I believe it’s good to understand the hidden meanings and motivations behind using different terms, it’s more important to work together for the common good. Whether you prefer Open Source over Free Software or Permissive over Non-protective, if you value people and freedom over profit, we should stand together.

  • @TheInsane42@lemmy.world
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    -1610 months ago

    Open Source: The source is available to inspect for security issues and can be improved upon by anybody who wants to participate. Most of the times the software development is financed by donations in cash from users or in time from developers.

    Free software: Software you get for free, usually paid for by siphoning off data, running ads (which include trackers), … sometimes open source, most of the times closed source.

    • @voidskull@lemmy.ml
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      2110 months ago

      What you are saying is ‘Freemium’ software. Free software in our sense is free to do whatever we want, following its license, ‘Free as in Freedom.’

        • @baru@lemmy.world
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          110 months ago

          The terminologies used are all over the place

          There are pretty clear definitions for both. I noticed you got them completely wrong, but, well, that’s not due to the definitions being difficult or “all over the place”.

    • cacheson
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      1810 months ago

      Free software: Software you get for free

      Not in this sense. This kind of confusion is why we end up with awkward terms like “Free/Libre Open Source Software”.

    • @buckykat@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      210 months ago

      No, that’s free software, small f. Free Software, capital F, is software which respects your four fundamental software freedoms: to run, study, redistribute, and modify the software.

      Open Source is a capitalist trick to make the source code available without necessarily preserving those freedoms.

      • usrsbin
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        510 months ago

        Open-source preserves these freedoms. Source-available is the term for software that doesn’t respect user freedoms, but allows to access the source code.

        • @TheInsane42@lemmy.world
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          310 months ago

          Indeed, most open source software is available under licenses like GPL, which enforces the preservation of those freedoms.