[OSGeo-Discuss] "Free"

Ned Horning nedh at lightlink.com
Mon Mar 5 10:49:13 PST 2007

On Mar 5, 2007, at 13:26, Frank Warmerdam wrote:

> The lack of understanding of what we mean by free just demonstrates the
> need for additional outreach by OSGeo. 

I am still trying to get my head around the "free and open source" concept.
I've been through the Free Software Foundation site and although I think the
free software movement is great I still don't see why it can't be thought of
as a subset of open source. 

>From my perspective, being more of an open source consumer than a producer,
it seems silly to use "free and open source". It creates a good deal of
unnecessary confusion to those outside of the free/open source community. It
seems that the "free" movement focuses on the philosophical differences
which is fine but can't folks with different philosophies co-exist under the
"open source" umbrella? Aren't all of the licenses that are endorsed by the
FSF also endorsed by the "open source" community? 

As far as OSGeo outreach goes, should we use "free and open source" or just
"open source" and explain what "free" means within a definition of open
source? So far it seems to be inconstantly used within OSGeo. Would it make
sense to think of the "free 4 geo" community as the radical arm of OSGeo :)

PS. What is the "correct" term for software that doesn't cost anything but
is closed (like MultiSpec and 3DEM)? Freeware?

All the best, 


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