[OSGeo-Discuss] "Free"

Tim Bowden tim.bowden at westnet.com.au
Mon Mar 5 18:11:52 PST 2007

On Mon, 2007-03-05 at 13:26 -0500, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> ross s wrote:
> > Just to add a bit more spice to the discussion.  I think the root 
> > problem here is a definition amoung open source purists.  Jeff Thurston 
> > has added some interesting points to his blog (below).
> > 
> > ---
> > So? is your ?free? more pure than my ?free?? Is there a ?free-o-meter? 
> > or something about?
> Folks,
> Yes, there is a free-o-meter.  If the licensing of software meetings the
> requirements of the open source definition then the software is free (in
> the open source sense).  Otherwise it is just not.
> I have no problem with workshops about mixing free (aka open source) and
> proprietary software.  Lots and lots of foss software works with Oracle, so
> show that link in action!  But I don't feel the conference should have
> substantial content that is strictly proprietary without so much as an
> open source fig-leaf.
> The lack of understanding of what we mean by free just demonstrates the
> need for additional outreach by OSGeo.
> Best regards,

+1.  I came to OSGeo because I wanted FREE (as in freedom) solutions for
my geospatial needs.  I want to be able to deliver FREE (as in freedom)
solutions to my clients.  Free as in beer is nice, but free as in speech
is mandatory for me.  That doesn't mean I won't inter-operate with
proprietary solutions, or aren't interested in finding out how to
inter-operate; I am interested.  Inter-operation between free and
proprietary solutions is a reality.  But it does mean I won't advocate
for a proprietary solution.  If that's what suits a clients needs best,
then I will point them to someone who can give it to them.  I won't.
I've had too much experience with proprietary solutions and the pain
that causes to want to go there again or to put someone else there.
I've had too much experience with FOSS to ignore the benefits it brings.

To bring this back to the topic of the thread, if the oracle demo is
just showcasing a proprietary solution (free as in beer or otherwise)
that happens to use a few token free components, then I'm not
interested.  If it shows how to inter-operate existing proprietary
systems with FOSS systems and helps me put my clients back in control of
their own systems, then I'm interested.  The main focus of the conf
though, should be on a fully free stack.  Without that, we are just
pissing in the wind if you will pardon the expression.

Tim Bowden

More information about the Discuss mailing list