[GRASS5] Terminology: Free Software

Jan-Oliver Wagner jan at intevation.de
Wed Oct 10 04:17:00 EDT 2001

On Wed, Oct 10, 2001 at 08:54:17AM +0100, Glynn Clements wrote:
> Jan-Oliver Wagner wrote:
> > it is so bad to have already two terms. We shouldn't invent further.
> > We would spend even more time to explain that the new term
> > means the same as the old term.
> Actually, "Open Source" was intended to be a looser definition than
> "Free Software". "Open Source" is generally understood to include
> BSD/MIT style licences which allow proprietary derivatives, while the
> FSF is quite forceful in arguing that such software isn't "Free
> Software".

Open Source was intended to be a marketing term for Free Software.
It has done harm to the basic ideas. Bruce Perens did realized
the dangers of the term he invented with esr already in early 1999.

The FSF counts software under BSD/MIT and many other licenses
as Free Software. FSF prefers GPL.

> > I don't. Especially GRASS users are usually quite intelligent
> > and well-educated.
> But they are frequently geographers etc rather than "geeks" and, as
> such, may be quite unfamiliar with these arguments.

I don't regard Freedom as a matter for geeks.
It is an important element in democratic structures.
Ideally anyone in democratic societies should understand
the idea of Freedom.

With calling the software Free Software I intend to
have people reflect on Freedom (even if they
must first ask the geeks what this terminology is all about).

I know this is aside of the technology aspects,
but I can't help it: I feel responsible 
to not let drop democratic ideas in a high-tech-oriented world.
(Sounds pathetic :-)

However, you have the freedom to prefer any term.
I just gave my vote.


Jan-Oliver Wagner               http://intevation.de/~jan/

Intevation GmbH	              	     http://intevation.de/
FreeGIS	                               http://freegis.org/

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