[GRASS5] Terminology: Free Software

Markus Neteler neteler at itc.it
Wed Oct 10 04:58:01 EDT 2001

On Wed, Oct 10, 2001 at 08:54:17AM +0100, Glynn Clements wrote:
> Jan-Oliver Wagner wrote:
> > 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.

Just a small point here: We are mainly addressing people who
*don't* know GRASS, right? Those knowing and using GRASS we don't
have to explain the idea of free software, they are already using
it. The definition is for those who are new to this system
(and who may not want to read all the discussions of the last years).

The "definition" from Robert sounds quite good to me:

        GRASS is Free Software based on open source, giving you
        the freedom to unlimited use, modifcation and distribution
        of the source and binary.

The funny thing is that only
exists. And they talk about
"Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to
 managing and promoting the Open Source Definition for the good of the
 community, specifically through the OSI Certified Open Source Software
 certification mark and program."

not about "Free Software", the term "free" doesn't appear here.

 -> "Free Software Tools features completely free software products
    (developed by Softnik Technologies)"
 -> "Please note that we interpret the words free software to mean software
     that costs nothing to obtain (and have no nag screens or
     advertisements).  There are other definitions."

 -> mhh, even not what we want to see.

Anyway, I feel that the term "free" is biased as Helena and others pointed
out. So above text from Robert may satisfy everybody (I am sure we don't
completely solve the problem here...).

Best regards

 Markus Neteler

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