continuing OS vs FS (was: Information about the Free Software

Olivier Berger oberger at
Fri Dec 1 23:17:54 UTC 2000

Alessandro Rubini a écrit :
> Hello Alexander
> > I still stick to what I said in the mail before: I don't see the
> > difference.
> Ok.
> > [...]  The basics are the same, and that's better software
> > development through peer review.
> No (but yes, I've seen your flame shield). And yes, you are too much
> into the practical aspect.  As you ask in another mail, I'll explain
> again.
> The free software movement, the GNU project or the FSF do not aim at
> "better software through peer review". They (we) aim at people's
> freedom, and better software is just a side effect [1].
> On the other hand, the open source movement (no capitals for lazy
> typing) aims at better software for everyone through peer review;
> people's freedom is a side effect.
> It's that easy. Not a big practical difference, only a big theoretical
> difference.

I have to comment on this excellent explanation and say that in my
opinion an important point should be adressed by the FSF Europe, taking
advantage of our multi-lingual nature (vs the american FSF) :

The Free software stands for Freedom... and freedom is easily translated
in many european languages as a different word from the one for gratis.

For example in french, free is "libre" where as gratis is "gratuit".

This way, the french people involved in the FSFE effort should propagate
the "logiciel libre" (or libre logiciel) term, which explains clearly
that freedom what it's all about.

I would suggest others to do the same in their languages...
unfortunately, UK (ang germans afaik) don't have such a word to use, ...
but in this case, why not use "Libre software"... as we did for the
Libre Software Meeting, last year in Bordeaux (with RMS approval on that
term, btw ;) : ?

This way, we would get rid of the ritual problem of ambiguity in english
that lead to the Open word as a replacement of Free...

Btw, for translations, see (and correct, maybe)

My 2 (euro)cents
Olivier BERGER - Secrétaire de l'association APRIL 
APRIL ( - Vive python (
Pétition contre les brevets logiciels :

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