Information about the Free Software Foundation Europe

Armin Herbert Armin.Herbert at
Fri Dec 1 13:28:01 UTC 2000


On Donnerstag, 30. November 2000 21:09, Lord [INSERT NAME HERE] wrote:

> I think we need to come up with a simple, concise (one or two sentence)
> explanation of Free Software that a layperson can understand. If someone
> asks me "What is Free Software?", I don't want to have to launch into an
> explanation of technical details (remember, many people are not even
> aware of what "source code" means). Try as I might, I can't come up with
> an explanaiton of this kind. Can anyone else?

Hm, I don't agree with this. Nowadays lawyers jugde about even more 
complicated things like webbrowsers that are built into an OS. Not to say 
that they do it well, but I think it shouldn't be too complicated to 
explain the facts to a lawyer.

Software = A program that can be run by a computer
Source Code = The text a programmer has written that can be translated by a 
compiler so that computers can run it.
Free Software = Software that is delivered along with its Source Code and 
the guarantee that anyone is allowed to run, reproduce, modify, translate 
etc the Code as long as he keeps the copyright.

Better definitions can be taken from the GPL.

> > > And of course you'd
> > > want to know us better in order to learn who of us is qualified for a
> > > certain job.
> >
> > Exactly.  As Georg wrote, we want to build the mutual trust that is
> > neccessary for such a big project.
> I'd like to propose that all major decisions (like what our policy is on
> a new issue) are put to the discussion list before becoming official-
> that way we can have a transparent debate.
> > (Yes, I am paranoid.  But am I paranoid enough?  <umguck> ;-)
> "Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you"--
> Nirvana
> The Illuminatus are everywhere, my friend. <g>

... to go where no user's gone before.

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