About widi.berlios.de -> the authors respond

MJ Ray markj at cloaked.freeserve.co.uk
Sun Jul 15 22:22:25 UTC 2001

Greg Tourte <gt007a3776 at blueyonder.co.uk> writes:

> I think it might be time for you to realise that there are other ideas
> around and that people can disagree with you while doing very good things.
> There is no point in flaming these people just because they don't follow
> exactly your stream of ideas. I think that if the FSFE treats all new
> projects based on free software/ open source that way, people will tend to
> go elsewhere.

I'm sorry, no flame was intended from me.  I just wanted to point out
that I think that the association with Berlios and the persistent use
of the marketroid "Open Source" term will result in biased responses
to the survey.  I would expect the same if it had been hosted on the
GNU project servers, to be honest.  

The one bit I was slightly unhappy with was the continuous use of
"Open Source / Free Software" as if they are one and the same thing.
Of course, they are not.  You know a lot more about a piece of Free
Software than you do about something that is merely Open Source.  I
believe in the power of Free Software as a liberating force.  I cannot
say the same of Open Source, although the technical benefits may

What we really need is a marketing and lobbying campaign as powerful
as that behind Open Source.  That's why I'm here, really, I guess.

This survey might have given us useful data to use, but I think it
will be so distorted as to be useless.  It looks like we will not even
be able to tell whether it is or not, as only the study is able to use
it and then the data will be destroyed, according to

I don't see what FSFE would gain from supporting this in any way.
Given what is said of Berlios's views, I think it is right to be
suspicious.  To be useful, such a survey should not be associated with
a political agenda like that.  I was hoping that maybe that could be
corrected before we got too far down the road, but 5000 responses on,
the bias is probably already too ingrained.

Please, widi developers, if you are really wanting to help the
community, run an unbiased survey from a totally independent location
and disclose the results in full, as far as is possible without
infringing privacy.  Then we can really do peer review on your
findings and see if we agree with them.

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