FAQ for giving lectures to students

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Thu Apr 20 06:27:02 UTC 2006

Stefano Maffulli <stef at zoomata.com>
> [...] So for non-English I would simply suggest to very
> carefully point out that Open Source is a term that was coined because
> the term free in English is ambiguous: in your language you don't need
> to look for strange words.  Also, during time, OS became the word that
> IBM and others use to push their marketing agenda: use free software
> layer to sell their own non-free software.  Basically, using the term OS
> you do gratis advertising for IBM's agenda and the community loses.

Surely the ambiguity of "free" wasn't the original motivation?
According to the failed Open Source Initiative[1], it was created
'to dump the confrontational attitude that has been associated
with "free software" in the past and sell the idea strictly
on the same pragmatic, business-case grounds that motivated
Netscape.' -- http://www.opensource.org/docs/history.php

Unfortunately, the word "open" is ambiguous and the word "source"
is ambiguous with the end result that "Open Source" software is
too ambiguous to use. http://mjr.towers.org.uk/writing/ambigopen

[1] - the Initiative was to get a US trademark on a term less generic
than "free software" but that trademark is DEAD, so I say it failed.

MJ Ray - personal email, see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
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