FAQ for giving lectures about Free Software

Alex Hudson home at alexhudson.com
Thu Jul 6 08:56:40 UTC 2006

On Thu, 2006-07-06 at 09:32 +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> Alex Hudson <home at alexhudson.com>
> > "Open source", to me, focusses on the development method. [...]
> The term and its promotion *confuses* the development method and
> the licensing terms.  The Cathedral and the Bazaar is clearly
> about development style, but the Open Source Definition(ugh)
> makes no mention of it.

I think a lot of the rhetoric surrounding the term ("many eyes...",
"show me the code!", etc.) is all very development-oriented. I do wonder
if the CatB/OSD split is as much the Raymond/Perens split as anything

I guess it depends to which open source leader you adhere. Raymond has
decried the GPL in the past as a barrier to development possibilities,
which takes the language further away from the stuff about freedom.

Maybe it's fairer to say Raymondite Open Source is all about
development, which I think is true, and that Perensian Open Source is
about trying to dress free software up in a business suit.

> > http://www.opensource.org/advocacy/free-notfree.php
> I think it is revisionist.  The Open Source Initiative was an
> initiative to secure a trademark which could be used to label
> free software in a business-friendly way. 

Maybe. I always thought that the reasoning that such a trademark was
needed was because of the "free software" ambiguity, though. I agree
about their aims, just not sure about the rationale. 

I mean, if you take http://www.opensource.org/docs/history.php, the
whole reason for 'open source' is to get business to "listen to what we
have to teach about the superiority of an open development process" and
"sell the idea strictly on the same pragmatic, business-case grounds
that motivated Netscape". 

I don't know. To be honest, the thing is so amorphous it's difficult to
tell what's what anyway - and I suspect that the originators had
slightly different motives, which doesn't help.



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