Free Software / Open source concepts

Matthias-Christian Ott ott at
Fri Feb 15 20:28:24 UTC 2008

"Bogdan Bivolaru" <bogdan.bivolaru at> wrote:

> I wanted to share my view of the free software / open source concepts and
> also check for correctness. So here's it:
> Free software talks mostly about the liberties of a software user and less
> about the means to develop the software it self (
>    - The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
>    - The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your
>    needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
>    - The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
>    (freedom 2).
>    - The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to
>    the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the
>    source code is a precondition for this
> I noticed this talks little about the way software development is actually
> organized.
> One guy can stay alone in his cellar and make a marvelous software and then
> publish it under a free software license, without working with others at
> all.

Free Software provides and protects freedom. You can choose how you want
to "experience" your freedom.

> Open source Definition (
> talks very little about the actual end user, and more about how the software
> is developed, the actual process of developing software.

I don't think that a certain development methodology is forced by the
open source definition. The very important aspect of this definition is
that it never mentions freedom. This is a very significant difference.

> I know this is a sore point in most communities, I was hoping to bring a new
> perspective on the matter. So don't bust me if I got it wrong.

So what's the new perspective?


More information about the Discussion mailing list