Free Software / Open source concepts

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra rms at
Sat Feb 16 17:21:17 UTC 2008

On Sat, Feb 16, 2008 at 02:16:42PM +0000, Noah Slater wrote:
> > 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.
> Yes, Open Source and Free Software are very different.
> Free Software is about ethics and Open Source is about pragmatism.
> There is no reason you can't support both or use both on a project.

In fact, I don't know why people constantly say that.

Pragmatism is interesting since it is actually saying that "ends
justify all means" since what matters is purely the practical results.

So by saying something is pragmatic, is that a compliment or an

I think most people use "pragmatism" as an eufemism for "the ends
justify all means".

I observe that the Free Software culture is actually codifies ethical

In truth, as far as I see it, the difference between Free Software and
Open Source is that Open Source shuns "Freedom" as if it was a disease,
and "insults" of zealotry are shouted way too easily by some proponents,
much the sameway George W Bush shouts terrorism way too easily.

And in fact, the Open Source Definition is like an attempt to describe
the pragmatical results of Free Software, so it could also be said that
it's like the philosophical dicotomy between what is a thing and what we
perceive the thing to be.


Today is Boomtime, the 47th day of Chaos in the YOLD 3174
+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?

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