Free software and open source philosophies differ sometimes with radically different outcomes

Giovanni Biscuolo g at
Fri Nov 17 18:31:26 UTC 2017

Hi everyone,

I swear this are my fist and *last* two cents about this topic

I'm considering (re)becoming a FSFE Supporter (ex Fellow) after some years
of absence; I feel an urgency to to something after the (last) *desperation*
[1] I suffered for the "MINIX on ring -3" "discovery", I hope to do it
helping FSFE, FSF and cousins

almost 20 years after this
"It's Time to Talk About Free Software Again" (by Bruce Perens)
I confess I feel *Comfortably Numb* about Open Source ad all related
discussions, especially because we are - once again - **losing focus**: we
all want a complete software stack (including ring -300) that respects all
four user freedoms, it does not matter how much does it cost or how "cool"
it will be for _any_ market vendor... do we?!?!?

*fortunately* there are several FSFE official statements that definitely
and unequivocally clears the discourse about FSFE supporting the use of the
term Free Software and _not_ of Open Source, a *sine qua non* condition for
me to be a supporter of any software association

I refer to this statements:
«[Open Source] Nowadays, it is regularly used for everything between Free
Software and the highly proprietary [software]»
«interest in our issues also creates desire to exploit them for particular
personal interests regardless of the medium- and long-term effects.»

although this is perplexing and somewhat contradictory:
«We understand this sometimes means having to accept short-term or even
medium-term disadvantages in order to remain true to our principles, which
may be hard to communicate and occasionally even unpopular.»
(disadvantages? what we are talking about?)

and lastly this is "the final word" by FSFE:
«Examining the development of the Open Source Initiative after three years,
it becomes apparent that the reasons to prefer the term Free Software have
become even more true.»
(I suppose that "after 3 years" means that page was written around 2001)

does FSFE considers that campaign still valid in 2017?

* Jonas Oberg [2017-11-17 16:50:25 +0100]:


>please remember this article, which is the comparison the FSFE points
>to officially when people ask:

OK but please **all of us** also remember the above mentioned articles when
people asks about Open Source

is it really so hard to politely say: "please use the term Free Software,
its ALL about freedom"?



>> concentrate more on the practical benefits. Whether someone says
>> Open Source or Free Software isn't necessarily an indication of
>> their motivation.

I find it in direct contradiction with
in particular:
«Language is important because it frames how people think about a subject.
The different terms focus on different aspects, even if they describe the
same software.»

this means that Open Source focus on a different motivation than what? than

"Language is important", to me, it's *the* tombstone of the "Open Source"

please consider I never mentioned Saint IGNUcius or others from heaven: I
simply do not care who say what, I just care about the philosophy *and*
philosophy is by definition inclusive :-D

>So please, no grouping of people based on what terminology they
>use. It is divisive and unnecessary.

political declaration:
I swear I'll respect - as she was my sister - anyone using the term "Open
Source" and I'll be glad to work with her to achieve the full liberation of
users from proprietary software domination

I'll just politely and firmly make her clear that she is using the *wrong*
term :-)


[1] yes I was also desperate when I understood how much Internet is broken
and how much my smartphones are *not* controlled by me (even using
LinegeOS... still studying ReactOS)

Giovanni Biscuolo
Xelera - IT infrastructures

**per favore** Quota Bene:
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