Objective of IFSO Re: [Fsfe-ie] stuff from the past week [adelaney at cs.may.ie]

Georg C. F. Greve greve at fsfeurope.org
Wed Oct 29 11:41:58 CET 2003

 || On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 18:27:11 +0000
 || "Ciaran O'Riordan" <ciaran at member.fsf.org> wrote: 

 >> > What about adopting the reasonably inclusive "free/libre and open
 >> > source software"?

 co> Personally I prefer "Free Software", but I don't mind the term
 co> FLOSS.  For an org, FLOSS lacks clarity, definition, and a set of
 co> authorative judges.

I would also encourage to prefer the term "Free Software" for clarity
and strong definition. [1][2]

Adding more words to a term does not make it clearer -- in fact it
does the opposite. That is why I've come to dislike the combined terms
"FOSS" and "FLOSS" -- aside from the obvious dental associations of
the latter that I don't think are helping our cause.

At the most optimistic interpretation, the terms are either double or
triple redundant, which is nonsense. How many other terms do you know
that are commonly accepted/used and are double or triple redundant?

Besides having heard FLOSS to stand for "Free Linux Open Source
Software" from U.S. Americans, a misunderstanding that is likely to
spread in the future, it increasingly adopts a tendency towards

 "Proprietary gratis software, Free Software and proprietary software
  where parts of the source code are visible"

while FOSS becomes more like

 "Free Software and proprietary software where parts of the source
  code are visible"

in the political area.

In short: the combined terms have a tendency to combine the weaknesses
and misunderstandings, not the strengths.

So my suggestion would be to go with "Free Software" or -- if you
feel more attached to that one -- "Libre Software."


[1] "We speak about Free Software" campaign

[2] Free Software Reference from the World Summit on the Information
 Society (WSIS) activities http://fsfeurope.org/projects/wsis/fs.html

Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at fsfeurope.org>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (http://fsfeurope.org)
GNU Business Network                        (http://mailman.gnubiz.org)
Brave GNU World	                           (http://brave-gnu-world.org)
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