Free Software vs. Freedom Software

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Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by ericlanser » Wed May 01, 2019 2:28 am

From an ideological perspective, it might actually help to drive the point home. Many people might not care if the software itself is "Free as in free speech". What does that even mean?

But as Stallman has said multiple times, the idea of "Free Software" relates more to the freedom of the actual user and the community; and how the software itself can promote or detract from that freedom.

In that sense, more people would care if the software they use somehow promotes Freedom (for themselves and for everyone else around them - even if they are not able to articulate HOW this works).

2. No more getting english speakers feel alienated by the use of an unknown word to them (such as "Libre"). Freedom is an unambiguous word.

3. For the completely uninitiated it just sounds like a patriotic thing. Nothing wrong with that. It creates a positive attitude towards the item at hand (software in this case). Who would argue against Freedom?

4. At the same time there will be no more connotations of "Free" as "Free as rubbish".

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Moem » Wed May 01, 2019 4:26 am

It sounds specifically like a US American patriotic thing. It puts me off.
Why doesn't the English language have a word for 'gratis'/free of cost? That's the problem here.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Pjotr » Wed May 01, 2019 4:39 am

Nothing wrong with patriotism of any country! In fact, I quite like Dutch patriotism. Long live the red, white and blue! :)
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In Dutch there's no such problem: the word "free" ("vrij") only means free as in Freedom (vrijheid). As Moem already pointed out. But as this is an English language forum, perhaps it's indeed a good idea to start using the word Freedom.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by lsemmens » Wed May 01, 2019 5:40 am

I am only an English speaker. Free Software, to me, means no cost. Generally, context of the comments indicates to what it refers. I do understand, however, that non native speakers have issues determining which is meant in some circumstances. English is a very imprecise language.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Moem » Wed May 01, 2019 6:05 am

lsemmens wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:40 am
I am only an English speaker. Free Software, to me, means no cost.
Exactly. So how would you indicate the other kind of 'free'?

Personally I'm fine with calling it 'libre'. The computer world is full of English terms; people all around the world have to learn them if they want to use computers. It's okay if native English speakers have to learn a few words too.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by farkas » Wed May 01, 2019 6:07 am

English is my second language. Spelling and pronunciation most of the time make no sense. (Thank goodness for spell check).
I looked up
free https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free
freedom https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom
libre https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/libre https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/libre
As far as I'm concerned they all are ambiguous. It all depends on what the context of the word in a sentence is.
'Sentence' is a good example. It could be a written as line of words or a judicial punishment.
My point is it's how you use free or freedom depends on how you express your ideas written or oral.
Then an army of lawyers will argue about what you meant.
Maybe someday someone will come up with exact definitions.
Webster added new words. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-a ... dictionary
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Pjotr » Wed May 01, 2019 6:11 am

Moem wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:05 am
The computer world is full of English terms; people all around the world have to learn them if they want to use computers. It's okay if native English speakers have to learn a few words too.
That's perhaps a bit presumptuous to say on an English speaking forum, don't you think? :lol:

Anyway, the English have already assimilated a lot of foreign words over the centuries. After all, nearly all big words in English, are simply badly pronounced French. English has been much more "frenchified" than Dutch, because of the victory of the Norman invaders in 1066. :mrgreen:
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Moem » Wed May 01, 2019 6:26 am

Pjotr wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:11 am
That's perhaps a bit presumptuous to say on an English speaking forum, don't you think? :lol:
No, I do not. I wouldn't have said it if I did. And like you said, there are plenty of words in English with an origin in other languages... what's one more?
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Pjotr » Wed May 01, 2019 6:27 am

Moem wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:26 am
Pjotr wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:11 am
That's perhaps a bit presumptuous to say on an English speaking forum, don't you think? :lol:
No, I do not. I wouldn't have said it if I did. And like you said, there are plenty of words in English with an origin in other languages... what's one more?
That's not up to you to decide. That's up to the native English speakers. :wink:
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Moem » Wed May 01, 2019 6:29 am

You don't say! :roll:

Well, of course it is. I can only give my opinion, and decide on the words I personally use... same as everyone else here.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by cliffcoggin » Wed May 01, 2019 6:46 am

The difficulties people have with the term "free" are the result of the continuing debasement of the English language. (Incidentally I congratulate and admire the Dutch for their remarkable grasp of English. Their command of English is frequently better than native Englishmen. I wish my compatriots were so ready to learn another language or two.) Free means without, therefore to say something is free is to say it is without, and therefore meaningless because it has no context.

It would be proper to ask if something is free of cost, free of responsibility, free of obligation, free of guilt, free of colour, and so on, but to suggest something is simply free has no validity.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by gm10 » Wed May 01, 2019 7:31 am

I thought we "solved" this decades ago with the FOSS/FLOSS monikers. Personally I got no problem with users of free software misunderstanding the free part. Free of cost is not the whole meaning but it's the only aspect of free that most of them care about - the ideological discussions about software are irrelevant to them. And that's fine with me. I'm writing code, not a religion.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by rene » Wed May 01, 2019 8:58 am

Moem wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:26 am
Why doesn't the English language have a word for 'gratis'/free of cost? That's the problem here.
They do actually. "Gratis" is of Latin descent and exists in English as well: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gratis. Yes, sure it's far less common but I'd still feel there to be no need to invent other terminology. And most certainly no flag-waving "freedom" one...

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by lsemmens » Wed May 01, 2019 8:42 pm

Moem wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:05 am
lsemmens wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:40 am
I am only an English speaker. Free Software, to me, means no cost.
Exactly. So how would you indicate the other kind of 'free'?

Personally I'm fine with calling it 'libre'. The computer world is full of English terms; people all around the world have to learn them if they want to use computers. It's okay if native English speakers have to learn a few words too.
I have no problem with this which is why I also said context is everything and that English is very imprecise. I also have no issue with any of the subsequent posts on this topic.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by absque fenestris » Wed May 01, 2019 9:24 pm

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free,
Feelin' good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby Mcgee.


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Freedom is an unambiguous word
Is it?
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Portreve » Thu May 02, 2019 10:17 pm

I'm a native speaker of English, and o am also a native born citizen of the United States, and at the risk of this being taken incorrectly as an attempt to be political, I'm going to say that "freedom" as offered above is absolutely the wrong word to associate with the GNU Poject, the Linux kernel, the GNU+Linux platform, or indeed any piece of libre-licensed software precisely because "freedom" has become very American socio-politically charged.

It is never a better idea to try and meet someone on their own terms without first taking cognizance of what those terms actually are. The "other" side has to be open to accepting the fact they may not be right, or the sole purveyors of the absolute definition of a specific term or concept.

As an American, I would caution others here you may not be dealing with the most open-minded or educated (in the sense of being well-traveled and culturally exposed) person.

No matter what, as has been said up-thread, the other party has to want to become educated, they have to want to overcome their own preconceptions, and they have to be willing to grow.

I'm a native English speaker; I'm a native citizen of the US. I had to learn what the word "libre" means. If I can do it, so can anyone else, so please, let's not mollycoddle the masses here, ok?
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by gm10 » Fri May 03, 2019 4:16 am

Portreve wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 10:17 pm
I'm a native English speaker; I'm a native citizen of the US. I had to learn what the word "libre" means. If I can do it, so can anyone else, so please, let's not mollycoddle the masses here, ok?
You guys made freedom fries work, I'm sure you could deal with freedom software. :lol:

Not that I'm actually advocating that, just responding on principle. ;)

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by absque fenestris » Fri May 03, 2019 4:53 am

Example eBooks and music files: if Amazon deletes Orwell's 1984 from my virtual bookshelf - of all things - or if I have certain problems managing paid music files - certain questions arise.
They're not religious, they're economic: Which product belongs to me and which doesn't? Which operating system and which program may interfere with my databases?
Basically, I can do whatever I want with any purchased tool, book or vinyl record as hardware.

Since original and copy are no longer distinguishable - and much is only available virtually, Richard Stallman, among others, has already asked a few essential questions.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Pjotr » Fri May 03, 2019 5:00 am

The software of the free and the OS of the brave! :mrgreen:
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by absque fenestris » Fri May 03, 2019 5:12 am

Oops, already the same topic but the wrong thread...
...I will defend Mr. Stallman in the right place.

Excuse me. :oops: :oops: :oops:
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