Free Software vs. Freedom Software

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Portreve
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Portreve » Wed May 08, 2019 6:41 pm

Richard Stallmann is the foremost stallwart champion of the concept of Free Software, and it would not be possible to change what it is called without his express consent because the Free Software community and much of the GNU+Linux community generally greatly respect him and would not likely want it changed, either. I also believe the Open Source camp would not take kindly to changing it because they are keen to push their own parallel agenda.

I won't reiterate my prior post; however, I would point you to Moem's very excellent (and far briefer than mine) post above. I second what she says for all the reasons I wrote in my previous post, and for others unsaid because LMF is not the appropriate venue for political discourse.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by jimallyn » Thu May 09, 2019 2:54 am

Free/Libre/Open Source/whatever. Free as in freedom, free as in free beer. Whatever. It's all OK with me. I don't mind learning a few words from another language, or from several other languages.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by tenfoot » Thu May 09, 2019 3:22 am

Very interesting discussion. As an native English speaker one of my greatest regrets is not learning another language. I am in awe of the many people who are not English speakers natively, yet write lucidly on many subjects. If there was one gift I had the power to grant it would to be able to fluently converse in may languages.

Watch and listen to a young Dutch girl speaking at a TED conference.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DelYZwaKAEI I am full of admiration!
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by jimallyn » Thu May 09, 2019 3:50 am

I have learned a few words in Spanish, but wish I could speak it fluently, as there are many Spanish speakers here. You've probably heard this one before:

Q: What do you call a person who speaks two languages?
A: Bilingual

Q: What do you call a person who speaks more than two languages?
A: Multilingual

Q: What do you call a person who speaks only one language?
A: An American

...

Several of the local elementary schools teach half the day in English and half the day in Spanish. I wish they had done that when I was in school.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by lsemmens » Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 am

I'm bi-lingual I speak good language and bad language fluently.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Moem » Thu May 09, 2019 5:06 am

Yes, all of that is great, but the actual topic of the thread is pretty interesting too and maybe we can get back to that?
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by majpooper » Thu May 09, 2019 11:20 am

Moem wrote:
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.
The English language certainly does have such a word - FREE


Just some of the definitions (there are actually 13) of the word free according to Webster's. Like all languages English words can have more than one meaning.

not costing or charging anything - a free ticket
having the legal and political rights of a citizen - setting the slave free
enjoying civil and political liberty - free citizens
enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination - This is a free country.
enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another - You are free to do whatever you want.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by rene » Thu May 09, 2019 3:20 pm

majpooper wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:20 am
The English language certainly does have such a word - FREE
Thanks much for the gratis advise.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Pjotr » Thu May 09, 2019 6:33 pm

majpooper wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:20 am
enjoying civil and political liberty - free citizens
Land of the free, home of the brave! :)
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Portreve » Sat May 11, 2019 7:21 pm

It's a funny thing, but sometimes I come up with a far better answer after I've already said something. This is one of those times, so I hope you all will excuse me for that.

Actually, I credit majpooper for my sudden insight. So, thank you good sir.
majpooper wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:20 am
[Just some of the definitions (there are actually 13) of the word free according to Webster's. Like all languages English words can have more than one meaning.

not costing or charging anything - a free ticket
having the legal and political rights of a citizen - setting the slave free
enjoying civil and political liberty - free citizens
enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination - This is a free country.
enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another - You are free to do whatever you want.
The more I've been thinking lately about this topic, and by complete coincidence watching interviews Richard Stallman has given, I've come to realize something.

I don't think it should have been called "Free Software" to begin with. The problem with the word "free" and its several derivatives is amply demonstrated by majpooper's post above: the term is inherently ambiguous. The first goal of any naming effort should be to strive for clarity along with distinctiveness.

The better option, in my view, is it should have been called "Libre Software" from the get-go, and instead of decades of confusion and splintering users by making them worried how well the name would be received, thereby providing the impetus to create "open source" and the attendant ills associated therewith, they simply could have taught people what the word "Libre" meant, and been done with the whole thing.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by michael louwe » Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 am

FOSS or Free Open Source Software or the Linux Kernel Project was founded by Linus Torvald in 1992 with the only "Constitutional Law" that the open licensing of Linux remains free of costs.
....... This sounds altruistic and noble but FOSS eventually led to a free-for-all of tens of Linux distros/forks and a very fragmented/divided desktop Linux in the market because every lead Linux developer was free to do what was right in his/own eyes = desktop Linux/FOSS became like a lawless failed state = unappealing to the masses = desktop Linux/FOSS has only a minuscule world market share of about 2% since forever.

The Linux kernel by itself is not an OS. Linus Torvald should have also founded a FOSS/Linux Desktop OS Project like the Debian Project, trademarked the popular "Debian" name and imposed an Anti-Fragmentation Agreement on all participating Linux developers on his "Debian" Project, similar to what he did with the Linux kernel, what Google did with Android and her OEM partners or what Red Hat did with RHEL.
....... Thereafter, Linus would have made his "Debian" more user-friendly to the average masses, like today's Ubuntu. Linus's "Ubuntu" could have dethroned M$-Windows, like how the much less fragmented Google-Android dethroned M$-Windows-Phone.
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P S - Tech giants like M$, Apple and Google impose Non-Compete and Non-Disclosure Agreements on their executives and software developers. The imposition of an Anti-Fragmentation Agreement on Linux developers would have been similar.
Last edited by michael louwe on Sun May 12, 2019 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by gm10 » Sun May 12, 2019 4:18 am

michael louwe wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 am
FOSS or Free Open Source Software or the Linux Kernel Project was founded by Linus Torvald in 1992 with the only "Constitutional Law" that the open licensing of Linux remains free of costs.
Hardly. Torvalds didn't come up with the concept nor the license. He only went with a non-commercial license for a few very early versions, since then the kernel uses Stallman's GPLv2 license which is a commercial license and allows you to take money for whatever you do with the code if you want to. And Stallman is very clear that the free in free software refers to freedom, not free of cost.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by michael louwe » Sun May 12, 2019 5:07 am

gm10 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:18 am
michael louwe wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 am
FOSS or Free Open Source Software or the Linux Kernel Project was founded by Linus Torvald in 1992 with the only "Constitutional Law" that the open licensing of Linux remains free of costs.
Hardly. Torvalds didn't come up with the concept nor the license. He only went with a non-commercial license for a few very early versions, since then the kernel uses Stallman's GPLv2 license which is a commercial license and allows you to take money for whatever you do with the code if you want to. And Stallman is very clear that the free in free software refers to freedom, not free of cost.
.
.... Historically, the GPL license family has been one of the most popular software licenses in the free and open-source software domain. Prominent free-software programs licensed under the GPL include the Linux kernel and the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). David A. Wheeler argues that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of Linux-based systems, giving the programmers who contributed to the kernel the assurance that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have to give anything back to the community. ...

Version 2
GNU General Public License, version 2Published June 1991
Website https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html

According to Richard Stallman, the major change in GPLv2 was the "Liberty or Death" clause, as he calls it – Section 7. The section says that licensees may distribute a GPL-covered work only if they can satisfy all of the license's obligations, despite any other legal obligations they might have. In other words, the obligations of the license may not be severed due to conflicting obligations. This provision is intended to discourage any party from using a patent infringement claim or other litigation to impair users' freedom under the license. ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Gener ... ic_License
.
Red Hat uses strict trademark rules to restrict free re-distribution of their officially supported versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but still freely provides its source code. Third-party derivatives can be built and redistributed by stripping away non-free components like Red Hat's trademarks. Examples include community-supported distributions like CentOS and Scientific Linux, and commercial forks like Oracle Linux.
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No, I do not think Stallman's GPLv2 license is truly a commercial license which allows you to take money for whatever you do with the code if you want to. It can't because it gives Linux developers too much freedom, eg any Linux developer can put out another copycat free Android on the mobile market to compete against Google.

In recent times, software companies have exploited GNU/GPL-based FOSS and used commercial trademark laws to protect their FOSS from Linux-forkers or competitors, eg Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Google-Android, Codeweavers-Crossover, Zorin OS, Ubuntu Advantage, etc. In the real practical world of commerce, it is not the GPLv2 which allows these software companies to charge fees/subscriptions or impose free-use-agreements for their FOSS.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by michael louwe » Sun May 12, 2019 5:50 am

gm10 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:18 am
michael louwe wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:00 am
FOSS or Free Open Source Software or the Linux Kernel Project was founded by Linus Torvald in 1992 with the only "Constitutional Law" that the open licensing of Linux remains free of costs.
Hardly. Torvalds didn't come up with the concept nor the license. He only went with a non-commercial license for a few very early versions, since then the kernel uses Stallman's GPLv2 license which is a commercial license and allows you to take money for whatever you do with the code if you want to. And Stallman is very clear that the free in free software refers to freedom, not free of cost.
.
Yes, you are correct in theory. I apologize and stand corrected. .......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU/Linux ... ontroversy

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by michael louwe » Sun May 12, 2019 7:12 am

CW: You launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to create a free Unix-like operating system, and have been the project's lead architect and organizer since then. Why did you start it in the first place? Back then it was already clear that software was becoming proprietary?

Stallman: In 1983, all operating systems were proprietary, non-free software. It was impossible to buy a computer and use it in freedom. Proprietary software keeps the users divided and helpless, by forbidding them to share it and denying them the source code to change it. The only way I could use computers in freedom was to develop another operating system and make it free software. I announced the plan in September 1983, and began development of the GNU system in January 1984.
https://www.computerworld.com.au/articl ... _torvalds/ - 2007

During the late 1980s, computers became a mass consumer item that only cost about US$1,000 each, mainly because M$ chose to begin licensing her proprietary closed source Windows OS to the OEMs at affordable prices to the consumers, ie at about US$50 per OEM preinstalled Windows license; while profit-gouging Apple refused to do the same and continued charging about US$3,000 per Apple Mac computer for both her proprietary hardware and preinstalled MacOSX software. In no time, M$-Windows garnered about 90% of the world market for desktop OS and has remained a market-monopoly ever since.

During the late 2000s, Google did something similar with her FOSS-Linux-based Android mobile OS, ie licensed her trademarked Android to the OEMs for free but under certain conditions/agreements, eg Anti-Fragmentation Agreement and exclusive adoption of Google Play Store.

During the early 1990s, Richard Stallman and/or Linus Torvald should have just come out with a lower priced trademarked desktop FOSS-Linux OS to compete against M$-Windows, eg US$20 per OEM preinstalled Linux license. Of course, Linux should have to be as user-friendly and GUI-based to the average masses as Windows.
....... Instead, Stallman went whole hog into an idealistic and altruistic FOSS-Linux that resulted in poor software development and much OS fragmentation/forking. Software freedom is pointless when desktop Linux was not usable to the average masses = such freedom was good for only the about 5% tech-geek population. Eg until today, desktop Linux does not have a user-friendly and GUI-based System Imaging program like the Windows-only Macrium Reflect Free and Acronis True Image and there are tens of Linux distros/forks.

Do Linux developers ever think of what the average mass users want, instead of what they and their geeky co-horts want.?
Last edited by michael louwe on Mon May 13, 2019 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by Portreve » Sun May 12, 2019 8:45 am

I really don't know where you people get your ideas from, but absolutely nothing after my last post is either accurate or worth anyone's time considering or responding to.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by michael louwe » Sun May 12, 2019 10:36 am

Portreve wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:45 am
I really don't know where you people get your ideas from, but absolutely nothing after my last post is either accurate or worth anyone's time considering or responding to.
Portreve wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 7:21 pm
The better option, in my view, is it should have been called "Libre Software" from the get-go, ...
.
michael louwe wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:50 am
Yes, you are correct in theory. I apologize and stand corrected. .......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software
...
Free software or libre software is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted versions. Free software is a matter of liberty, not price: users—individually or in cooperation with computer programmers—are free to do what they want with their copies of a free software (including profiting from them) regardless of how much is paid to obtain the program. Computer programs are deemed free insofar as they give users (not just the developer) ultimate control over the first, thereby allowing them to control what their devices are programmed to do.

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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by lsemmens » Sun May 12, 2019 11:24 pm

Actually, Protreve, you are incorrect. The M$ example in the very next post is a good case in point. That is exactly how it went down. Gates, et al licensed their product and created a relatively open operating system that anybody could clone whereas Apple went down the proprietary route and closely controlled their environment. In the early days Apple had the advantage because of their quality control and the closed nature of the product. i.e. the Apple way or the Highway. M$, back in the days of DOS (especially) allowed anyone to develop for it's OS and the Hardware was also non proprietary so it took a few years for standards to emerge. It was not really until Windows 3.0 came along that M$ started to gain a stranglehold on the market. Up until that time Apple was the go-to platform for DTP, Video and Music production, areas where the M$ (not Microsoft specifically, but developed for) product still lagged behind Apple until fairly recently.
Linux is now about where M$ was with DOS 1.0 against the Apple product. The only difference being, Linux is competing against a mature product whereas back in the days of DOS, everyone was competing for a new marketshare. CP/M, OS/2, other DOS variants... My first computer (DOS 2.1, 8086 whit CGA, 256KbRAM, 2 x 360Kb floppies) also came with an Assembler package and instructions on how to compile and run your own programs.
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by bob466 » Sat May 25, 2019 9:09 pm

What is Freedom ? It's when large American Companies are free to come to my Country and through the courts take away our Freedom to access any Web Site. Image

Only recently Google another large American Company has voluntarily removed searches to these sites and others for Australians...so much for Freedom. Image The strange thing is that these large American Companies cannot do the same thing in their own Country... Image land of the free...home of the brave..yeah right. Image

These Companies think that people around the World are like this...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww. Image
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Re: Free Software vs. Freedom Software

Post by xenopeek » Thu May 30, 2019 10:23 am

Pjotr wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 4:39 am
In Dutch there's no such problem: the word "free" ("vrij") only means free as in Freedom (vrijheid).
That's not correct. For example "vrij parkeren" and "vrij entree" respectively mean parking and entry are gratis in Dutch. Dictionary has long list of other meanings of "vrij". No different than in English.

The issue, if one would call it that, might be that to the uninformed "free software" doesn't provide a contextual hint it's referring to something other than cost.

That said, I'm not going to call it Freedom Software. That still requires explaining to those that think "free software" is about cost :wink:
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