Definition of open source

Russell McOrmond russell at
Sun Nov 7 22:20:48 UTC 2004

On Sat, 6 Nov 2004, Alan Rihm wrote:

> It seems to come down to opinions on what open source should be. My
> opinion is that there is room for another definition.

  Please, can we put this into a FAQ and put this discussion to rest 
once and for all?

  Where there is room for another definition, there is room for another
term.  There is nothing wrong with having a wide variety of licensing and
business models, but there is absolutely no legitimate reason to dilute
the terms "Open Source" or "Free Software" to mean anything other than how
the OSI or FSF define them.

> At a minimum, I'm not the only one who thinks it is worth discussing.

  It is worth discussing:  using some other term, and in some other
mailing list.

  I wish you all the luck with your different definition and *DIFFERENT

Note:  I am interested only in software that obeys the definition as
offered by the FSF and OSI.  There are many reasons for this, but this
isn't the forum for this.  You can look at the link in my signature for a
hint of the things that concern me.  If the OSI and FSF swayed too far
from the definition that meets my needs, the term will have lost its
purpose as a term used to label software that meets specific goals.

  I realize that we have many opponents that want to cause this confusion,
as well as folks like yourself that don't yet understand the importance of
this label, but hopefully the FSF and OSI will ignore this misdirection.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Code is Law: how software code regulates the activities of citizens,
 and acts similar to law.  How do we ensure transparency/accountability?

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