DRAFT FAQ: Free vs. Open

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Thu Jan 10 04:15:41 UTC 2008

Rick Moen scripsit:

> 1.  Taken as a whole, I think your draft ends up somewhat overstating
> differences, by failing to stress that the two concepts, as criteria for 
> licensing and software, map to substantively the same territory.  (The
> only differences in licence-evaluation are trivial, for reasons John
> Cowan cited separately.)


> 2.  I think it's a bad idea to omit DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines) 
> as a criterion for free software.  Anyone who's tried to apply the Four
> Freedoms guidelines consistantly and rationally in real-world situations
> (other than, well, Richard) can tell you why: they're too highly
> abstract.

It's rather embarrassing, in a piece that's about contrasting FS and OS,
to mention the D*F*SG, since they are the direct ancestors of the *O*SD.

> 3.  Again, kindly take the coinage "FLOSS" out and shoot it -- to put it
> out of our misery.  It would be horribly ironic for OSI to adopt a
> marketing failure even worse than the ones that prompted its formation
> in 1998.

+1.  Expanding the term is perfectly fine.

Newbies always ask:                             John Cowan
  "Elements or attributes?                      http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Which will serve me best?"                      cowan at ccil.org
  Those who know roar like lions;
  Wise hackers smile like tigers.                   --a tanka, or extended haiku

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