Our Purpose (Re: DRAFT FAQ: Free vs. Open)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jan 11 00:43:11 UTC 2008

Quoting Ernest Prabhakar (ernest.prabhakar at gmail.com):

> I don't pretend my work is perfect, but it *is* the work of this list,  
> as expressed in our new charter:

Then, I think you had better carefully mark
https://osi.osuosl.org/wiki/help/opensource as _not_ speaking for OSI,
as many will otherwise assume.

Additionally, I've found that the draft contents proposed here (i.e., on
this mailing list) in some cases so far to be disappointingly far
off-target, in that they have poorly matched OSI's public-relations
programme as I've known it previously. 

The resulting draft _at_ https://osi.osuosl.org/wiki/help/opensource is a 
good bit better, but on balance I have doubts whether the Board would
agree that they endorse its contents, e.g., the draft's cartoon view
that free software "often" connotes ideology while open source "may"
reflect practicality:   Peppering that text with the weasel-words
"often" and "may" didn't fix the basic problem of it being a caricature
picture of the truth.

The posted answer to "How can I make money if my software is Open
Source?" is defective in omitting the fact that people _do sell_
open-source software directly, and have done so for decades.  And I
continue to be disappointed to see that the page mentions "free
software" as being defined by the vague and over-abstract Four Freedoms
essay, while omitting the DFSG that many of us (not just the Debian
Project) use exclusively for that purpose.

But the larger point is not _my_ finding it deficient, but rather the
likelihood that some will consider it an OSI document (despite, yes, the
fact that it's hosted at Oregon State University), though it definitely
is not.  I therefore think that the initial paragraph should include
something like "Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Open
Source Initiative or its Board of Directors."

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