DRAFT FAQ: Free vs. Open

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Jan 13 21:47:19 UTC 2008

Quoting james cook (azerthoth at gmail.com):

> The topic at hand, the FAQ entry, is fairly straight forward. One
> needs only answer a question in a yes or no fashion without battling
> semantic obsfucation. Leave that to people running for a political
> office.
> Does the FAQ entry capture succinctly in laymans terms the fundamental
> differences without judging either sides viewpoint?
> Yes
> That I realize wont stop the semantic wrangling....

Semantics is the study of meaning.  Meaning matters -- and is conveyed
through what is implied alongside what is explicit.

(I'm always a bit disappointed when I see people condemning semantics, but
usually not surprised.)

If one's FAQ talks about the bizarre practice inveighing against the
ethics of other people's deployment of proprietary software, that
becomes, by implication, part of what one is about.  If it throws around
haplessly opaque and obscure expressions like "FOSS", especially when
clearer alternatives exist, then opacity and obscurity becomes, by
implication, part of what one is about.

Exactly that sort of self-defeating marketing notoriously prevailed in
this space before OSI's founding.  OSI was created intended to fix that
-- and now is being urged to re-adopt those failures in the name of
"inclusion".  The topic at hand, whether that particular "inclusion" is
a good idea, is straight forward.


That, I realise, won't stop the advocacy of an obviously bad idea.

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