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[Pan-users] [OT] Linux vs GNU/Linux vs Freedomware Linux Was: Gmime

From: Duncan
Subject: [Pan-users] [OT] Linux vs GNU/Linux vs Freedomware Linux Was: Gmime
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 15:03:20 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: pan 0.108 (Mama's Little Joyboy Loves Lobsters, Lobsters)

Yavor Doganov <address@hidden> posted
address@hidden, excerpted below, on  Wed, 16
Aug 2006 13:38:00 +0300:

> On Tue, 15 Aug 2006 14:47:07 +0000, Duncan wrote:
>>> You certainly mean GNU/Linux here, not the Linux kernel.  Besides this
>>> your explanation is good, thanks.
>> But simply "Linux" in the common parlance.  
> That "common parlance" is harmful for the Free Software Movement and
> we're willing to change it.

> Saying only "Linux" gives credit only to the Linux developers, which
> is not fair.  What's more important is that people think that this is
> a system that was developed for students' amusement; they can hardly
> figure out the software freedom issues that we always underline.

>> I agree with Stallman in most cases, even giving him my sig-quote,
>> but this isn't one of them.
> I think that you would agree with

Hmm...  Maybe "Freedomware Linux"  (or "Linux freedomware" in a slightly
different context) is what I'm looking for.

Note that I regularly (and to some controversy, deliberate in the sense
that I'm deliberately provoking thought on the subject, and believe that
yes, it /does/ come down to that) use the term freedomware and its
corresponding slaveryware.  The "freedomware" thing is the English version
of "libreware", emphasizing "free as in freedom", with the extension being
that there's a /very/ /real/ cost, as is unfortunately often the case with
freedom.  Unfortunately, the "Free" in "Free Software" is simply ambiguous
in the English language, where "freedom" lacks that ambiguity. 

The controversy, however, is generally with the "slaveryware" parallel. 
Many simply aren't prepared to accept that they are making a choice to
continue in bondage, and thus strongly object to that implication, but IMO
it's simply stating the obvious, particularly once one accepts the idea of
the less contentious "freedomware".  I've had some demand that I stop
using the term, saying it makes light of what slaves have gone thru over
the years.  However, upon closer examination, it tends to become quickly
apparent that the folks making this argument (even in the FLOSS community,
it might be expected in the proprietary/slaveryware community) tend toward
the "open source" philosophy -- they use "source available software"
simply because it's convenient, and may in fact use "source unavailable or
distribution restricted software" where it is convenient to do so as well.
 Thus, they have trouble comprehending my belief that it's a freedom worth
procuring/maintaining even at some cost, and that, as with physical
slavery, while I can't with 100% certainty say I'd give my life in a fight
to end it, I /can/ say with 100% certainty that ethically/morally, I
believe I /should/ be willing to give it, if it indeed came down to that.
In point of fact, until the SCO thing and the software-patent defeat in
Europe (with another battle forming), it did look quite possible that
Freedom Software advocates might ultimately be imprisoned, and I did come
to terms with the possibility of having to surrender physical freedom due
to a refusal to surrender intellectual/moral freedom, in regard to
software. While I'm sure the OSS camp is uncomfortable with that
"radicalism", I've yet to see anyone come up with a counterpoint to it. 
Yet for me it's not just a debating tactic, but what I truly believe and
the cost I am willing to pay, and thus, why I deliberately choose to
continue using the highly contrasting terms "freedomware" and "slaveryware".

It's certainly disappointing to both myself and Stallman, and I'd suppose
anyone else taking the libreware viewpoint (even in this context, I have
difficulty saying "Free Software" due to the ambiguity), that Linus seems
to be more of the "open source" "convenience" view, but that doesn't mean
I share Stallman's belief that it should be "GNU/Linux".  I suppose that
point could be made if it were "FSF/Linux" or some such, but GNU/Linux,
where the "GNU" part simply stands for "GNU's Not Unix", doesn't make the
point about freedom any more effectively.  IMO, the "freedomware" point is
entirely separate from the (IMO far less important) branding (or
credit) point that GNU/Linux makes.

That said, you and the above link make a very good point, that simply
"Linux" doesn't convey the "freedom" side of the argument at all.  I
believe from this point on, you will find in my writing rather fewer
references to simply "Linux", and rather more references to "Linux
freedomware", or the like, to match the slaveryware/freedomware
distinction I'm already making.  Thanks for making the point, even if the
one I chose to take wasn't quite the one you made.  =8^)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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