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Re: Please don't refer to Emacs as "open source"

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Please don't refer to Emacs as "open source"
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 01:16:16 +0900

Richard Stallman writes:
 >     The problem you face, of course, is that "the users" are already free
 >     to choose to use free software for almost all purposes, but they
 >     stubbornly refuse to do so.
 > There is a reason for this: most of our community labels itself "open
 > source".

That's the first time I've heard you refer to open source as "our
community".  That is a welcome change!

 > If it contributes to free programs, it does so while ignoring or
 > even opposing the idea that users should to demand freedom.

This is not true of those who label themselves "open source" advocates
who I personally mingle with.  For them, "open source" is simply "free
software" that does not require advocacy of software freedom as the
overriding goal, but rather admits many goals (including software
freedom as such) in various mixtures of importance.  But people who
deprecate software freedom would definitely be uncomfortable with most
of them.

 > This is why we need to work and push so that the free software
 > movement does not get hidden behind "open source."

I acknowledge that, in this thread as well.  But there's a difference
between "pushing" and "being pushy".

 >       Even your bete noir Eric Raymond in private
 >     espouses the spread of software freedom as such as the main goal
 >     motivating his behavior 
 > That is not what he told me.

What did he tell you?  Perhaps that his goal is the spread of free

 > In any case, his public statements disparage the idea of software
 > freedom, and that's where the effects come from.  There are
 > thousands of people in our community that publicly denigrate the
 > goal of freedom.  All that adds up to the obstacle we need to
 > surmount in order to teach users to want freedom.

That would be very nice, but I think it's unrealistic to suppose that
"opinion leaders" are moving all that opinion.  There are objective
factors that are more important.  IMO, the biggest obstacle is that
(as far as most people are concerned) you've already won.  That is,
with the success of GNU/Linux, there is a viable option for those who
want to Just Say No.  This is a real freedom, although it is not the
software freedom the movement is aimed at.  And for most people, it's

You can say (more politely, of course), "People!  Wake up!  You're
missing the point!"  But it's not easy to rebut the response, "no,
you're missing our point -- we've got what we need!"

 > They will inevitably be biased, because the bias comes in with the
 > choice of questions.  It was reported here that they are only about
 > practical matters and totally ignore the ethical level.
 > If all you know about is a hammer, your survey will only count nails.

Sure.  But that's not bias in the scientific sense, that's focus.
Research done on the ethics would be a different project, and (from
the researcher's and granting agency's point of view) needs its own

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