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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Please don't refer to Emacs as "open source"
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:26:18 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

> 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!

RMS is not "most of our community", and most particularly not that part
of our community with bad labelling habits.

> 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.

Appreciating the benefits of freedom is not a substitute for
appreciating freedom, it is a _reason_ for appreciating freedom.  The
benefits are tangible, freedom isn't.

The side effects of a philosophy are no substitute for the philosophy.

The usual mantra for Open Source is "I like Open Source because it leads
to software with fewer bugs/more features."  If the metric is software
with fewer bugs, then it would be logical to use proprietary software as
long as it has fewer bugs/more features.  One can take a look at
involved developers and available manhours and other resources on a
timeline and decide "given the available information, the free version
of this software will not have fewer bugs/more features in the next ten
years.  So I won't use it or contribute to it."

That's a valid stance, but not really worth labelling as a philosophy,
because it is reactive, not proactive.  Adopting it does not change

David Kastrup

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