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Re: Conducting Research on FOSS communities

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Conducting Research on FOSS communities
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 03:41:29 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

Dear Thomas,

FOSS is not same as free software. 

Free Software is the original movement, so to
learn more about it, read:

Open Source is not free software, it is quite
different movement supporting more the vendors
rather than users. Open source software need not
be necessarily free software in terms of liberty.

You may see here a list of non-free software

and many of those non-free software licenses are
issued for "open source" which is very vague term.

For th eFOSS term, I don't know who invented that
but is also misleading because the context "free
and open source" may refer to "charge" and not
liberty as intended.

GNU Emacs is written by Richard Stallman initially
as free software. 

In general free software supporters are working
together with "open source" community, both are
supporting each other in practice.

Let me answer questions from my side.

On Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 04:03:44PM -0500, Thomas Ingram wrote:
> On 11/12/18 1:23 PM, Drew Adams wrote:
> > "Willing to answer some questions" can depend on the
> > questions.  Maybe you can post the questions somewhere
> > and ask people to get in touch with you if they want
> > to participate?
> Yes, good point, I can provide you with the approved questions:
> Note: “community” refers to the FOSS community and the GNU Emacs community
> specifically.

GNU Emacs community is not FOSS community, it is
not the same.

The Free Software Foundation may have its members

Mailing list may have its members. Yet it is open
for everybody to write to the list without being a

There are in general no definite members lists and
nobody asks who is who, because we help each
other, but GNU Emacs lists on is
definitely not an FOSS community, yet it does not
mean anybody supporting FOSS would be excluded
from participating ever. In fact it is not looked

Please read the article:

and also note that Emacs is hosted on

> 1. Describe your role in this community.

Just an active GNU Emacs user supporting others to
use free software.

> 2. How long have you been a part of this
> community?

Since I know Emacs, since 1999.

> 3. Why are you involved in this community?

I am supporter of free software, help others solve
problems, and find solutions for myself.

> 4. What would you say are the shared goals of your community? (Why does this
> group exist? What does it do?)

It was formed by Free Software Foundation to gather and help users to
use free software, such as GNU Emacs. There are
many other mailing lists here:

> 5. What mechanisms do members use to communicate with each other? (examples:
> meetings, email, text messages, newsletters, reports, evaluation forms,
> handbook, etc)

That is email mailing list. There are also
newsletters with announcements, also sent to
mailing list. There are handbooks on GNU Emacs,
and there is IRC channel #emacs just as you can
see various support channels on GNU Emacs website.

> 6. What are the purposes of each of these
> mechanisms of communication?

To advance free software. Each member may have its
own individual purpose.

> 7. How do new members learn about the mechanisms of communication and how to
> use them?

In regards to GNU Emacs they learn it from the
website and
and from the Help menu within the software and website, YouTube videos and many other

> 8. Are there any shared texts or mechanisms for
> communication that you think are not working
> well? What do you see as the problem?

This mailing list is self-evidencing truth that it
works, if it works well or not is very subjective

> 9. What are some examples of specialized language that the group members use
> in their conversation and written communication? (examples: acronyms, slang,
> specialized terms that “outsiders” might not
> understand)

You may start with GNU -- meaning GNU is Not Unix,
the name of operating system, and GNU Emacs is
part of it. and there is
plethora of other terms.

> 10. How do you help new members learn the specialized language of the
> community?

Through the Help menu in GNU Emacs software and

Jean Louis

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