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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Amusing Free Software Story

From: Michael Siepmann
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Amusing Free Software Story
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:54:01 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.5.0

On 03/17/2015 01:13 PM, Patrick Anderson wrote:
>> It boggles my mind that
>> these simple and so important ideas about software and freedom, which are so
>> obvious to me, are so far out of the reach of so many people.
> It boggles my mind that we refuse to acknowledge most people *already*
> understand the term "Free Software" to mean "Freeware".
> Why are we so damn stubborn about such an unimportant detail that
> almost instantaneously causes nearly universal confusion?
> Why not coin a new term to overcome that simple hurdle?
> I propose the term "Freedom Software".  It is more descriptive
> and will likely even create a certain amount of curiosity.
> As it is, we are trying to call a rose a cabbage and wondering
> why nobody gets it...
> Sincerely,
> Patrick Anderson
> Economic Systems Engineer

This is the same phenomenon as software developers creating user
interfaces that make perfect sense to them, but confuse and frustrate
non-geek users.  The solution is also the same:  User-centered design,
both as a methodology and as a state of mind.  The essential first step
sounds easy but is really very challenging: Acknowledging how little we
actually know about how other people experience and understand the world
we share with them.  (An article I wrote on this is at

Michael Siepmann, Ph.D.
The Tech Design Psychologistâ„¢
Make your technology more supportiveâ„¢
303-835-0501   OpenPGP: 6D65A4F7

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