[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [libreplanet-discuss] ethical edtech edit-a-thon

From: Nathan Schneider
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] ethical edtech edit-a-thon
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 21:45:20 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.5.1

Ugh, sorry. My kid's sickness is creeping through my brain! I mis-wrote.

Free/libre = GPL compatible
Open source = GPL compatible + GPL incompatible open codebases

And I think the fact that some software in there that is GPL compatible
is not categorized as free/libre is simply a mistake in an early project.

It may be in the end that dropping "open source" altogether is the right
thing to do. We're starting with a wide net, with the goal of refining
the process as we go.

I am aware about the horrible hyperlinks. I have complained about that.
But it is inescapable on my university's email system.

Thanks for your suggestions!


On 3/12/19 4:52 PM, Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
> Nathan Schneider <nathan.schneider@Colorado.EDU> wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 12, 2019 at 11:08 AM Dmitry Alexandrov <> wrote:
>>> Erin Glass <> wrote:
>>>> I'm writing to let you know about the 'Ethical Ed Tech 
>>>> wiki
>>> ...the first thing that strikes in the eye ... is a tag cloud with distinct 
>>> categories for ‘free/libre’ [1] and ‘open source’ software [2].  What 
>>> definitions of that terms do you use, so this is required?  ...fine yet 
>>> vague categorizations tend to be faulty.
>>> Actually, the wiki in question already features ‘open source’ yet _not_ 
>>> ‘free/libre’ Atom, CommentPress, Pandoc, Omeka, GitLab, Hypothesis and 
>>> LibreOffice, with no examples of the opposite.
>> I would think of "open source" as everything that's GPL compatible plus 
>> non-free licenses.
> Er?  Sorry, it seems that my English is not good enough to grasp it.
> ‘Open source’ programs are programs that are under GNU GPL-compatible terms 
> and (union) programs that are nonfree?  That is LaTeX is not ‘open source’, 
> while Microsoft Word is?  No, that’s nonsensical.  Next.
> ‘Open source’ programs are programs that are at the same time GPL-compatible 
> and nonfree?  No, that’s empty set.
> ‘Open source’ programs are programs that available either (as an option) 
> under terms of a GPL-compatible free licence or some nonfree licence?  These 
> are free programs.  And again, why GPL-incompatible ones are excluded?  No, 
> still a fishy guess.
> Okay, I’m given up. :-)
> In any way, that would be the most peculiar definition of ‘open source’ among 
> _four_ others, I am aware about.  I couldn’t care less about purity of this 
> confusing term, but is it really worth to invent another one?
>> I agree that the distinction is tricky, and I don't love it. In fact, 
>> originally we were planning to call this "open tech for open ed" or 
>> something, and I happened to be in an email exchange at the time with 
>> Richard Stallman, who objected on the "open" language, and so I set up the 
>> open vs. free/libre distinction to avoid antagonizing anyone further.
> To set a distinction, perhaps, is not the sure way to _avoid_ antagonizing.  
> Rather, the other way round. ;-)
>> I would love any suggestions about how to handle this matter better!
> In the same way as nearly everyone do, of course.  Do not install a separate 
> category of ‘open source’ software in any sense of that phrase.  Due to its 
> overwhelming usage as a metonymy for ‘free’ in the anglophonic sphere, that 
> category will became the only one really used, while ‘free / libre’ will 
> remain neglected, thus provoking confusions about how LibreOffice, Pandoc, 
> etc are not free.  It already went that way.

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: OpenPGP digital signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]