Objective of IFSO Re: [Fsfe-ie] stuff from the past week [adelaney at cs.may.ie]

Philip Reynolds philip.reynolds at rfc-networks.ie
Wed Oct 29 16:16:11 CET 2003

Ciaran O'Riordan <ciaran at member.fsf.org> 33 lines of wisdom included:
> People can disagree with the judges (like I do re:GFDL), but the
> judges give a good default to fall back on in case of disagreements.
> Like at the last meeting, there was a multi-way disagreement over what
> we should demand from e-voting software, I argued against demanding
> fully Free Software, but after 10 minutes, we agreed that since we
> were the Free Software movement, we would by default demand fully Free
> Software.  My opinion got thrown out, and we got on with other work.
> Brilliant!
> I hope there aren't people that will not help us block software
> patents or get Free Software into schools just because we don't use
> their terminology.  The usefulness of this type of person is
> questionable anyway.  The goal isn't to make everyone happy all the
> time, it's to give computer users the freedoms they deserve.

I've been quiet on the list, but I'll voice my opinion, considering
most people who have voiced theres seem to be strongly in favour of
"Free Software" as opposed to "Open Source software". The latter is
my personal preference.

I am currently developing open source software (for both free and
non-free usage, that's money folks, not speech) and I don't accept
the argument that software can be produced and released as free
software, while still allowing the company to make money.  Depending
on the market, this can be true in many circumstances, but certainly
not in all.

At the same time, as an advocate, user and developer of free
software I am perfectly happy to see this list move towards free
software instead of open source software. My opinion is small, as
time is very very limited to me at the moment. However, I thought
you might appreciate comments from someone who is coming from the
other side of the fence, an "open source" advocate rather than a
"free software" advocate. 

I think Ciaran has raised some good points, as many problems as I
have with the GPL and FSF, their basic principles are good and
certainly better than many many other alternatives. 

Btw, I completely agree that Free software offers much better
alternatives for schools and educational insitutions in most cases.

Philip Reynolds                      | RFC Networks Ltd.
philip.reynolds at rfc-networks.ie      | +353 (0)1 8832063
http://people.rfc-networks.ie/~phil  | www.rfc-networks.ie
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