[Linux-aus] Open source: time for a name change?

Dan Shearer dan at shearer.org
Wed Aug 6 10:42:02 UTC 2003

On Wed, Aug 06, 2003 at 11:45:53AM +0930, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> Years ago, rms came out with a pretty obvious term, "free software".
> Despite everything, the name was misinterpreted (beer?  actions?).
> And the suits didn't like it because it smacked too much of
> counterculture.  So the term "open source" was invented, and it's
> doing quite well for itself.
> But if you can misinterpret the intentions of "free software", how
> much more can you misinterpret "open source"?  Go out in the street
> and ask passers-by what each means.  Those who have never heard of
> either will have a reasonable idea what free software is, but they
> wouldn't even associate "open source" with software until they're
> told.

The only really solid term I've seen is "Linux". It seems to be readily
recognisable as a "free software thingy" and I've used Linux-style for
describing Apache on Solaris and FreeBSD to good effect. As long as
people understand the details hardly matter.

Dan Shearer
dan at shearer.org

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