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

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Thu Aug 7 10:06:02 UTC 2003

On Wednesday,  6 August 2003 at 16:09:17 +0930, Dan Shearer wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 06, 2003 at 03:14:15PM +1000, John Knight wrote:
>> Layman's terms, what about 'Open Software'? Only a
>> slight change, but it might desribe it better.
> Until a person reaches that point, what better word do we currently
> have than "Linux" or "Linux-style" to describe Open Source, from
> OpenBSD through to Cygwin? Greg, you started this thread -- can you
> improve on this?

Well, my argument was for a descriptive term.  "Free software" fits
that bill.  "Linux" (or "BSD", for that matter, before you accuse me
of being partisan :-) don't.

> I wonder if it is a solution that works because it seems to irritate
> all technical people about equally: the FSF dislikes it, BSD people
> dislike it, Microsoft dislikes it, fans of Solaris and other Unix
> variants dislike it, and even SCO dislike being called Linux. But
> non-technical and mildly technical people have no problem
> understanding it, and the media loves it.

That's obviously not a solution of choice.

> Who seriously thinks they have a chance of altering this worldwide
> perception?

Alone we can't, of course.  But the term "free software" used to be
mainstream, and somebody changed that perception.

My personal feeling, which has led to success on occasion, is to find
a good term and use it.  If others join in, fine.  If they don't, I'm
not too worried either.  That's why I don't use terms like "baud rate"
or "hard drive".

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