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-   -   Can you explain the difference between "Free Software (GNU)" and "Open Source"? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/can-you-explain-the-difference-between-free-software-gnu-and-open-source-297119/)

vharishankar 03-03-2005 08:35 AM

Can you explain the difference between "Free Software (GNU)" and "Open Source"?
 
Today I wrote an article on Open Source and realized that I was talking about "Free Software" (as in GNU/GPLed) rather than "Open Source" which is often mistaken for GPLed software but which can include other GPL incompatible licenses as well.

I realize that the free software foundation (GNU.org) has somewhat varying take on the Freedom issue (more freedom) than the "Open Source" movement which is somewhat lax in its definition of Open Source.

Read this: http://gnu.gnusoft.net/philosophy/fr...r-freedom.html

vharishankar 03-03-2005 09:24 AM

Free Sofware Foundation is indeed different from Open Source initiative.

For those who are not in the know: see these links:

Open Source Initiative: http://www.opensource.org/
Free Software Foundation: http://www.fsf.org/

The two are indeed different and I thought it is important that we in the Linux community know the difference between the two. There are several ideological differences which might indeed have long-run implications.

Matir 03-03-2005 09:36 AM

Agreed, though as I understand it: GNU Free implies Open Source, though not the other way around.

vharishankar 03-03-2005 09:49 AM

Yes. The GNU foundation has *very* strict norms on what constitutes Free Software. Their ideological moorings are very strong and they stress on the "Freedom" to the end user aspect.

The Open Source initiative instead stresses on the convenience and the advantages of developing very good software by releasing the source code of the software under one of the "Open Source" compliant licenses. It also stresses on the practical benefits of "Open Source" while the FSF stresses on the philosophical benefits.

It makes for an interesting read. Thought I'd share this with everybody and wondering how many of you already know of it. Having used Linux for a long time it was just today that I came across the difference.

oneandoneis2 03-03-2005 10:28 AM

Quote:

Having used Linux for a long time it was just today that I came across the difference.
You obviously haven't read nearly enough of RMS's speeches on the subject then :)

vharishankar 03-03-2005 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by oneandoneis2
You obviously haven't read nearly enough of RMS's speeches on the subject then :)
Actually I was always under the assumption that Open Source == GPL, which is not too far-fetched, but only today did I go through the FSF.org website's documents.

And no. I really did not know who Stallman was (sacrilege!! :o) until recently.


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