I hope you noticed that thoroughout my blog I try to use freedom software or freedomware. I wrote this page as an explanation and to avoid misnaming in the community and to strengthen the brand ‘freedom software’.
NB: I don’t hold much love for marketing or the current advertising mechanism, but I had to use the term brand.
That is because I am trying to avoid ambigous related terms such as:
- free software which can be interpreted as ‘no money’ or ‘gratis’ OR software under a free license (of course the Free Software Foundation cannot be avoided)
- FOSS – which makes people say “what is this new acronym? Eah, I don’t care, I’skip it”
- FLOSS – what is this? a string to clean people’s teeth?
- open source – it refers to the ability to write a piece of software collaboratively, but it does not reflect any ethical dimension, it’s not the same as free software.
- linux – many people in the proprietary world or even the general public tend to refer to the freedom software as just ‘linux’
This is outrageous! Reducing the whole community to just one project or one piece of software is unacceptable for me.
- Anti-microsoft – I heard people (mostly paid microsoft trolls) who claim that freedom software community actually means anti-microsoft. This is just wrong, I won’t bother explain this if you don’t know it already.’
Freedomware is short for freedom software and I like it because it’s just as short as free software, while it tells the whole concept, such as ‘free (as in freedom) software’ or ‘free (as in free speech, not as in free beer) software’. It leaves no doubt that it refers to software that provides the four freedoms of free software. While I think freedomware can be confused for ‘freeware’ when spoken, I still think it’s preferable to free software. I would like to point that when spoken one should prefer to use the longer term ‘freedom software’. Also read the free software page at Wikipedia.
Also I try to use GNU/Linux when I refer to the generic class of operating systems running Linux kernels because most of them include software from the GNU Project, such as gcc… Although many would point out that most of the software coming from the GNU Project is not used by average users nowadays, I am not calling it GNU/Linux for historical reasons or because we should pay homage to Richard Stallman, I do so because the most important contribution from that project was the GNU General Public License, the license under which the Linux kernel and most other freedom software is released.
I call it GNU/Linux because we should always preserve the spirit that brought us together and that is the spirit of the GNU Project, not Linux, nor open source. Likewise the BSD software community keeps its spirit alive by calling thier operating systems FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, PC-BSD and so on…
PS: While I host my views and terms dear, I don’t try to push them down to other people’s throats and I don’t enjoy others doing the same on my own blog.