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Until I live the day 18th Friday 2007, I had two big doubts about FOSS culture. I read a lot, I play hell a lot around this massive net but I never had the chance to clear out those doubts.Maybe I was too lazy to go in search of the answer or it’s just the way it supposed to be. However there were lots of murmurs among geeks & I stumbled upon a few.

However there are no doubts anymore. RMS, the best possible character cleared “ALL” out at SLIIT auditorium. What is that ALL? For me,there were only too. “What is Open source initiative? & what is Free software foundation?” & the second one is “Why should I call it GNU/Linux”.

Out of those two there is one I worry a lot about. It’s the first one. Few moons or few dozens of moons back I came across two web sites. fsf.org & opensource.org. I just hovered on both sites & for devils sake I said “Oh this OSI thing might be the official site of FOSS community” & damn I created a banner out of it’s logo & put it on my sidebar. See the banner below & please don’t call me “You fool”. And the next best…sorry…worst thing is that I thought FSF is something I shouldn’t care much about.

Once I saw Buds Twitter saying “Registered on FSF for some free software love” I thought “Damn what the hell is this guy is doing?” & never asked him about it. This situation made me ask RMS about it & clear the doubt. So I wrote to him at the Question & Answers round of the event.

Me: Do you have any connection with Open Source Initiative?
RMS: No. I stand for Free software.
Me: Is it OK to use nano ;) (It was a joke & RMS understood me :) )
RMS: It’s a GNU software.It’s OK to use nano but I think Emacs is better than nano [everyone laughed & that’s what I wanted to.]

Hope it’s clear that OSI have no business with FOSS culture. I regret my mistake. “I’m extremely sorry dear FOSS people”.

The second thing which I do not have to worry is “Why should I call it GNU/Linux”?. I also believed that calling it just Linux is damn OK & command line warrior still believes so. However once I read an article somewhere saying “GNU is a big part of GNU/Linux so please free to mention GNU.GNU deserves it”. I’m happy that I understood it & felt free to mention GNU especially on blog posts which are globally available for reading.

RMS said that it’s crucial calling it GNU/Linux because people are forgetting freedom & running behind ease & eye candy. Just calling it GNU/Linux is the easiest possible way to lead people to think of freedom of software.

This problem has two aspects of it. If you are a geek who know the concept behind software freedom & you are alone in a room with a geek girl who also know well about software freedom or vice versa, it’s OK calling it just Linux (You guys somehow manage to make it a geeky conversation ;) ). But think some one is listening to you stealthily & he don’t know about software freedom. Now this is a problem. I hope you can understand me.

If you are blogging or talking to a crowd or just chit chat with a bunch of non geek friends You MUST call it GNU/Linux. (I don’t want to call it Gnu-Slash-Linux & waste time.I call it Gnu Linux).

So no doubts anymore.

3 Comments

  1. >>Hope it’s clear that OSI have no business with FOSS culture. I regret my mistake. “I’m extremely sorry dear FOSS people”.

    Seems still you got a bit of confusion over FSF and OSI ;) Actually FSF doesn’t support the concept of Open Source software..hence it doesn’t accept the FOSS community. ! It’s all about the Free Software.

    It was actually the OSI coined the term FOSS (Free and Open Source Software). To avoid the confusions over the term ‘free’ (which can be interpreted in many ways) and for the need of pitching the corporate world (It’s more a business model than a philosophy)

    However as RMS puts both Free Software and Open Source Software have a one common enemy that’s Proprietary Software. So it’s important both camps could complement each other in beating this common enemy.

    Further Reading :
    * http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html

    * http://producingoss.com/en/introduction.html#free-vs-open-source

  2. Despite what RMS says, the OSI does do good work. While the OSI may not be about Free Software, it is instrumental in making other software creators at least pay lip service to the idea of opening up the source code.

    We would all love to have Free software. but there are many companies who are scared of it. So they have Open Source.

    Now if the only choice was Free Software, then many companies which depend on the software for profit wouldn’t release it at all.

    The OSI at least helps create a middle ground that the companies can feel comfortable in.

    Should we all strive for Free Software? Yes, we should. But we should also remember that the most basic freedom, is the freedom to choose. And the OSI has given companies another option between completely Free and completely closed

  3. Well…it was my laziness. But now I’m sure I won’t look at OSI at least business ideas *eff* my head :)


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