Cees de Groot
cg at cdegroot.com
Tue Apr 30 06:05:25 UTC 2002
Lex Spoon <lex at cc.gatech.edu> said:
>OSI is being too strict in rejecting Squeak License. Worse, they are
>doing it in a dirty way. When Debian describes software licenses, it is
>very careful to distinguish general terms like "open" from specific
>terms like "compliant with Debian's Guidelines". OSI, on the other
>hand, seems to be playing a political word game, much like FSF with
>"free": they take a term and change it's meaning to something different
>than what people expect. Squeak and its website is just one case in
>point of this -- you worry that businessmen will equate "open source"
>and "OSI", but that hasn't even happened (yet?) among us technical
Well, the Swiki specificially talks about "Open Source", which most (who are
informed) would take to mean "OSD-compliant".
You seem to be thinking that "free software" as a term existed before the FSF
used it, and similarly that "open source" as a term existed before (who?)
coined it. In both cases, I think you'll find that they really came up with
these terms themselves, and they have been very careful to define what falls
under the term or not.
Again, there is no legal obligation to stick with the OSD meaning of the
term "open source". However, I think there's a moral obligation - both
the FSF and the OSI have done an awful lot of work to bring the open
source/free software movement to where it is today, and they deserve
respect; one way to show respect is to work with their definitions of
their invented terms that explain what their core business is about.
Second, there is the more utilitarian argument that to show that you are
an open source community member in good standing, you should not play
fast and loose with the terms; it is important not to allow dilution of
the term "open source" in much the same way as it is important for a
trademark holder to go after any possible act that may cause dilution
- there are many organizations out there who would like to ride the
open source wave but would also like to avoid paying their dues to the
community, and when we ('we' as a bunch of guys who are clearly on the
right side of things) start diluting the term ourselves, we cannot blame
all sort of sleazy types to do the same.
Cees de Groot http://www.cdegroot.com <cg at cdegroot.com>
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