Talk:Open-source software

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Trademarks[edit]

I've removed the mention of a trademark on "OSI Certified": according to the USPTO's database, this mark is "DEAD", having been "Abandoned" on August 23, 2002, just two years after it was registered.

Who gave OSI/FSF the right to redefine "open source"?[edit]

The phrase "open source" does not imply anything more than being able to view the source. Its meaning is ONLY the direct opposite of "closed source", which likewise does not imply anything other than NOT being able to view the source. This whole article relies solely on the OSI/FSF's double-speak redefinition and expansion of an English phrase with only one simple meaning, to include whatever the OSI/FSF unilaterally deems it should include. As such, this article is deceptive, non-neutral, and ultimately relies only on a single source (the OSI/FSF).

I think the phrase "open source" should be a disambiguation page that leads to articles named in such a way to limit them to meaningfully defined scope. For example, this particular article should be renamed something along the lines of "OSI/FSF definition of open source", and everything else in the content that is outside that scope should be deleted or moved to another appropriate article.

Badon (talk) 01:07, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree with the overall goal of reformulating this article, although I have a different view of the problem... the problem is that (at least as described in these articles) there isn't much difference between open source software and free and open source software, yet there's a significant disagreement over which term should be used. As a result, there's also disagreement over the meaning of OSS: by saying that FOSS is "both free and open" we define "open" to mean simply open, i.e. not connoting freedom. But OSS as defined by others (OSI) does incorporate notions of free software. Without agreement on the meaning of OSS, it's hard to have an article about it.
You can see that tension in this article. It opens by saying OSS "is computer software with its source code made available and licensed with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software at no cost to anyone and for any purpose", but later tries to contrast this with FOSS. The contrast is fairly weak and focuses on emphasis.
How does Wikipedia typically resolve ontological/usage disputes? I think it splits articles and/or "acknowledges the disagreement." In this case, since FOSS clearly defines itself as the combination of free software and open source software, it's probably most reasonable to refocus this article on just OSS as a methodology. In particular, I'd get rid of the "definitions" and "Comparisons -> free software" sections... that could either become a new article, or merged into Open_source_definition, or, since the distinction is rooted in historical events, moved into History of free and open-source software. The remainder should be refocused on the methodology and its impact on software development.
It's not ideal since not everybody favors the FOSS terminology, but it's semantically more helpful to have a distinction between "free" and "open", and will help focus the articles. And I think Wikipedia does tend to favor semantic distinction in cases like this. Proxyma (talk) 04:03, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
The article absolutely has to discuss and contrast the various definitions, and compare to what Stallman calls Free Software, which is probably a subset of open-source software, if I understand his point. I think it attempts to do this already, but it could use work. Probably not a huge overhaul though. Nor division into multiple articles if sections will do. Dicklyon (talk) 05:46, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Describing FOSS as a subset of OSS would be fine with me. The problem is just that there are two ways of viewing OSS vs FOSS. You can either view it as "set/subset" (FOSS is ontologically a subset of OSS), or as an "either-or" choice (you either take the OSS pragmatist stance or the FOSS activist stance). I think it's difficult to support both approaches in the current structure, but certainly more modest improvements are also possible. Proxyma (talk) 06:34, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Per WP:CONCEPTDAB, we should certainly not make Open source software into a disambiguation page. However, I very much agree that the OSI definition should not be taken as the only one, and that we should compare/contrast different definitions of "open-source" and talk about how they relate to and differ from the concept of free software. In my opinion, open source software should mostly be focused specifically on contrasting open vs. closed source software, and talk about open-source software development practices, the benefits (security, etc.) of open-source, and other such things that are specifically related to the effects of the source code being visible to developers. I think that free software, on the other hand, should focus mostly on free licensing, how patents affect innovation, efforts by monopolistic software companies to sabotage the free software movement (e.g. UEFI) etc. I believe that Free and open source software should simply redirect to free software (which is by definition both free and open source), or if people are strongly opposed to that, it should only be a very brief (i.e. a paragraph or two) disambiguation/summary type page that simply serves to point people to free software and open-source software (and maybe a few other articles like Linux, GNU, etc. -- Mesoderm (talk) 07:15, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Historical support for OSI/FSF definition of "open source".[edit]

I'm a little surprised by some of the comments here. While it is true that there is a terminological dispute (among some) about whether to call libre software "free software" or "open source software", the creation of the term "open source software" as a synonym for free software was done explicitly by the Open Source Initiative at its founding in 1998, and there is widespread acceptance that the term "open source software" refers to the same style of licensing as "free software" does. The FAQ entry (http://opensource.org/faq#free-software) on this at the OSI gives more historical background.

Of course, obviously language is just an agreement among humans about which symbols to use for which meanings, so there is no such thing as a given word definitely having a given meaning. We can only take the approach of dictionary makers, and count who is using what words how, and how often. By that test, "open source" is much more used in the "libre" sense than in the "merely visible source" sense. One sign of this consensus, for example, is that many governments officially define "open source", in their software procurement guidelines, with the libre meaning. (And for what it's worth, I'm not aware of any example of a government defining in the "merely visible" sense, though that doesn't mean it hasn't happened somewhere.) So please, let's have this English-language Wikipedia use the English term-of-art "open source" in the sense that the majority of English speakers are already using it.

(Note that there was and still is an earlier definition of the term "open source", among national intelligence researchers, referring to open sources -- that is, openly published sources of information, such as newspapers and government reports, as opposed to clandestine or secret sources. Since this usage does not conflict with the term's use in software distribution, the two meanings have co-existed happily, just like many other homographs, of which English has plenty.)

--Karl Fogel 01:56, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Spelling of Open Source[edit]

On OSI website it is Open Source (name caps, no hython).

DFSG[edit]

In the definition it suggests/states that the DFSG uses the turm open source. It does not.

Definition in introduction[edit]

It says “Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available and …” — this is wrong. The OSI say “Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria: …”