Talk:The Free Software Definition

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2002 comment: this page is smelly[edit]

This page is smelly. First, it contains verbatim text, which is not something for Wikipedia. Second, the text does not allow editing (see notice at the bottom), so it's really not something for Wikipedia. Putting simply a link to the text here is useless; it would be more useful to have links at Free Software or Free Software Foundation. Finally, this article is only linked from a Talk: page.

My proposal for cleaning up: redirect the article to Free Software, put a link there to the definition website; same for Free Sofware Foundation.

Any other suggestions? Jeronimo 00:09 Aug 16, 2002 (PDT)

I would tend to agree, unless there's something of substance to say about the definition that wouldn't just be a paragraph (or less) in one of the above articles. The only link to it is from Talk:Copyright, where its raison d'être appears to be as part of a rhetorical question by the Cunctator. --Brion
At least make it match Open Source Definition, which currently does contain the verbatim text. Ojw (talk) 09:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Date of first publication[edit]

The first publication was in issue #6 of the Gnus bulletin, which http://www.gnu.org/bulletins/ shows was the January 1989 edition. Gronky 12:16, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

roosevelt's four freedoms?[edit]

Some people say that FSF's "four freedoms" is a play on words referencing the Four Freedoms speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt (former USA president). I don't see the similarity, beyond the superficial similarities of there being four points, and the topic being freedom, so I don't accept the claim. Also, the only reference I can find is by a free software developer who wrote a FAQ see Q34. But I wanted to note it here in case someone else also knows of better reference to say if FSF's 4Fs are at all a reference to FdR's 4Fs. Gronky 10:32, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Timeline: FSD and DFSG[edit]

A recent edit [1] to Debian Free Software Guidelines claims that the DFSG was on the Internet before The Free Software Definition.

That might be true. It would be interesting to construct the timeline.

The DFSG was published by email on July 1997. http://lists.debian.org/debian-announce/debian-announce-1997/msg00017.html

FSF's definition has been published in their printed bulleting since 1986. http://www.gnu.org/bulletins/bull1.txt Was this published on other media - by email? on newsgroups? on bulletin boards?

The current URL for The Free Software Defintion is [http:/www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html ]http:/www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html. The oldest copy that archive.org has of this URL is from the 6th of January 1998. http://web.archive.org/web/19980126185518/http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html Was that the first time that FSF put the definition on the Internet?

All pointers and help appreciated. Gronky 13:24, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I've just noticed that the 1998 archive.org copy http://web.archive.org/web/19980126185518/http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html and the modern copy of The Free Software Definition http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html both say "Copyright 1996". That doesn't prove anything, but it suggests that maybe 1996 was the first online publication by FSF. Time to keep digging... --Gronky 13:28, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Another hint: before being www.gnu.org, the GNU project's website was gnu.ai.mit.edu. archive.org has pages from that domain dating back to the 19th of December 1996, but their content can't be displayed because of a robots.txt exclusion rule. http://web.archive.org/web/*/gnu.ai.mit.edu/* This at least tells us that GNU had a website in 1996. --Gronky 16:45, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
RMS's published essays claim that the essay was written in 1996, and while I don't have a reference yet, there's little doubt that the four freedoms themselves preceeded the DFSG even if they were not yet ensconced in the FSD Dondelelcaro —Preceding comment was added at 23:42, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Also check out prep.ai.mit.edu, which was an FSF homeport for a while long ago. RossPatterson 21:24, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

ftp://prep.ai.mit.edu was initially FTP only from '82 or '83, when the GNU Project started using it, as it's distribution site, before the FSF was founded. Sometime in the late '90s, access to it was also provided via the websites. Lentower 02:16, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

The June 1994 edition of Gnu's Bulletin (http://www.cs.utah.edu/dept/old/texinfo/gnu-bull-jun-94.html) ends with the note "Version: June 1994 ASCII to USENET" and contains the "The word "free" in our name refers to freedom, not price. ..." text. I can't find it on Google Groups, though. RossPatterson 00:08, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Rewrote "Free Software Movement vs Open Source Software Movement"[edit]

I feel the previous version of the "Free Software Movement vs Open Source Software Movement" section was inaccurate and misleading. I rewrote it (and changed the section title to FSD vs. OSD) with a quote from the FSF to basically say: there's actually very little practical difference between the two. It does need more commentary and expansion with time, but I think I hit the bottom line, right out of FSF's mouth. Chitu (talk) 21:35, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Fundamental philosophical differences -> philosophical differences[edit]

The differences in philosophy between Free Software and Open Source are not "fundamental". I removed that term. --ESP (talk) 04:43, 3 April 2013 (UTC)