Talk:Free and Open Source Software

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IMO, this isn't a stub; it doesn't warrant expansion.

I agree, it should a subsection of Open Source

iff it was needed[edit]

do you really think that people need to know how to share? hah.

Origins of Abbreviation[edit]

"The acronym FOSS or F/OSS was first used by Terry Bollinger in a 2003 MITRE report that documented widespread use of, and reliance on, free software and open source software in the United States Department of Defense. It was developed independently of the similar acronym FLOSS, but with the same intent of avoiding naming disputes." is extremely dubious. Note this Usenet message from the year before. -- Karnesky 00:38, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

versus NOT Free Open Source and Free Closed Source[edit]

This article should be expanded to at least differentiate from NOT Free Open Source Software and Free Closed Source Software.

No, this confusing term has snagged you. In "FOSS", the "F" is a modifier of "software", not of "OSS". "FOSS" is a synonym of free software, and a synonym of open source software. It exists as a compromise just to prevent advocates of either particular term from shunning a project. Unfortunately, it is confusing, as you've noticed. Gronky 12:55, 5 June 2006 (UTC)


Proposal: Make FOSS just a pointer to an All-Terminolgy page. Reactions?[edit]

Gronky's implicit idea of merging this FOSS page with a general history of terminology does not seem like a bad idea to me.

I created this page, as best I recall, so... would there be any major objections from anyone about me obliterating it as a separate work and replacing it with a pointer to a more generic discussion of alternative names that would include the information here?

(I'm sure there are fancy squiggly brace thingies for proposings such radical actions, but alas, I am very much a newbie to squiggle-talk, so please bear with me... 8^)

Karnesky, you seem to be watching the page closely. What say you, yay or nay? Others? To me is seems a pretty reasonable approach to giving anyone interested the quick scoop on The Terminology Wars.

And also: someone (Karnesky?) with good archives access: Does anyone have an example of F/LOSS from Dec 2001 or earlier? This is more genuine curiousity than concern about who did what when. I try to be pretty precise about such stuff. (Another example: Eric Raymond's role in the phrase "open source". Eric certainly did very well in popularizing the phrase, but he didn't actually come up with it, as discussed in (I think) the history sidebar in this formerly-free-but-now-for-sale (argh!) intro to the 1999 special issue of IEEE Software on Linux (Well, actually, I think that's where it was... ah, frail memory!... uh, that and not being able to look up my own words easily on the web, argh^2!) Terry Bollinger 05:06, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Terry, that idea makes complete sense - which I why I started working on it a few months ago: Alternative terms for free software Gronky 07:41, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Excellent! This would seem to me to be the first and most important vote for the idea, since: (a) Gronky created the page that would receive the information from FOSS, and (b) I gather that he remains one of most conspicuous supporters and maintainers of that page.

I did have some initial trepidation about using a page labeled "Alternative terms for free software" as the focal point for all terms in the FOSS debate. However, the more I thought about it, the less problem I had. After all, to the best of my knowledge it is beyond any reasonable debate that the first well-defined phrase for describing community-owned strategies for creating software was Richard Stallman's free software. Therefore, ipso facto, undsoweiter, etc., the most accurate name for such a mother-of-all terms history would be the root phrase that was in use long before any of the others... and that argument leads directly to, well, Alternative terms for free software. QED. As in Latin's "Quod Erat Demonstrandum," not Richard Feynman's "Quantum Electrodynamics.

Comments from other contributors to this page? Anyone at all? Cheers, Terry Bollinger 02:50, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

For some reason there is both this page and Free/Libre/Open-Source Software. Shouldn't both of these be merged into Alternative terms for free software? --67.136.143.220 07:51, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and installed a redirect for Alternative terms for free software and moved the appropriate FOSS research discussion above to the talk page for Alternative terms for free software. --71.161.215.238 01:51, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

You didn't merge anything & there was no discussion of the merge. Please slap on merge tags if you see a need. We shouldn't break some of the iw links & there is some novel content in that article (but I'll agree that it will probably always be a stub & could probably be merged. --Karnesky 02:06, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

What needs to be merged? --71.161.215.238 02:15, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

First, I think that a merge to Free/Libre/Open-Source Software makes at least as much sense as Alternative terms for free software for a target for the merge.
I think that "Alternative terms for free software" is somewhat biased. Why not "Alternative terms for open source software?" Both really sound like POV forks & I think it is better to use the full acronym.
There are seven interwiki links on this page & it would be good to either flesh out this article or to repoint those links to the FLOSS article instead. --Karnesky 02:34, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what needs to be moved to Free/Libre/Open-Source Software.

Raise the POV issue of "Alternative terms for free software" at Talk:Alternative terms for free software.

I've never dealt with interwiki links, thanks for bringing it up. I tried to do the most appropriate thing with them. Most international Wikipedias were linking here when they their article was closer to Free/Libre/Open-Source Software. I've changed their interwiki links pointing here to Free/Libre/Open-Source Software instead, and made sure the interwiki link was reciprocated back to their Free/Libre/Open-Source Software article from this Wikipedia. Now there are three interwiki links remaining. Their articles appear to be direct translations of older versions of this article. I have no problem having their interwiki links redirect to "Alternative terms for free software", where I hope we'll eventually have more useful information on the origin of the term Free and Open Source Software. --71.161.215.238 03:06, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I merged what useful remains were in the article to Free/Libre/Open-Source Software, coincidentally it wasn't specific to this article anyway. I'm not sure what other objections could exist for redirectiong to Alternative terms for free software, so I installed the redirect again, since the most useful informatoin on FOSS is there. --71.161.213.173 16:27, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree: F/OSS is just a combined abbreviation for two terms[edit]

I agree that F/OSS is just a combined abbreviation for two different terms, "Free Software" and "Open Source Software," each of which already has its own entry on Wikipedia. Although the terms have this combined abbreviation, they are not synonymous. Perhaps that's all that needs to be said in the entry for F/OSS? By the way, Stallman provides a good comparison and contrast of the two terms here: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html Glenn Leavell 14:49, 15 June 2006 (UTC)