Talk:Free and open-source software

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Former good article nomineeFree and open-source software was a Engineering and technology good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
October 25, 2007Articles for deletionKept
May 26, 2011Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Naga Sravani Dasari, Nehanalla9, Lunchmeat30.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 21:49, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Move to FLOSS[edit]

It would be better to move this page to FLOSS instead of being under the FOSS name. FLOSS is more neutral as it clearly marks the differences between free, open source and price. Filiprino (talk) 12:37, 17 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I believe that FOSS is the WP:COMMONNAME here. While I've nothing fundamentally against Richard Stallman (and even exchanged emails with him a very long time ago, providing patches for some bugs in Emacs and other GNU things, before GNU was so widely known), I see FLOSS as being more something which is pushing his philosophical and political agenda. There are certainly things to be admired about what RMS & FSF have achieved, and their enduring commitment to software freedom, but many of their positions are loaded with POV to varying extents. FLOSS and FOSS asserts that FLOSS is more neutral, but it is from a non-neutral source which clearly states that neutrality is not one of their goals in the same article. I see FLOSS as marginally less neutral because of that, although that does not really matter here. The key thing is which is the more common or widespread usage, which I believe is FOSS. Can you supply evidence that FLOSS is more commonly or widely used than FOSS in neutral (i.e. not FSF or similar) sources? Murph9000 (talk) 20:39, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I think FLOSS is a better title for this page than FOSS because:
1) It actually includes FOSS
2) It eliminates any ambiguity. I don't think removing ambiguity means helping one side! If anything, it would even things out
Actually, I think libre removes ambiguity for both sides, because, sadly, the open source term has been co-opted and is used for a lot of things that have nothing to do with software (like Open-source intelligence) as well as its opposite, proprietary software itself (see openwashing)! So libre, exactly for the reason that it's a very specific term lifted from French/Spanish uncommon in any other field than tech, helps disambiguate both open source and free software, because when you see it, it's clear and unmistakable that we are talking about FSF and OSI compliance, which is the original intent of FOSS.
I would add that FLOSS is more in line with the original *NIX geek culture than FOSS. While both are valid English words, I would argue foss is a very uncommon English word while floss is a very common English word. It also evokes an image which makes it funny (dental floss), like many other *NIX acronyms (like GNU itself or WINE or LAME).
Lastly, it's very hard to measure which acronym is more used exactly for the reason that "floss" is a common word. You can't really use Google Trends because "foss" only refers to FOSS but "floss" refers to both FOSS and dental floss. But, if you can take the word of a random anonymous Wikipedia user, I think that even if I believe FOSS to be the more widespread term, lately I've been seeing a more widespread usage of FLOSS than before and there are both peer-reviewed scientific articles and public administrations using FLOSS, so it is not by any means an obscure term.
For these reasons, I agree that this page should be FLOSS instead of FOSS. (talk) 14:00, 10 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

FLOSS vs. FOSS 2000-2019 on Google ngram viewer

not NPOV/original research[edit]

these statements are not NPOV and/or constitute original research:

By defying ownership regulations in the construction and use of information − a key area of contemporary growth − the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) movement counters neoliberalism and privatization in general.[97]

By realizing the historical potential of an "economy of abundance" for the new digital world FOSS may lay down a plan for political resistance or show the way towards a potential transformation of capitalism.[97]

seems fine to attribute statements like this to third parties, but as written they look like statements of fact, when they are opinions/analysis that emerge from the page authors. They should either be referred to via quotations from third parties, or removed. there are other statements of this sort on this page that have similar problems. Mr H3vnu83987 (talk) 13:22, 17 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]

how is "Infringes on user's civil liberties and human rights" a drawback of FOSS to proprietary software?[edit]

this may be a problem with my understanding of english language, which is not my mother tongue. all the paragraphs in "drawback to proprietary software" describe disadvantages of FOSS compared to proprietary software.

Security and user-support, Hardware and software compatibility, Bugs and missing features, Less guarantees of development, Missing applications, Technical skills and user-friendliness all list things where FOSS is at a disadvantage.

as a result, it looks like the phrase "Infringes on user's civil liberties and human rights" is also talking about a disadvantage of FOSS compared to proprietary software, as in "FOSS would infringe on users rights" whereas proprietary software would not. a careful reading of that paragraph makes clear that this is not the case. the paragraph is instead talking about a disadvantage of proprietary software, and an advantage of FOSS.

given that all other paragraphs in this section are about FOSS disadvantages, i feel that this paragraph about human rights is better placed in the section above as an advantage of FOSS.

i found this issue because i had asked my team to research FOSS so they could learn about it, and when i asked them "what are the disadvantages of FOSS" they came back with the answer that FOSS infringes on human rights. (talk) 06:51, 3 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I've removed the contradictory section. The editor who put it in probably misinterpreted the "Drawbacks to proprietary software" section as "Drawbacks of proprietary software". In any case, the content is already covered at Free and open-source software § Personal control, customizability and freedom. Thanks for bringing up this issue! — Newslinger talk 16:06, 4 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Major contradiction between GPL'd software being linked here as FOSS and the opening sentence[edit]

"Free and open-source software (FOSS) is software that is both free software and open-source software[a] where anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way" -- The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) does not freely allow one to use the software in any way, as it prohibits not only using it in proprietary software, but prohibits any changes or additions you make from being used in proprietary software. So it even prohibits your changes from "being used in any way." There are GNU GPL'd pieces of software all over Wikipedia that are linked to this article in their opening sentence. They should either all be removed as being "free and open source," or this article should be modified to state that FOSS can cover both "free in any way," and, "not free in every way" licenses. 2601:18B:8200:3AE:5170:1738:CC62:F931 (talk) 10:35, 31 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]

FOSS has a definition. If the software that links to this page is saying they are FOSS and they are not, then the edits need to go into those articles, not this one. GimliDotNet (talk) 12:36, 31 December 2021 (UTC)[reply]
But Wikipedia's definition is sourced back to the GNU Project, which does not actually support that "in any way" includes using it in proprietary software. The site referenced doesn't even use the words "in any way" (though they do use "for any purpose") but as this use is meta (it is not a use of the output of the program but instead wraps the software up in a conceptual package and uses that) this purpose isn't necessarily being included by the reference source. So it isn't necessarily defined by the absolutes of |in any way| or |for any purpose|; and so, for example, banning its use in murder may not conflict with it being "free." The wording of the definition as it stands right now reads as an absolute, though; so we have, "If it isn't permissible to use it in murder it is not Free and Open Source Software." So perhaps it needs to be more accurately defined to include what freedoms can be disallowed while still being considered, "Free." Basically, the underlying issue is the philosophical one of: "An absolute 'free' is paradoxical, for it must contain the freedom to contradict itself." 2601:18B:8200:3AE:7936:B754:B35A:FB0F (talk) 02:30, 5 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Source 79 " Vaughan-Nichols 2009." is invalid[edit]

In the table under "Adoption by governments" it cites "In February 2009, the United States White House moved its website to Linux servers using Drupal for content management" to #79 links here:

This page no longer exists & I'm not able to find a similar article on the pcworld website. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 29 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It's available on the Internet Archive TEDickey (talk) 00:35, 29 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Truth Social[edit]

Why at the opening.zi don't see A zTruth Social Logo. I sign in and it took me t BBC why? I was Baffled. We want s Dite that reflects Class Like our President and his wife. This site.nreds to do this up. (talk) 12:29, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia Ambassador Program course assignment[edit]

This article is the subject of an educational assignment at University of Toronto supported by WikiProject Wikipedia and the Wikipedia Ambassador Program during the 2011 Q3 term. Further details are available on the course page.

The above message was substituted from {{WAP assignment}} by PrimeBOT (talk) on 16:17, 2 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Discourse makers that emphasizes the importance of the statement given by the speaker (talk) 14:22, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

As noted, the definitions of free and open-access software are so similar that very little software would count as free but not open-access or vice versa. Having three articles results in duplication with no benefit for readers. Philosophical differences between free and open-source are appropriately covered in other articles. (t · c) buidhe 16:44, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Oppose. This has already been discussed not just once, but twice, both of which garnered strong opposition. Free software and open source software are by definition two distinct concepts. Rehashing an old debate in this case is not constructive. For more reasons why this should not go through, please read the previous discussion. Sink Cat (talk) 02:06, 18 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
These discussions are from 2008. When we have many sources saying that the software classified as open source is essentially the same set of software as that which is classified as free, there is no reason to retain three separate articles about the same topic. While free software = open source software, the free software movement is justifiably a separate topic from open-source movement. (t · c) buidhe 02:32, 18 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Oppose. Free software is different from open source software. Agreeing with Sink Cat here. JetpackJackson (talk) 02:31, 18 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]