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Little things that matter in language design
Funny. "Open source" was set up for the exact purpose of throwing away the idea of having a philosophy.
Posted Jan 25, 2010 22:41 UTC (Mon) by dowdle (subscriber, #659)
Sure. There was a move away from the more dogmatic ideals most commonly associated with Richard Matthew Stallman towards a more pragmatic set of ideals most commonly associated with Linus Benedict Torvalds... but that doesn't mean that there are no ideals associated with "open source".
This should come as no surprise given the promotional videos that Red Hat has been cranking out year after year.
here's the link
Posted Jan 25, 2010 23:33 UTC (Mon) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
I was stating fact:
''The conferees decided it was time to dump the moralizing and confrontational attitude that had been associated with "free software" in the past and sell the idea strictly on the same pragmatic, business-case grounds that had motivated Netscape. They brainstormed about tactics and a new label. "Open source", contributed by Chris Peterson, was the best thing they came up with.''
Reading OSI's history (or just searching the page for "ambig", "price", and "cost" - no hits), I don't see anything to support your suggestion.
Posted Jan 26, 2010 1:26 UTC (Tue) by butlerm (subscriber, #13312)
"Open Source" is based on the philosophy that royalty free, open, modifiable,
and redistributable source code is better for all concerned - as in the world
will be a better place to one degree or another if we avoid the most
pernicious forms of proprietary software and vendor lock-in, to the degree
and at the rate such a transition is economically and pragmatically feasible.
Posted Jan 26, 2010 1:32 UTC (Tue) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
I disagree. That's (presumably) your philosophy, and mine, and the philosophy shared by many people include those who talk about "open source", but we didn't get this idea from OSI or the OSD. As I mention in my comment below, these came from the free software movement and the hacker community. This philosophy *survived* open source, rather than coming from it.
Posted Jan 26, 2010 3:01 UTC (Tue) by dowdle (subscriber, #659)
They might differ on the why, but the what is very similar. I happen to think free software is enhanced when combined with the ideals of open source and vice versa. Not only can it potentially be morally good, it can also be a superior development model. I'm glad that sharing isn't only good to do, but also beneficial for business. :)
Posted Jan 26, 2010 23:15 UTC (Tue) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
Just because "open source" as defined by the OSI is not equal to the definition of "free software" as defined by the FSF
Posted Jan 26, 2010 23:13 UTC (Tue) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
Posted Jan 27, 2010 0:21 UTC (Wed) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
A) completely wrong, and the truth is that "open source" really was coined mainly to fix the "no cost" ambiguity? or
B) generally right that distancing themselves from Richard's ideals was a bigger priority than fixing the cost ambiguity, but I've made the slightest historical error or incompleteness which can be used to justify calling me wrong :-)
OSI's history page strongly suggests B. There history page should be either accurate, or a reflection of how *they* see the important points of the meeting & aftermath. (Bruce, it's obvious that *your* goal wasn't to push RMS under the carpet.)
Posted Jan 27, 2010 1:02 UTC (Wed) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
The next day the whole thing was introduced to me as marketing Free Software to business. The fact that Eric later engaged in some RMS deprecation was unfortunate and of course never something I wanted or approved of. It should be viewed as Eric's activity, not that of the Open Source initiative.
There is some other statement of history that I dispute on that site. For example, the O'Reilly conference which they seem to view as important in acceptance of Open Source actually came a while after Open Source was announced, and IMO really wasn't important.
And you know full well that the OSD is the Debian Free Software Guidelines with a new title, and even RMS approved of it at the time, so why the heck are you dumping on it?
Posted Jan 27, 2010 2:23 UTC (Wed) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
Thanks for the info about the sequence of events.
OSI used Debian's criteria, which is great, but cut off the philosophy by which Debian rejects (or at least scorns) software that fails the criteria. My negativity is about this de-coupling. People are simply told how to categorise software. Luckily, values of the free software movement and values of the hacker community have survived and exist even in projects which exclusively use "open source" terminology, but this survival seems to have nothing to do with OSI.
So, as I was reading OSI's Annotated OSD (quoted below), looking for philosophy, I though it funny that when I found a clause which could be read as promoting social values, it's immediately followed by a note giving only an efficiency rationale for having this criteria - as if to avoid some horrible confusion that equal access might be a good thing in and of itself.
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
Rationale: In order to get the maximum benefit from the process, the maximum diversity of persons and groups should be equally eligible to contribute to open sources. Therefore we forbid any open-source license from locking anybody out of the process.
Posted Jan 26, 2010 1:28 UTC (Tue) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
Of course. There were the free software movement's ideals, and there were the hacker community's customs and culture. OSI's attempts to cast off these ideals did not completely succeed, so there are still ideals associated with "open source".
I think one of the funniest displays of the lack of ideals can be seen in the annotated version of the Open Source Definition where it says the "no discrimination" clause is justified because maximising contributors leads to more efficient development! So, if banning Irish people would not harm development, it would be fine!
With such rubbish conclusions, it's no wonder that even the people who adopted the term hung onto (a version of) the ideals of the free software movement and the hacker community.
Posted Jan 26, 2010 6:30 UTC (Tue) by esr (guest, #14345)
>OSI's attempts to cast off these ideals
The implied claim is utter rubbish.
The OSI was founded as a continuation of hacker traditions that both include and predate the FSF. About all I have to say to people who consider the FSF the be-all-and-end-all of hacker tradition is that their ignorance is showing. Some remedial study of (at least) the early histories of Unix and the IETF is indicated. A conversation with one of today's BSD hackers might be a good idea, too.
Posted Jan 26, 2010 8:17 UTC (Tue) by chromatic (guest, #26207)
Posted Jan 26, 2010 12:06 UTC (Tue) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
Of course. I specifically credited the hacker community each time. The free software movement isn't the only source of tradition, but it deserves special mention because it is the subgroup of hackers that did the most to organise, document, and propagate their culture.
In contrast, OSI was a checkpoint where ideals, culture, and tradition were told to take a backseat and let business interests take the steering wheel.
Businesses loved that idea and we got a load of new best friends (y'know, the sort that don't blink while stabing us in the back, filing amicus briefs telling the Supreme Court that open source thrives *because of* software patents).
(I should note that, among companies, Red Hat is one of our community's best allies. They've done great lobbying in the EU, and filed great briefs against software patents in the USA, India, and the EU. ...and they were with us long before the "open source" idea.)
Posted Jan 26, 2010 23:17 UTC (Tue) by BrucePerens (guest, #2510)
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