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GNU is Not Unix

Planesdragon's Journal: "Free Software" 3

Journal by Planesdragon

I think we should be anal-back to Stallman's "GPL/toaster" insistance.

As I noted in This comment, "free software" is a horrible term. To quote myself:

Stallman's gulity of choosing a nonstandard word-type for the meaning of free he wants. "free [action]" means liberty. "free [noun]" means zero-cost.

Other choices Stallman could have used, that would be instantly recognizable:

Free Programming.
Free Hacking
Free Software-writing
Free Computing

That last one is probably the best for what Stallman calls "Free Software", but they all have the very clear advantage in that an English speaker will not presmue that they are talking about something-for-nothing, but rather a free-speach like right.

I think I'm going to start noting, every single time I see someone say "Free Software" to mean "software libre", that "Free Computing" is a better term that instantly gets the point across. It may even be worth it to googlewhack either www.gnu.org or a new site (like, oh, this journal).

Maybe I should just prepare a stallman-esque rant and submit it to YRO...

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"Free Software"

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  • AARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    Speech.

    Its not a super peach. Its not a stupendous peach. It is speech.

    Oh, and speech is a noun.

    Otherwise, I would agree that it seems like RMS does seem to want to control the debate, by controlling the definitions of the debate.
  • "free [action]" means liberty. "free [noun]" means zero-cost.

    Actually "free [anything which is not typically sold]" means liberty. AFAICT, all the most common uses of free-as-in-liberty are nouns. Free speech, free country, free man, free range, free press, free will, free agent, free trade, free electron.

    My dictionary says that free-as-in-liberty is an adjective, not an adverb.

  • My preferences would have been Free Software-writing or Free Programming, because that's the specific area of computing that he seems to speak about. However, even that's kind of vague. When I think of GPL, I think of being forced to open the source if you sell it. Maybe they should call it, Obligatory Open Source Software. That's really specific.

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.

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