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Hi. I try to be very humble when I edit. I'm just a quaint peasant from a small island between New Zealand and Canada, called Africa-Eurasia. Like inhabitants of Canada's south peninsula (which locals call USA and Latin America), the people of Africa-Eurasia will sometimes not be able to understand article titles which are written with the assumption that the reader lives in either New Zealand or Canada, so I may occasionally try to correct article titles for a global perspective.
Hi, I'm mostly a reader, but when I can contribute bits, I will.
Why I use the term "free software"
The term "free software" was coined in 1983.
In 1998, the term "open-source software" was proposed as a replacement, and it has a definition that is virtually the same as "free software".
Right here and now I propose the term "studiable software" as another replacement and I declare the definition to be virtually the same as that of "free software".
All three terms, by definition, refer to software that can be freely used and redistributed - commercially or non-commercially, and whose source code can be freely studied, modified, and redistributed - commercially or non-commerically.
Which is more accurate?
"free" has two meanings: no charge, and unfettered. Only the latter is intended when discussing "free software".
"open source" has one meaning: source code that is open - that can be looked into.
"studiable" has one meaning: can be studied.
People that don't understand what any of the three terms mean would see the latter two as being superior, but they convey incorrect meanings. They don't convey their definition.
Software can easily be studiable, and yet not comply with the definitions of free software or open source software.
And software can easily have it's source code open, and yet not comply with the definitions of free software or open source software.
There is no two or three word term in English that conveys the definition of these words. "free software" needs clarification, but "open-source software" and "studiable software" make people think they've understood, while actually misinforming them.
- For a more detailed explanation, which I mostly (but not completely) agree with, see Richard Stallman's article: Why ``Free Software'' is better than ``Open Source''
- For the Free Software Definition, published by Free Software Foundation (FSF), is available at: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
- The Open Source Definition, published by Open Source Initiative, is available at: http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php
Gliese 581 c
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