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smemamian
July 16th, 2012, 07:43 PM
hi

It is the difference between open source and free software?

MG&TL
July 16th, 2012, 07:47 PM
hi

It is the difference between open source and free software?

If you mean free as in 'no price', then it is possible to ship software that is free but not include the source code. Not very common, but it sometimes happens.

mcduck
July 16th, 2012, 07:52 PM
If you mean free as in 'no price', then it is possible to ship software that is free but not include the source code. Not very common, but it sometimes happens.

and on the other hand, it's also possible to sell open-source software... ;)

"free" usually refers to software being available at no cost, while "open-source" simply means that the software's source code is available (with at least one of the many open-source licenses).

So yes, there is a difference between the two concepts. Although most open-source software is also free, simply because most common open-source licenses would allow anybody to compile and distribute the program anyway. (Also keep in mind that such licenses usually only apply to the source code itself, so any other source files like images, sounds and so on might not be free to distribute even though the source code itself is free).

bodhi.zazen
July 16th, 2012, 07:54 PM
See also http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

lukeiamyourfather
July 16th, 2012, 07:55 PM
See this for a full explanation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratis_versus_libre#.22Free_beer.22_vs_.22free_spe ech.22_distinction

bodhi.zazen
July 16th, 2012, 07:56 PM
and on the other hand, it's also possible to sell open-source software... ;)

"free" usually refers to software being available at no cost, while "open-source" simply means that the software's source code is available (with at least one of the many open-source licenses).

So yes, there is a difference between the two concepts. Although most open-source software is also free, simply because most common open-source licenses would allow anybody to compile and distribute the program anyway. (Also keep in mind that such licenses usually only apply to the source code itself, so any other source files like images, sounds and so on might not be free to distribute even though the source code itself is free).

There are 3 types of "Free"

Free as in Freedom (FSF)

Free as in Free Beer (no cost)

And Free as in free bird (anything goes)

bobsan
July 16th, 2012, 07:57 PM
"Free software" is not the same as freeware. freewares are software that can be obtained without fee, but most of them are closed source, like many things people download for Windows.

Practically "free software" is the same as open source but with different emphasis. "Open Source" emphasizes openness as a developmental model and stresses the practical advantages in this model, whereas "Free Software" emphasizes the political aspect and the principle of "freedom". Here "Free" means "freedom" as in "free speech" as oppose to "free of cost".

"Free software" advocates like Richard Stallman are not happy with the term "Open Source" because it takes away the political connotation while emphasizing only the utility rationale. According to these people, supporting free software is a moral duty, just as supporting freedom and free speech is, and it should not be dependent on the utility.

IncurableHam
July 16th, 2012, 08:03 PM
Quick question: How do you view the source code for open source software? Say I download an open source game from the software center. How do I view the code of this game?

bobsan
July 16th, 2012, 08:06 PM
Quick question: How do you view the source code for open source software? Say I download an open source game from the software center. How do I view the code of this game?

You can't since you download the precompiled binary from the SC. You have to download the source package and compile it yourself.

cortman
July 16th, 2012, 08:06 PM
Essentially, is the main difference "Is it licensed under GPL or not?" Free software/open source are just terms; as far as the actual difference in the software, I think even Stallman would agree it's just in the license.

bodhi.zazen
July 16th, 2012, 08:35 PM
GPL is not the only "open source" liscense. There are many others, BSD, CC.

http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/licensing

MG&TL
July 16th, 2012, 08:40 PM
Quick question: How do you view the source code for open source software? Say I download an open source game from the software center. How do I view the code of this game?


apt-get source <packagename>

will dump the source code of the current version of <packagename> into the current directory. The <packagename> is the Version field in the software centre, without the number.

cortman
July 16th, 2012, 08:41 PM
GPL is not the only "open source" liscense. There are many others, BSD, CC.

http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/licensing

GPL is an OPEN-SOURCE license?? I think an FSF hitman will visit you tonight.
:) jk

GPL is the only "Free" per Stallman license for software, was my point- therefore, even software that is promoted as "open source" by the open source crowd, if licensed under the GPL, is also "Free" software per FSF.

xedi
July 16th, 2012, 09:04 PM
There are a couple free software licenses according to the FSF: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses

While there are big philosophical disputes between what the term free software and open source software means and the differences, I find that most people say open source software so that people do not confuse free software with freeware, which as you can notice in the beginning of this thread happens frequently.

gudcode
July 16th, 2012, 10:07 PM
I'm not sure if someone said this, but the way I see it is that open source is free and you can see and work with the code. Free software on the other hand is a selling scheme where they get you to download a program that does the bare minimum and recommends you get the upgrade that $xxxx.... Don't know if this is correct.

xedi
July 16th, 2012, 10:27 PM
Free software on the other hand is a selling scheme where they get you to download a program that does the bare minimum and recommends you get the upgrade that $xxxx.... Don't know if this is correct.

No, this is incorrect. This is shareware or in games there is something similar called free-to-play.

But you are proving that open source is a much better term for free (as in freedom) software no matter how much Stallman complains :D

nothingspecial
July 16th, 2012, 10:29 PM
Thread moved to Recurring Discussions.

Bachstelze
July 16th, 2012, 10:59 PM
GPL is the only "Free" per Stallman license for software

Wrong also.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

The FSF defines a "Free" license as one that grants the Four Freedoms (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html). The GPL is certainly not the only license that does.

cortman
July 17th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Wrong also.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

The FSF defines a "Free" license as one that grants the Four Freedoms (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html). The GPL is certainly not the only license that does.

Thank you for the clarification. Note at the top of the page that it says "GPL compatible". That's more or less what I meant by licensed under the GPL- I should have stated it more clearly.