View Full Version : Help understanding Free software

February 5th, 2007, 09:59 PM

I keep running into people who think that Linux is free software because they don't have to pay for it. FREE software means free as in free speech, NOT as in free beer. There are many Linux distributions that are not free of charge, Suse enterprise, Red Hat Enterprise, Linspire, etc. etc. They are still "FREE SOFTWARE" because you are free to modify it, free to learn from it, free to make it fit YOUR needs and not the needs of some programmer who doesn't understand why you need the software.

I get angry when people think we hate Windows because it's a crappy operating system. NO! Windows is actually a good operating system, just it's a terrible product. It perpetuates vendor lock-in, slows down development in fields that Microsoft does not like, and destroys good companies by illegal market practices. You are NOT free to make it fit your needs, you are confined by the way the programmer wants you to use the program. You are in a jail for users of that product. THAT is what we are against.

Write a reply, tell me what you think, and make sure that everybody knows this basic tenet of Free Software!


February 5th, 2007, 10:07 PM
I think this belongs in the Cafe.

February 5th, 2007, 10:08 PM
This can help:
The Open Source definition. (http://opensource.org/docs/definition_plain.php)
The Free Software definition (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html)

send it to the ones who don't understand.