[sf-lug] [Balug-Talk] license count != software popularity (Re: Open Source less popular than Free Software)

Chris Waters xtifr at debian.org
Wed Sep 26 13:06:11 PDT 2007

On Wed, Sep 26, 2007 at 08:48:15AM -0700, Asheesh Laroia wrote:

> I can't use this to claim a count of installed userbase.  But I can almost 
> believably measure the size of the Free Software idea/community vs. the 
> Open Source idea/community.  So in community size, I stand by the original 
> flamebait in the Subject line: that Open Source is a smaller phenomenon 
> than Free Software.

So where do the Debian Free Software Guidelines fit into all of this?
It's called "Free Software", but it's basically the same terms as the

Anyway, who decided that the OSI was the arbiter of open source or the
FSF the arbiter of free software?  The Debian project makes up its own
mind, and may or may not care what you call it.  However, as evidence
of the popularity of the term open source, I will note that popular
alt-rock bank The Smashing Pumpkins recently announced their new (and
arguably mislabeled) "open source taping policy":


Still, I think we can probably all agree that Free Software is an
*older* phenomenon.  Also, the FSF's lists are more useful, since they
provide commentary, which is interesting. even though i'ts usually
from a perspective (how does this fit with the GPL?) that isn't always
my area of primary concern.

This message written using Emacs on a system that doesn't have any
GDFL-with-invariant-section documentation installed. :)
Chris Waters           |  Pneumonoultra-        osis is too long
xtifr at debian.org       |  microscopicsilico-    to fit into a single
or xtifr at speakeasy.net |  volcaniconi-          standalone haiku

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