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NewsForge: Information wants to be autarchic

Oct 31, 2000, 22:42 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tina Gasperson)

"The word free, as normally applied to inanimate objects, means without charge (as in beer). But Stallman says his software is free, as in 'not subject to the control or domination of another,' or 'not hampered or restricted in its normal operation.' That's proven to be a difficult concept, even for technologically adept people. We hear free, we think 'Duff,' to put it in Simpson-ese terms.

"Not only that, but there isn't a ZDNET reporter, dead or alive, who hasn't called Richard Stallman a member of the Open Source movement -- and that chaps his hide a bit, since according to Stallman, Open Source people simply do not see the issue of software free-ness as a matter of principle."

"You can't fault Stallman for expecting hackers to be intelligent enough to grasp the subtleties of the language. But let's face it, the free moniker just isn't working out. Perhaps the name needs to be changed. And since RMS is obviously too busy with public speaking engagements to take the time, we hauled out Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus for him."

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