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Open for Business: Mere Open Source

May 17, 2002, 13:00 (23 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Timothy R. Butler)

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"...the phrase open source is in danger of becoming a diluted, meaningless word that conveys nothing beyond the source being available. Perhaps you are new to the open source community or maybe you have been here awhile, either way, chances are you may not understand the full meaning of open source. That is why I think it is crucially important to set the record straight before we loose this term that so aptly describes this wonderful genre of software.

"When I started this consideration of the phrase open source, I decided it would be best to start at the beginning. Open source was coined to refer to a grouping of licenses such as the BSD license and the GNU GPL, which are also known as "free software" licenses (free in this case referring to free speech or freedom , not cost). The idea, at least partly, was to move away from the troublesome term "free software" which was oft confused as a statement of price rather then freedom..."

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