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Does a free software community exist?

Dec 15, 2009, 10:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)


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"At first, the idea seems absurd. Perhaps a free software community existed fifteen years ago, when the software and its ideals were shared by a small number of developers. But these days, most people involved in free software tend to stay within their own community. Is there really some common thread that links a member of large projects like Fedora or OpenOffice.org with small two-person projects? Old Unix hands with new Ubuntu users? Debian community developers with employees of Oracle or IBM? The divisions seem so great that people can't even agree whether to refer to free software, open source, or some combination of the two like free and open source software (FOSS).

"However, on closer examination, the answer depends on the angle from which you approach it. New Yorkers and Californians may talk, behave, and live differently from each other, yet still consider themselves Americans. Moreover, non-Americans will usually identify both as Americans without much hesitation."

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