Eric W. Sink: Open Source vs. Free Software

“About a year ago, it used to really annoy me that people were
trying to use the terms ‘Free Software’ and ‘Open Source’ to have
different meanings. The rift appeared to be completely gratuitous,
caused by Richard Stallman’s apparent inability to see the
perspective of anyone else. This bugged me.”

“Conversely, I used to get really annoyed at people like Eric
Raymond and Tim O’Reilly for their apparent efforts to distance
themselves from Richard Stallman. Granted, Stallman doesn’t exactly
present himself well in traditional business contexts, but why
couldn’t they work harder to acknowledge his enormous achievements
and contributions?….”

“I’ve already made the assertion that Open Source and Free
Software are completely different, due to the fact that their core
mission is completely different. Now I’m going to make another
assertion: The Free Software community has a lot more
excellence in it than the Open Source community.
Think about
it. Whether you agree with Richard Stallman or not, I think you
have to admire his level of focus. I have never seen Richard take
an action which is out of alignment with his core mission of
promoting freedom for software users. Everywhere he goes, he
teaches other people how to be a part of his cause. He has built a
network consisting of thousands of disciples, all over the world. I
would characterize those people as a group with a remarkably
consistent pursuit of a singular vision.”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis