Free Software

I am participating in the EyesWeb Week in Genoa this week. This morning Nicola Bernardini held a lecture about Free Software. I have heard him talk on this topic several times before, but as I have now some more experience on participating in a Free Software project (i.e. Jamoma), I got more out of his ideas.

Some main points from the talk:

  • Use Free Software!
  • Freeware and shareware may have nothing to do with Free Software.
  • Open source is an ambiguous term.
  • Use Free Software, not free software, since the free is not referring to the price, but to the rights of the user (and author). Capitalise the F and S to make this distinction.
  • Release early and often. This is important to build a community and get feedback.
  • Core point: to build and maintain a community is critical. This is also what I have seen from a couple of projects I have been participating in. The Jamoma project is working the best by far because we have managed to establish a good working environment.
  • Some examples of brilliant Free Software: Octave, R, Audacity, Ardour.
  • The SOb plugins did not succeed because they were too difficult to use.

Some links to related things:

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.

One thought on “Free Software”

  1. I can hardly se Open Source as an ambiguous term, on the contrary I see Free Software often used to mean freeware (check it by yourself subscribing to google news for “open source” and “free software”). Beyond that now the distinction between the two terms appears to be meaningless to many but one. Keeping to argue about this it doesn’t help much the FOSS adoption, and a free software enthusiast or an open source advocate could more profitably spend their time, IMHO.

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