Sometimes I wonder how many hours humanity has spent trying to explain that "free software" isn't always $0.

I get that "liberated software" is a mouthful, but what about "freed software"?

New idea that solves:

- the ambiguity of "free"
- the confusion of /F?\/?L?OSS/
- the software-specific "source"

I've seen folks refer to "open hardware", could we just do the same with software? It seems to solve all of the problems.



My latest (and probably final) attempt that:

- disambiguates "free"
- avoids "open"
- standardizes on /FOSS?/
- is still pronounced /fɔs/
- complements "Free Culture"[0]

0. Freedom to use the source and artifacts.
1. Freedom to study the source.
2: Freedom to share the source
3. Freedom to improve the source.

Instead of "free [and open source] software", it's "free [and open] source [software]".

Am I tripping, or is this legitimately not a bad idea?


Let's pretend like I didn't put a colon after "2" like that though.

The point is that we don't actually care about software.

The point is the source.

I want the source for my software, my firmware, my hardware, and even my wetware honestly. Of course free source for software is important, but it seems like the source itself is the thing that matters -- not the software.

And for cultural works that don't have abstract mechanial "source":

Please somebody shoot me down, but this seems like it could actually solve our current mass identity crisis.

@christianbundy Perhaps one issue is that by adopting the distinction between source and executable code, we undermine our effort to enjoin the two.

The idea, if I'm not mistaken, is that if you use it, you've got the four freedoms. If you interpret the freedoms as being rights, then you have "use rights". The movement would be about the rights of users.

Sort of analogous to "copyright". "Useright".

Lee Felsenstein, inspired by Ivan Illich's "conviviality", used the term "user-controlled".

@kdsch I see your point, but I think the distinction against binaries and blobs may be more helpful (rather than less).

I also hate to appeal to Google, but the fact that "free source ${x}" shows results matching "free and open source ${x}" seems really convenient too.

I like the idea (and love the portmanteau), I'd be interested to see whether it would catch on.

@christianbundy @kdsch this is a very interesting attempt and one that resonates with the (somewhat stallled at the moment) effort we're making to define whether and how code consitutes a common and how this relates to both the people working on it and the binary "snapshots" of that code:

@christianbundy I use FLOSS and free/libre or simply Libre because it's about ethics and liberty...
it's not about the code, it's about the people that write and use it
MIT/BSD is sometimes Libre, sometimes not (when reclosed), GNU is sometimes not libre when it's obfuscated and nerdy disdainfully interfaced (so noone can actually use it = F0)
access to the code is only a side effect of the liberty to use and modify the tools.

@hhardy01 Absolutely!

When you distribute software it's important that you also distribute free source. Free as in "free speech" and free as in "the source doesn't cost extra, it's free".

You can charge for the development, maintenance, or distribution of the source, but the source itself is always libre (and the fact that it's libre is gratis).

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