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'[OT]: Open source programmers'
2000\08\08@170727 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
[Climbin' on soapbox.]

The word 'free' has been overloaded by the FSF to carry the four meanings
listed in a prior post. These meanings of the word are not those common when
referring to other 'free' products.

For my purpose, I needed a programmer with available source code so that I
could modify it to 'calibrate' the unit being programmed (by actually
running a program in the unit, then burning on the calibration constants).

This certainly matches some of the connotations of 'free' as defined by FSF,
but can also be met by rather 'unfree' (restricted?) implementations. An
example would be a proprietary system available under NDA.

While I am a big fan of the 'open-source' / FSF / whatever you want to call
it movement, I do feel that it is appropriate for programmers to be able to
maintain ownership of their intellectual property and to profit from it. We
don't expect other forms of intellectual property to be 'freely' shared, why
must it apply to software?

[Steppin' down from soapbox.]

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

oh, ps: I ended up coding my own customized programmer from scratch.

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2000\08\10@151726 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Just by their name "Free Software Foundation", the FSF has connected their
own meaning to the term "Free Software", and also, by association, "free
software" (without the caps). Perhaps they should have named themselves the
"Freely Obtainable, Non-Supported, Do What You Want With It, ... Software
Foundation." This might alleviate some confusion.

Of course, we are free to assign whatever meaning we want to "free", and
even to "Free". :-)

What really matters is that there is a whole spectrum of ideas of
"individual intellectual property rights" vs. "freely available
information", and it is a good that that that is so.

For example, I am more than willing to share some of the tools I build for
myself, but would not be willing to give away code I have written for
customers (nor would they allow me to.)

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

{Original Message removed}

2000\08\10@160524 by Mike Werner

picon face
Bob Ammerman wrote:
> Just by their name "Free Software Foundation", the FSF has connected their
> own meaning to the term "Free Software", and also, by association, "free
> software" (without the caps). Perhaps they should have named themselves the
> "Freely Obtainable, Non-Supported, Do What You Want With It, ... Software
> Foundation." This might alleviate some confusion.

And would also be quite incorrect.  I've gotten better support using
software from the FSF than I've gotten from most commercial stuff.

> Of course, we are free to assign whatever meaning we want to "free", and
> even to "Free". :-)

The FSF makes it very clear exactly what they mean by free software.
A quote from http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html :

Think "free speech", not "free beer".

They then go on to give a full definition of what they mean by the term
"free software".
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Mike Werner  KA8YSD   | He that is slow to believe anything and
                     | everything is of great understanding,
'91 GS500E            | for belief in one false principle is the
Morgantown WV         | beginning of all unwisdom.

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