It (always) bears repeating that the phrase "open source" is defined by the open source definition:

The OSI invented the term "open source" and it has always been defined by the OSD. There are systemmic gaslighting campaigns ongoing to convince you otherwise. Remember: the only people who are trying to convince you that the OSD does not define open source have ulterior motives, namely convincing you that their propreitary software is open.

@sir What do you call software with publicly viewable source code, though not for free distribution/modification?
@sir The site seems more like the definition of free software. The site claims to have existed for "over 20 years" (probably like 22 or something), whereas the FSF has existed for nearly 40

@cirno open source can define its own thing without gaslighting free software. If it tried to redefine "free software" to the advantage of the OSI, that'd be different - but the OSI made their own thing, with its own name, and that's okay.

Open source and free software are very similar - almost indistinguishable - but the main difference is that free software comes with a movement and open source is just a definition.

Which side of the fence you sit on is a meaningful question to ask, but either way, I don't think that it makes OSI in the wrong.

@sir Personally, I strongly advocate for free software as an alternative to shady things corporations like to slip into their products along with the government backdoors (see PRISM). However, I fail to see why I would have anymore credibility if I were to have created a "foundation" 20 years ago and said that open source software was any software written by vampires

@cirno because you would be working in bad faith, or at least not seriously. Let's not pretend that open source has done nothing for the free software ecosystem. It has played an important role in producing the diverse and dominant ecosystem of free and open source software we enjoy today, and it's worth protecting.

And for the record, I use copyleft licenses for most of my own projects. I'm not batting for the other team here. I don't see free software and open source as distinct teams, we're better off cooperating *against* corporate interests than getting lost with infighting while they're busy taking over.

@cirno also, just to be sure: you are aware that open source includes the GPL, and free software incluses the MIT license? The list of free software licenses and open source liceses is almost identical, save for one or two obscure licenses. Free software and copyleft are different things.

@sir We're getting off on quite a tangent here. I don't believe there's some gaslighting conspiracy going on here. Ask any, go on, any developer what the difference between open source and free software is. They'll likely answer that open source is where the source is publically available, and free software has all the nice things like letting anyone use and make modifications to it, so long as they do some key things.

Sure, initially it was supposed to be a name change of sorts as "free software" didn't sound very attractive to corporations. However, the modern day accepted definition of open source is where the sourcecode is able to be seen by others online. This is a very good thing. Even if it isn't ideal, microsoft making parts of windows open source is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of knowing what's actually in that black box
@sir Also, let's say you get your way and we start calling open source "source available". Now we got another fracture in the programming world and another term to balance.
"Oh, the program? It's source available here."
"Well is it open source?"
"No, and it's not free software either"

@cirno there is a gaslighting conspiracy, you're just not paying attention. The Commons Clause, Ethical Source, the Redis debacle, and there have been more. I know because I've been there for every single one, and it's been fighting tooth and nail to get these people to quit their lies. 100% of them have had ulterior motives. Wake up and smell the dissent, and get the fuck out of my notifications if you''re just going to shut your eyes and tell gaslighting assholes it's okay to infiltrate our communities and destroy the foundations upon which our free and open source rennisance was built.

@sir Mad, are we? I work for the government, you don't know how "bad" this shit really is when you get into it
@sir Also yes, I am aware of the attempts of microsoft to "take over" open source. I know they still follow embrace, extend, extinguish and I know that's their motive behind buying github and more recently NPM. That goes for facebook in creating react, and for google in creating angular and go. I have no doubt in my mind that any one of them wouldn't hesitate to find a way to sell free software if they get enough people on board with them.

> Ask any, go on, any developer what the difference between open source and free software is.

When I first learnt about open-source in 2012, it was about being allowed to do all those things OSD says a license should allow (even if we didn't read OSD).

You're the first person I've seen claim that open source isbthe same as source available.

@sir Also, the term "open source" has existed long before the supposed "foundation" came into existence. It was just a term corporations thought rolled off the tongue pretty nice and fit (the source IS out in the open). Hence the whole free software debacle and freedom licenses

@cirno the term was not in common use before the OSI came up with it. The origin of the term is well documented and not in doubt.

@cirno @sir that's because it is a definition of free software?

(it wasn't stolen, it was written by the same people)

@sir What's the counterargument they trot out for that?

I've heard credible statements that the phrase "open source" predates OSI, but they've been running with it for a few decades now. Open source is whatever they say it is.

@tek I've never seen anyone make any counter-arguments based in fact, they just try to blithely assert that open source means what they want it to. Sometimes it's worse, they'll lie and sow dissent about the history of the term and try to rewrite the facts to be more suitable to their interpretation.

@sir that’s not how trademark works. OSI cannot *own* or *define* a descriptive term like ‘open source’ that would not hold in court.

OSI did not invent that *descriptive* term; we cannot trademark it.

PS I’m a copyleft|GNU folk using kernel Libre-linux—stating that before you start saying I have ulterior motives to promote proprietary software.

@kmicu trademarks don't define language. I didn't say it was trademarked by the OSI, I said it was defined by the OSI. And trademarks don't even govern definitions in this way in the first place. Can we drop the fucking trademark argument already?


@kmicu I have never said that the term "open source" was defended by law. I have said that people are abusing the term to sell a lie. This might even be fraudulent without a trademark! After all, "beef" isn't trademarked but Taco Bell was still ordered to stop selling a beef/cardboard mixture as "beef"

@kmicu this misinformation is dangerous and stupid and you need to quit buying into the propaganda if you really do give a shit about free and open source software, period.

@sir did you know that FSF and OSI has different lists for libre licenses? Some licenses are ‘open source’ as defined by OSI but not FSF and vice versa.

Open source is a descriptive term that existed in more countries than USA.
If claim that’s not the case then link to that ‘well‑documented’ historical fact and I will find you prior usage.

No need to yell at me.

@kmicu I did know that. Did you know that they differ by only 1 or 2 obscure licenses no one uses? And what bearing does this have on anything in the first place?

No need to yell? How about no need for you to subvert the open source ecosystem, dickhead.

@sir 'open source’ existed before ’90, and especially was in usage before 98, and that’s only checking English†.

Those folks *chose* ‘open source’ as a motto to promote their initiative but did not invent the term.


Of course we end here after your ad hominem. You want to be asshole more than know the truth. That’s your choice.

@kmicu @sir For the huge majority of licenses the FSF and OSI agree.

There are some free licenses that the OSI refused to certify as open source because of license proliferation (they were considered mostly equivalent to some other existing license). One such example is the WTFPL, which is considered free by the FSF, but its use is not recommended.

For the reverse case, I can think of the artistic license (version 1): here the FSF thinks that the license is too ambiguous to be sure, and in doubt considers it non-free, which prompted its main users to rewrite in a more precise way which has been approved by the FSF. The OSI thinks that even the original wording was already open source, but recommends to adopt version 2 anyway.

Both cases look pathological (in the mathematical sense of the word) to me, and not really a sign that there are deep disagreements on which licenses should be approved or not.

@valhalla thank you for that factual reply. (Needed to block @sir for ad hominem.)

‘Cuz there are valid concerns like proliferation or minor disagreements not every OS license is accepted and blessed as ‘OS according to {OSI,FSF}. They are still OS though.

Some licenses never submitted for approval like copyleft‑next are also OS [descriptive term] but not ‘OS by {OSI,FSF}’.

CAL or Mulan are today OS by OSI but not by FSF.

Hence ‘open source’ term is not owned nor def. by OSI.

@kmicu I don't think that using Open Source for things that aren't approved by OSI is a good idea.

Saying e.g. that the WTFPL is open source is probably harmless, but the main risk I see is that using the term in a generic way makes it much easier for companies to openwash things that are very much non open/free by any definition (at least definitions shared by the people who care about floss).

OSI may not own the term legally, but I'm not sure that there are other entities I would trust with the term (except possibly Fedora? I'm not sure whether they use the term open source or free software), like e.g. for Free Software I would trust both the FSF and Debian (yes, I know they disagree on some edge cases that are not software).
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