[Fsf-friends] Open Source Tactics
Fri Mar 19 09:03:03 IST 2004
Rakesh Ambati wrote:
>Take a moment to ask yourself,when is last time you
>have helped fix some bug's in your GNU software or
>written some documentation, helped someone understand
>the 'nut & bolts' of operating system and software.
> Lets do some good rather than taking part in endless
>posts about how to bring about change ...
>Real changes comes from our contributions, our actions
>speaks for us.
The main reason I had to write on `Open Source Tactics' is to maintain
peace in this list. This is an `advocacy' list for FSF-India and a
reminder to all members about the purpose of this list maintained at
This is the principal support list of FSF-India. This is an open list
which invites questions, proposals, suggestions, comments and
constructive criticisms in aid of the FSF-India's activities, based on
its mission, principles and basic decisions.
Is it too much to request posters to respect these purposes?
Even so, sometimes technical issues are discussed, for example, you
would remember a posting regarding correct threading in mailing lists.
Anyone who has the skill, time and patience may read the previous
and write detailed documentation on how to post messages to mailing
lists. _ALL_ are welcome, and this is not a demand, but a pointer to an
Since you ask for credentials in terms of contributions made, I am the
author of .^. calpp: computer aided legal procedures and proceedings, a
free software released under the GPL, and I would like to be remembered
for writing calpp, my one and only contribution. The main reason I take
interest in software, is that it offers an excellent opportunity to
kill the ambiguity problems that plague the law. To my utter surprise,
though free software code effectively deals with ambiguities, free
software terminology is beset and taunted with ambiguity issues. I did
spend the whole month of November 2003 to convince myself that there is
nothing ambiguious with `free software'. I hope I can document these
soon enough, so that, as you wrote, we can stay focused on worthwhile
Last month, I attended a special lecture delivered by Brian Behlendorf,
the founder of the Apache Project, organised by ILUGC at IIT Madras.
Brian referred to RMS with warmth, said he loves the GNU Project, that
he works with Eben Moglen, chief counsel for FSF, on licensing issues
and would like the world to move towards making all software really
free. Though Brian was speaking about open source philosophy he was
never far away from free software philosophy. Practically, there are
negligible differences between the two movements, but nevertheless
sufficient enough to effectively provide an artificial `competitive'
environment within our community. Brian saw India as a major force,
already well equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow. It is really
the free code we write that ultimately matters.
The business community may have the option of using `open source' or
`free software' terminology. But, in the legal field, this is neither
possible nor advisable. Open source advocates should concede the use of
`free software' terminology in law taking into consideration the
history, literal meaning and scope of `free software' and work with us
together in this area. There is no room for using contrived tactics or
rhetoric in law. That is why, we have to be alert to advocate use of
free software terminology in e-governance projects. The sooner this
happens, the better for all of us.
More information about the Fsf-friends