Questions tagged [philosophy]

Use this tag for questions about the philosophy behind open source and free software.

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5
votes
2answers
147 views

Can an open source/free alternative put a company at risk? Has this ever happened?

There is a very nice quote by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa (Spanish writer and inventor) which reads: "El éxito o el fracaso de un invento no depende de a quien beneficia, sino de a quien perjudica." ...
11
votes
3answers
793 views

What are the philosophical differences between open source and free/libre software (if they exist at all)?

In the answers to this question it was shown, that a few licenses exist, that are only open source but not free software or the other way round. Still, most licenses are both or neither, so the ...
6
votes
3answers
199 views

Why do free/libre software advocates tolerate proprietary firmwares in just about every computer components except Wi-Fi cards?

Free/Libre GNU/Linux distributions always talk about how to avoid non-free binary blobs when using Wi-Fi cards which pretty much means using only Atheros chipsets. What about other devices like hard ...
15
votes
5answers
421 views

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software?

Is Open Source Software a subset of free software? I was recently asked this and realized I was unsure the exact answer. I understand that free software is not a type of open source software, but I ...
11
votes
2answers
191 views

Was transparency a major factor in the formation of Open Movements?

In Open projects, the source needs to be made available to anyone who requests it. As a result, it is incredibly easy to determine what the source is being used for, what each component does, and who ...
14
votes
1answer
205 views

Is the capacity of open source developers an infinite resource?

Last year, I participated in a Birds of a Feather panel discussion at Devoxx. During this panel discussion, David Blevins explained: "We have this fairytale idea that open source is an infinite ...
8
votes
2answers
194 views

Can the ability to fork override the copyright owner's desires?

Consider the following scenario Project A is originally licensed under a permissive license By the time it reaches version 6, it has built up a strong user base, many of those users producing closed ...
18
votes
2answers
366 views

Why was open source as a term created, although free software was already established?

Technically open source and free software more or less mean the same thing. They have different definitions, but they result basically in the same thing. So why was the Open Source Initiative founded ...
8
votes
3answers
85 views

Does a seeming lack of strong protection for IP discourage innovation?

The Patent system works on the premise that the community benefits from the information shared, and rewards the innovators by granting them a period to capitalize on it without others grabbing a free ...
14
votes
3answers
370 views

What does the 'right to fork' mean?

Sometimes in regards to open source/free software I read about a 'right to fork'. What does it mean? Why is it relevant? Does all open source support this right?