When you're talking about Linux, it's okay to say that it's "open source".

It's okay to say that it's "free software".

It's okay to call it "GNU/Linux", "Linux", or to mess up its name.

It's okay to refer to it as "the one with the friendly penguin".

Part of RMS' legacy has been an incessant obsession with terminology and pedantry, overshadowing far more important shared objectives which are fundamentally emancipatory in nature.

Pedantry is not activism; it is alienating, not emancipatory.

@eloquence I agree with the general idea here, but WRT "Open Source" I don't. That branding was deliberately invented to be confused and conflated with Software Freedom, so as to deflate the emancipatory movement into a sort of voluntaryist, CV-enriching, capitalism-compatible unprotected commons. To push back on that in favour of Free/Libre, Emancipatory Software is pretty important.
Of course, RMS did a poor job of that by choosing "Free" as the keyword and sticking to it with characteristic obnoxiousness even as it continued to confuse people.


@seachaint @eloquence @furkachi These issues are why I'm now advocating the term "cooperative technology" to move on from both "free software" and "open source". It gets the point across better than either and I think it will be harder for capitalists to coopt. Interestingly, it was discussed at the meeting where the term "open source" was settled on, but "open source" was chosen because it was watered down ideologically and therefore acceptable to capitalists. fosstodon.org/@be/105983348184

@seachaint @eloquence @furkachi I think we need a new vocabulary that isn't a sell out to capitalists and also isn't associated with Stallman's pedantry, misogyny, and other problematic behavior.

@be @seachaint @eloquence An interesting proposition! I know from experience within queer spaces that new terminology can be complicated to spread outside of in-groups, but seeing the state of vocabulary and the FOSS movement as viewed from the outside, rallying around simpler terms that are more explicit are less specialized would definitely be an improvement :3

@furkachi @seachaint @eloquence I think the time is ripe as many are seriously questioning the limits of Stallman's philosophy and tactics. I don't think retreating to "open source" would be a good solution for all the reasons Stallman has criticized it for since the beginning.

@furkachi @seachaint @eloquence I was initially thinking "communal software". To test how people would understand it without hearing the explanation, I discussed the term with my Columbian friends and how to translate it to Spanish. They suggested "software cooperativo" instead and I realized that would be a better term in English too. They immediately understood the idea of "software cooperativo". I have heard it translates better to German too.

@be @furkachi @seachaint @eloquence that’s a great choice of name and it captures the spirit of the movement that I enjoy the most

@furkachi @seachaint @eloquence Try using the terms "cooperative technology" or "cooperative software" with people unfamiliar with FOSS. IME they'll understand it quickly without needing to explain much if anything. And there's no need to explain what source code is.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.