May 21, 2002

Free vs. Open Source

PCPlus has a column expounding on the difference between Open Source and Free Software based on two sit-down conversations between Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond. We talked of the fundamental difference between Richard's 'free software' and Eric's 'open source'. In this context, says Stallman, 'open source' and 'free' describe the same thing, but they say very different things about it. "Free software is not 'Just for fun' or because it creates good code," says Stallman. "Free software is a principle." Eric and Richard have known each other for 20 years. "There are little tensions sometimes," Eric has told journalists, "but we do talk. There wasn't any tension before I got famous. That made things a little complicated."

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