free software

Free and Open—and Their Opposites

A linguistic look at some tenets of Linux. Merriam-Webster defines a tenet as "a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true; especially one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession." As it happens, Linux is claimed by two doctrines that are to some degree at odds: those of free software and open source. This contention began when Eric S. Raymond published "Goodbye, 'free software'; hello, 'open source'", on February 8, 1998. Here's an excerpt: