Use the Source/What do you mean Open Source isn't Free Software

< Use the Source

Let's get a few terms out of the way and define them:

program : the finished product of programming a single independent ready to use file that serves a specific purpose.
suite : a set of programs which work in conjunction to perform a set of tasks.
product : the result of one's programming, can be a singular program, a suite or entire operating system.
source code : the entire human usable collection of code put into a product.
open source : used to describe any software where you are given the right to at least look at the source code necessary to generate the product.
freeware : any type of product which can be obtained free of charge.
Open Source : a label for a product approved by the OSI.
Free Software : a label for a product approved by the FSF.

When someone says the word "open", what do you immediately think of? Do you think of something that is ajar? Of something which is obvious? Where anyone can see it? Unobstructed? Or maybe something that is available for immediate usage? When you're in the programming world those possibilities come close but fall short of what open means. And what of the word "free"? Do you think of something that you don't need to pay for? Or do you think something that is unrestricted? Once again, it's a little more complicated in the world of programmers.

To the layman Open Source and Free Software are the same thing; however, these two groups hold tense and sometimes hostile relations with one another. These programming sects believe in particular freedoms and work towards the betterment of these goals through the development of their software.

People often like to think of this intellectual property in the same way they would physical property. If the various open source models are looked at in this manner then the public domain is public property and no one can deny access to that code for any reason or use. GPL code is private property that is granted to the public under the condition that all released works generated from it remains in the same position. BSD is property anyone can use for any reason or use on the condition that they maintain due credit.

End this chapter with something along the lines of, "much like with a rented car, you've using licensed code or software, you've got responsibilities you must uphold." Which then leads into the next chapter.