FOSS vs Open Source

When I was preparing to move to England to do my higher studies, I googled for the local user communities and joined the Leicester Linux User Group. There were a lot of interesting discussions going on there. One particular day there was a mail saying “Richard Stallman”, the so called “Father of Open Source” was visiting Leicester to give a speech in De-Mont Fort Univeristy.

 

I was so interested in it. I along with my another friend were in the hall much before Richard visited the hall. Richard was a simple man with a different ideology. He spoke about FOSS movement and how it differed from Open Source movement of Linus Torvaldus. That was the first time I ever knew there was a difference between the both movements.

Richard started his speech by mentioning that not to post photos and videos of the sessions in Facebook. He said tagging peoples photos can be used as a way of surveillance. Found it true. So what I did. Deleted all the photos I uploaded on facebook. He asked whatever content of the session that is to be published in the internet must be creative commons attributed. Then he started preaching his philosophy about Free and Open Source Software movement.

 

Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman

From what Richard mentioned I would make that Linus and Open Source movement guys are more pragmatic and Richard is more philosophical. Richard was against using the closed source NVidia driver in Ubuntu, whereas Linus or Open Source movement is open to use closed source applications as a part of the application.

Richard then spoke how iPod and Kindle doesn’t allow users to use the devices with freedom. I was able to get his point when I tried to sync music into my newly bought iPod from my Ubuntu box. It seriously sucks.

At the end of the session, he started speaking about Emacs. Which I didn’t even understand a bit. I rarely use emacs and never knew what he was saying about.

At the question session someone asked him about Google. He said he enjoys few products of the Google and hates few products for its privacy policy.

At the end of the session he gave away few stickers and I left the hall with a different perspective of Open Source and the FOSS philosophy.

I should thank the Leicester LUG and the De-Mont Fort guys. The session was awesome.

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