“Commercial” is not the opposite of Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS)
Announcing “Commercial” is not the opposite of Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS) — a new and hopefully useful essay!
Why this new essay? When I talk with with other people about Commercial Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS), I still hear a lot of people mistakenly use the term “commercial software” as if it had the opposite meaning of “open source software”, Free-Libre Software, OSS/FS, or FLOSS. That’s in spite of (1) the rise in commercial support for FLOSS, (2) official definitions of “commercial item” that include FLOSS, and (3) FLOSS licenses and projects clearly approving commercial support.
This confusion — that FLOSS and commercial software are opposites — is a dreadful mistake. Speakers who differentiate between FLOSS and commercial products, as if they were opposites, are simply unable to understand what is happening in the software industry. And if you cannot understand something, you cannot make good decisions about it.
If you wish to understand the 21st century (and beyond), you need to understand the basics of what controls software… because software controls everything else.
So, this essay “Commercial” is not the opposite of Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS) explains why it’s so important to understand that the word “commercial” is not the opposite of FLOSS, and then gives examples to justify the claim.
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