Open Source IS Free Software

It is mostly “open source” on the other side of the Atlantic, and may become “free software” depending to whom you’re talking to. It becomes FOSS or even FLOSS as you fly east, and pass through the old continent. In Turkey you come accross with people calling it “open source” in Turkish (açık kaynak), “free software” in Turkish (özgür yazılım) as in freedom, “open source” (yes, they use English), and even few call it “free software” in Turkish (bedava yazılım) as in free beer. Quite a confusion, huh? You bet…

All in all, it is simply “free software” in Turkish as in freedom. Always and in every context… We have called it “özgür yazılım” from day one, and we continue to do so. We explain why it is “free” as in freedom, and what this freedom means to the user, to the developer and to the society at large.

But in English, there still is this confusion. Being lately exposed to several pieces of work on “free software” (as in freedom) with certain strong business slant, and observing that the authors consistently use the term “open source” to describe it, still meaning “free software” (as in freedom)… and being convinced this will not harm the freedom of the software…

As of today, in my communication in English, I’ll only use the term “open source” to describe the “free software” (as in freedom). After all, “open source” (as in freedom) IS free software!

“Open Source IS Free Software” için 2 cevap

  1. I beg to differ: “Open source” is not the same as “free software”… To tell the truth, “open source” is just a development model, whereas “free software” is a political/ ethical decision. This difference is as deep as it could be. Many free software activists will frown on being identified with open source.It occurs to me that you are confusing “ozgurluk” (freedom) with”serbestlik” [no exact English translation in this context]. Or it may be that you are reducing the concept of “Freedom” in Free Software to a matter of having some kind of choice. The definition of free software is in this point, I recommend you to read the article by Richard Stallman at explain why it is “free” as in freedom, and what this freedommeans to the user, to the developer and to the society at large.Many GNU/Linux distributions include free and non-free software in their repositories, which is against the ideals of Free Software, but they at least place these free and non-free software into separate repositories. In Pardus GNU/Linux, however, free and non-free software are mixed together in one official repository. This supports the freesoftware ideals less than other well-known distributions.People in Turkey are very much unaware of what Free Software really is… So instead of “explaining what this freedom means”, please just direct them to Gnu.Org where they can see the real explanation.Sincerely yours,


  2. This is a common mistake made when talking about free software/open source. FSF and GNU movement may define what Free Software is, and OSI may define what Open Source is. But free software and open source are common terms used by several actors in IT world, some coorect and soem incorrect. Still there is an “almost consensus” regarding what is free software is and what it is not.In Europe people call that FOSS or FLOSS, and in the States most of the people call it open source. True, there are people calling it only free software. Noevertheless, it is hard to say that only they are right and rest is wrong.When I talk to people from Europe I call it “free software” and rarely “FOSS” or “FLOSS”, when talking to people from the US I call it mostly “open source” and sometimes “free software”, when talking in Turkish I always call it “özgür yazılım” and had not any problem in communicating to any of these parties, whatsoever.


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