What motivates you to FOSS & what are your values with respect to FOSS? This thread is looking to collect the personal FOSS philosophies of members here.
- Unless stated otherwise, it will be assumed you value FOSS and want to see it prosper.
- Asking for clarification of what someone’s view is in this thread is fine. If you want to debate a view, please make a new thread. (Also, if you do make a new thread, please remember not to make your thread sound like an attack on the view you want to debate)
Things to talk about:
- Is your usage of FOSS more altruistic/moral or practical?
- Preference for Permission vs. Copyleft licensing
- View on “new” vs old (per say) FOSS
- “New” FOSS is an emerging idea that FOSS should be more about overall inclusion than the specific rights you’re entitled by a license. (I’ll be making a thread to discuss “new” FOSS soon with more info if you’re not familiar with the idea)
- Also, your view on whether this is a “try” or “obligation”
And remember, these points are suggestions. You don’t need to answer all of them, you can talk about things outside them, and you don’t need to hold to an absolute yes/no view on something. If a new thing to talk about gets added in the thread comments, I’ll try to add it to this list.
To start with, and as an example, my philosophy:
I believe strongly in the ability to “do” things. My usage of FOSS is more practical since even though I believe in the moral/ethical aspects of doing FOSS, I’m willing (even if reluctantly) to use non-FOSS software where the FOSS options are unable to meet my needs. In terms of knowledge, however, I’m on the moral side since I value sharing knowledge. I prefer permissive over copyleft licensing due to the freedom of usability they have, even if it doesn’t always “protect” my works. I acknowledge that for projects like Linux, GNU, and KDE, etc. it makes more sense to use a copyleft license, but for my usage I think it doesn’t due to scale and type of application created, and I would rather somone be able to easily learn from and/or reuse my code rather than worry about the obligations of the GPL. This seems to be very similar to the BSD philosophy on licensing, but I haven’t spent enough time in those communities to be completely sure. Finally, I’m a strong believer in “new” FOSS. I strongly believe in anyone being able to engage in FOSS, regardless of software, license, similar preferences, demographic, level of coding ability, bandwidth to contribute, etc. However, I recognize that it can be difficult to help every user (usually due to personal bandwidth), so I take the community aspects as a best faith effort and not a contractual obligation of doing open source.