Have we missed something in FOSS? Of course
Like life and human nature, for example.
A few weeks ago, F. Karlitschek wrote about if advocates of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) “missing the bigger picture by limiting the Free Software and Open Source movement to licensing questions only”. This is a reformatted version of my initial comments and remarks. Sentences in italic are quotes from that post, the rest is mine.
Is Open Source more than licenses?
I would say that the problem is not that Open Source is more than licenses (which it is): it is that life is more than Open Source.
“can we actually check if the software running [5G] infrastructure is the same we have as source code?”
this is just one of the reasons why e-voting is, and will remain BAD, even if done exclusively with Free/Open Source software and hardware.
About the general issue, i.e. “are [we] missing the bigger picture by limiting the Free Software and Open Source movement to licensing questions only”?
Yes, but “missing the big picture” does not happen when one “limits oneself to licensing questions only”.
It happens before. It happens when one limits oneself to the FOSS movement, and puts software & coding as ends, not means. Or at least when one mostly speaks in ways that LOOK like that, to the 95% of humans who wouldn’t code if their life depended on it. Which is exactly what the orthodox “Free as in Freedom” software advocacy has been doing, consciously or not, since the GNU Manifesto (1985).
Yes, sure, “software eats the world”
I have said this, answering questions like yours and proposing solutions, for almost 20 years now. Some examples are listed below. But I am NOT repeating it here to just go “I told you so, ha ha ha”. I am writing now only to confirm that I am available to work to fix this, together.
Some food for thought about “more than licenses”
- “you can build the perfect police state using ONLY Free as in Freedom software” (2010)
- How to turn into Free Software supporters people who couldn’t care less (2008)
- slides 20 to 24 of “Computers and Internet, from social exclusion to education and human development” (2009)
- Help everybody love Free standards and Free Software! (2007)
- A Free Software Manifesto For All Of Us (2006)
- Format Wars (2005)
- Are you advocating OpenOffice correctly? (2001)