Sunday, March 29, 2009

Open Sex, Not Free Sex

Suddenly, without warning, while translating the university course on Open Source ERP into local Malay language for Malaysian readers, i came across the chapter about Richard Stallman and his definition of his struggle in FSF. I realised the true meaning of his words that he meant 'Free' as in freedom and not 'free' as in free sex. Boy! Did the sky suddenly opened up and i hear angels singing the Fort Minor tune of 'Remember The Name".

Where was my mind all this while? After about 5 years since knowing Compiere Open Source, and the last 2 or so years on ADempiere, the community fork from Compiere, only today i truly have gone to the true depths of that abstact concept that is behind our existence and battles. That is it! Free Software is not free. It is just supposed to comform to that pristine principle that the nature of software development is that it is social and thus politically it has to conform to the principle of freedom of speech. Nevermind Guantanamo Bay, just stick to that basic heavenly tune ringing softly in my heart.

So in all earnesty to call it Open Source instead should be even more closer to that percept as Free Software carries the stigma that it costs nothing. Sex is not, remember? Good sex is more expensive depending on how good it is. Now, why then, will Richard Stallman disagree with the term Open Source and insists that it does not stress the word 'freedom'? I wouldn't wana argue with his holyness on this, but look at this statement and tell me if you see what i see:

Free Sex; Open Sex

Which statement conveys the meaning of freedom better? Not free sex. That would mean that you want to have sex without paying. No wonder you end up in cheap sex. 

Open Sex would mean that you have the freedom to that basic human need but you cannot demand it without payment or effort as we are now saying -not- Free Sex. You can appreciate that been open about sex, means you are promiscous but not getting it for free.

Thus not only is Free Software less apt than Open Source Software in describing that philosophical bent, it can be even be misleading. I admit that it is not easy explaining FOSS or else i would not have been unemployable the last 5 years. It is so difficult to sell this concept to idiots and those who have hormonal disorders. What more with commercial versions such as what happened with Compiere and OpenBravo that has abused the term but locking up that freedom due to their morbid fear of IP and branding dilution on the road to IPOland. Which they won't go very far, with the freedom fighters lining the whole route with the community fork that allows the freedom of anyone to come in and make a stake on our ADempiere project.

Lately we have even obtained OSGI capability thanks to a few german contributors. The point is that they have the freedom to be part of the bandwagon, and improve the culture and civilization of the software, which is growing unabatedly as its DNA dicates.

I think i should stop chanting here and move a few metres back from the centre of the bonfire.

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