- Open Source For You (OSFY) - January 2019 issue
- Linux v/s GNU/Linux
- FOSS v/s Free Software v/s Open Source
- Image Credits
- The importance of editing
- Thanks EFY Editorial Team!
- Links to resources mentioned in the article
I thought, instead of just mentioning about the coverage, if I could offer some more details and clarification and share the experience, maybe that might be of greater value.
Open Source For You (OSFY) - January 2019 issue
Here is a link to the ToC of the Jan 2019 issue of the OSFY magazine. I will link to the actual article once it is posted on the main website - maybe in a month or so.
Please do purchase the issue if you want to read this article. If you are not able to find a copy easily, do mail me and I will find a copy and courier it to you.
Linux v/s GNU/Linux
The company is called “DeepRoot Linux” because in the year 2000 when it was setup, it seemed like an excellent hack. I think it was in 2006 when RMS asked me for the first time why it wasn’t called “DeepRoot GNU/Linux” and I explained how changing the company’s name is a very complex and costly process. I had added that apart from the name of the company, I generally use GNU/Linux to refer the operating system.
That excuse seemed sufficient for many years, until a few months back, I got asked the same question again by RMS:
Founder & hacker-in-charge, DeepRoot Linux
Why is the name “DeepRoot Linux”? That name promotes the name “Linux” at the expense of GNU.
And then I realised that nothing stops me from calling the company “DeepRoot GNU/Linux” irrespective of the company’s legal name. And so, after 18+ years, I updated the logo to indicate this oversight:
The only reason I’m reciting this story here is because the article mentions “DeepRoot Linux” and I thought it is important to explain why.
FOSS v/s Free Software v/s Open Source
If I have to talk about software that provides freedom and is distributed under licenses that provide + protect such freedoms for users and developers, I use the term “free software”.
Many people use the term “Open Source”. Or a compromise term: “Free / Open Source Software”. Or even “Free / Libre / Open Source Software”.
I feel that saying “free software” is sufficient and provides us with an occassion to explain the importance and significance of freedom in software.
Most places in the article I use the term “free software” itself. But as I read it again now, I realise that some place the article also uses “FOSS”. Right now I am very upset about this negligence on my part and how I didn’t realise this while reviewing the content on multiple occassions.
Being consistent is very important and I am sorry I was not consistent enough in my usage of my preffered term: “free software”.
The photo used in the article was probably taken by a student at NIT Durgapur in Feb, 2018 when I was there to an interaction with the students. Thank you - I am glad to use your photo in most places where I need to use a photo. I owe you for this!
The importance of editing
After I wrote close to 5000 words for this interview, I realised how some of the statements were very open-ended and did not serve to make any point. But I had spent too much time interating over the draft. The editorial team at EFY helped a lot and their edits were very useful.
However, I felt that maybe if I re-wrote the first 40% of the content, I could’ve written it better. At many places, it wasn’t clear enough, it didn’t have enough facts and it didn’t really make a conclusive point. :(
Thanks EFY Editorial Team!
The editorial team at EFY was very patient and helpful. Thank you Rahul, Niraj, Shweta and Aashima! An additional thanks to Rahul Chopra (Editorial Director, EFY Group) for suggesting this and supporting.
Links to resources mentioned in the article
- ‘Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution’ by Stephen Levy (Wikipedia)
- Source code, documentation and sytems written and designed by D. J. Bernstein - https://cr.yp.to
- ‘Coders at work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming’ by Peter Seibel (Wikipedia)
Some pointers on why freedom matters even for students and what it means to be a hacker - https://abhas.io/students-hackers/
For those who have teaching roles in academic institutions (especially faculty members in engineering colleges), Abhas offers a roadmap on why it is important to choose free software to optimise for freedom and learning.
For entrepreneurs who want to consider building a business around free software
In this presentation (extracted from a talk at Swatantra 2017), I explain the problem of ‘black boxes’ and how we can get rid of them using free software and self-hosting. - https://abhas.io/no-black-boxes