What FOSS Really Mean

FOSS consist two terms Free and Open Source. But are these both terms different? An open source software is always free software. Isn’t it. This question always blow my mind, why we use both the terms if they mean same. So finally decided to search and get answer. Here putting that only.

Let us understand about each of the two terms individually.

Free Software

Free Software does not mean  the software is free in context of Money/Price. Here Free represents the freedom users have, the liberty users have to read, use, copy, modify and share the code and software(both changed and real one). So it is about rights, privileges and not cost. Users are free to control the program the way they want.

Four degrees of freedom that a free software provide can be read from The Free Software Definition.

Open Source

The origin of this term is to avoid the confusion of the term free software but later on it become something with different perspective. Open Source software means the code of software is public and users are free to modify and enhance and distribute it.

But this is the same as Free Software. So what’s the difference? We are again at same place.


Though both the term refer to all most same thing but there is some small difference. Free Software are more powerful while Open Source license are a bit more supportive to commercial areas. Any program made using free software will also be always published under free software license, but this is not the case with open source software. Any open source software which is not free software if modified can be published without open source license. That is why most of the license that are Free Software are also OSI(Open Source Initiative) approved, that is they are also open source license.

We should not use both terms interchangeably, there are examples of licenses which are only any one type approved and not other. CECILL License v2 is FSF approved while not open source and NASA Open Source Agreement is open source while not Free.

But the real difference between both the term is still a mystery! I will add more stuff with proves if I will find.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
[2] https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
[3] http://opensource.com/education/12/7/clearing-open-source-misconceptions
[4] http://opensource.org/osd
[5] http://suyati.com/difference-between-free-software-and-open-source-software/

What FOSS Really Mean

Things Do change with Time

Law of nature is to change, so true it is. I always worry about concepts which I didn’t grasp easily and thing that bother me a lot is how will I understand them, learn them, if no one is there to help as all people around also don’t know much about it; Finally reached to conclusion that if we give two, one or even half hour daily to that particular topic even if we don’t understand much about it soon we will become expert in it. Your enemy will become your friend if you keep try for same.

New things are same for all, no one come in this world with full stack of knowledge, every person learn every thing on this earth only. The point is that the more time you will spend in a thing the more you will know about it, as you will have experience you get knowledge in it and become expert. So the topic/concept which was new and tough to you will be no more if you spend time on it.

Don’t take my words take your own example: you know very well how to add or multiply two numbers(correct?), how you learned them? May your teacher helped you initially to know the technique of performing addition/multiplication but ultimately you practice to learn it. And does that teacher is still with you to teach each and every new thing or do you have guaranty that, that teacher will remain with you forever? Absolutely not. You should be capable enough to find your own ways to get the things done.

In order to learn new concept/topic very first thing I do is use internet wisely, gather upper level knowledge of that topic through internet by reading various posts but as we can’t trust each and every information present of internet, one need to put more efforts to become expert and also you can’t be expert in any thing if you don’t do it yourself.  So after gathering top level knowledge on that topic I search for any online course/MOOC and read good books to get well sequenced and trusted knowledge.

So the point is that things doesn’t change themselves with time, they change by doing things. Now doer could be you or other who will change it!

Things Do change with Time