Apple and Open Source

Craig Sanders cas at
Sat Mar 20 23:20:35 UTC 1999

On Sat, Mar 20, 1999 at 03:01:16AM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:

[...much deleted...] 

well said!

> Overall, I think that Apple's action is an example of the effects of
> the year-old "open source" movement: of its plan to appeal to business
> with the purely materialistic goal of faster development, while
> putting aside the deeper issues of freedom, community, cooperation,
> and what kind of society we want to live in.
> Apple has grasped perfectly the concept with which "open source" is
> promoted, which is "show users the source and they will help you fix
> bugs".  What Apple has not grasped--or has dismissed--is the spirit of
> free software, which is that we form a community to cooperate on the
> commons of software.

i think it is worth pointing out here that the rapid bug-fixing and
development of features is merely a side-effect of this spirit of free
software.  i.e. it is *because* we know that the software is free and can
never be taken away from us, and *because* we know we are contributing to
the common good that we are willing to volunteer our time and energy and
skills to improving free software.

without that security of knowledge, why should we bother? we would be
better off putting our time and energy into something which was truly
free than putting it into something which may be taken away from us in
the future.

free software is, IMO, an example of enlightened self-interest - we
are helping others by helping ourselves, and making an investment in
software "infrastructure" which will benefit us all for decades (or
more) to come.


craig sanders

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