What comes after “open source”, by Steve Klabnik

Source: What comes after “open source”, by Steve Klabnik

note that I seamlessly switched above from talking about what Free Software and Open Source are, to immediately talking about licenses. This is because these two things are effectively synonymous.

So why is it a problem that the concepts of free software and open source are intrinsically tied to licenses? It’s that the aims and goals of both of these movements are about distribution and therefore consumption, but what people care about most today is about the production of software.

Most developers don’t understand open source to be a particular license that certain software artifacts are in compliance with, but an attitude, an ideology. And that ideology isn’t just about the consumption of the software, but also its production.

I’m still, ultimately, left with more questions than answers. But I do think I’ve properly identified the problem: many developers conceive of software freedom as something larger than purely a license that kinds in on redistribution. This is the new frontier for those who are thinking about furthering the goals of the free software and open source movements. Our old tools are inadequate, and I’m not sure that the needed replacements work, or even exist.