Where "free software" stands on the internet today
As I browsed the web a little the last few days to update the links section of GGL, I noticed some interesting things about how "free software" was presented on the web.
Here are some gathered remarks.
- First, I was really surprised to see that a Google search for "open source" features... the FSF in 5th place! The text description says "The organization that "started it all" in free or open source software.", I really wonder who added this, and why. The term "open source" isn't even present on the FSF homepage or its source code.
- I was happy to see the effort made by the Ubuntu developers to make the installation of non-free codecs easy in Ubuntu. Both the "Ubuntu restricted extras" package, and the Medibutuntu project, are really helpful moves IMO.
However, I can't help but being saddened by the lack of information on this non-free software problem. Calling things "packages restricted by copyright or legal issues in some countries" leaves the average user clueless as to what is at stake here. The packages aren't restricted at all! It's the use of them that is restricted - quite a huge distinction.
The Ubuntu licensing page seems to be built by developers for developers, and makes little mention of the freedom of the non-code-reading user.
I deeply respect the Ubuntu people's use of their favorite terminology, but sometimes I feel a little annoyed at this "don't get people thinking too much" attitude.
[end of rant]
- The Fedora homepage, on the other hand, points to the definition of free software!. Simple and clear. I hadn't noticed before.
- And last but not least, a search for "free software" on Google features a sponsored link pointing to... I'll let you find out. Shameful.
This doesn't really call for responses, it's just a personal remark... it can simply be interesting to note how the term "free software" can be used and distorted on the Internet.