OSS, FOSS, and FLOSS

At Slashdot there's an interesting discussion about OSI To Crack Down On "Open Source" Abusers, which begins with this:
"...the Open Source Initiative is getting tough on any vendors who claim to be open source despite not actually using a license approved by the OSI. In his blog post, OSI president Michael Tiemann writes..."
This discussion covers terminology issues that have been going on for at least 15 years. In a nutshell, here are the issues: Because of the ambiguous nature of the terms open source, OSS, FOSS, and free, I try to avoid all of them. For example, in my blog post about Freeing the IMAP Clients, I distinguish between free/gratis and free/libre.

My recommendation to everyone in the software community is that we banish ambiguous terms. Refuse to use the word free and instead use free/gratis (or gratis) and free/libre (or libre). If you use the phrase open source, clarify what exactly you mean by that. And if you mean free/libre open source software, use FLOSS -- don't use OSS or FOSS!

See Also: Alternative terms for free software at Wikipedia.org.

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Hashtag: #oss-foss-and [?]

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