Morality and Pragmatism in Free Software and Open Source

Morality and Pragmatism in Free Software and Open Source

Dave Yeats (Auburn University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-060-8.ch169

Abstract

This chapter analyzes the differences between the philosophy of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as described by Richard Stallman and the open source movement as described in the writings of Eric Raymond. It argues that free software bases its activity on the argument that sharing code is a moral obligation and open source bases its activity on a pragmatic argument that sharing code produces better software. By examining the differences between these two related software movements, this chapter enables readers to consider the implications of these differences and make more informed decisions about software use and involvement in various software development efforts.

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