“free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”

When reading the article on “What is free software”, I immediately thought of open source software. Reading the section talking about different degrees of freedom made me think free software is the same as open source software. However, after doing a little more research on free software and open source software, I learned that the freedom part is similar. The difference comes down to the business. To my understanding, free software only cares about allowing other people to share the code. Open source software focuses more on the development of the software and is more business orientated.

The whole idea of free software is what I agree with in terms of making the world a better place. The freedom to take existing code and modifying to your needs is what I see as progress. There are a lot of people in the world that complain about the existing software. From that set, there is a small subset that are programmers. Majority of programmers would code their own software to fix a common or frequent issue they have. If these people have access to the existing code and can modify to their needs. The software is improved. Statistically, if one person has a problem with a software, there exists at least one other person with the same problem. If the original programmer was able to share the software he improved, then everyone who has the same problem are benefited. If more and more people are working on the same software, the growth of the software be expontential, theoretically. Free software is a great way to develop software and help grow our technology expontentially.

However, we do not live in a perfect world. When it comes to software, now it also means business. Because we are in a time period where technology is part of our daily routine. People can make money off it. If people can make money off it, then that means there’s business. Like the Joker says, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free”. Humans being greedy, we are holding ourselves back by not focusing on the main goal, evolving and improving our lives (using technology). When we can be focusing on developing new software/ improving and growing the existing software, we are wasting time dealing with the business side of things. Making sure the company is growing, making sure the employees are happy, making sure the public sees the company in a positive way. We must focus on many different things. This makes our objective (improving our software) grow in a slower rate than it’s maximum potential.

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