Continuing the discussion from Running list of misc complaints about non-FLO stuff:
Although ranting might be beneficial in aiding others to feel our pain (and stories are great), I think one thing we do poorly in the FLO world is explaining the benefits of stuff being FLO.
If you are not a developer, you probably won’t care that a software is libre.
The benefit of a software being open source is that you could modify it, but if you don’t have the ability to do so (ie. you have never programmed anything), you won’t find any value in having the code of a software.
One could understand the value of libre software if they had access to a platform where they could post feature bounties and have people code the features for them. Here the distinction between libre and freedom-depriving software would be clearer.
I would be useful to use every FOSS website to try to spread awareness on why users might find it more perennial to use FOSS.
I tried to do that on a website I manage (and to distinguish between “free” and “free”):
In English we say “free”, which makes people see only the “gratis” aspect of it.
In French we say “libre”, and although it has the same root as “liberté” (freedom). This has the merit to make the distinction between free as in freedom and free has in free beer. But “logiciel libre” is weird because this doesn’t really mean anything. It could mean that the software has some free will or something. I wish people had chosen “logiciel libérateur” instead.
Conversely, we say “proprietary software” and “logiciel propriétaire”, which just makes FOSS look like some communist utopia, fighting against propriety. I think this makes people miss the major point of FOSS, that is: it empowers you, and no one can put you on a leash ; you stay free.
I wish we called “proprietary software” something more violent like “freedom-depriving software” or “imprisoning software”. More and more, French-speaking people are replacing “logiciel propriétaire” (which also doesn’t mean anything, unless software can own stuff) by “logiciel privateur” (software that deprives).