About the Software category


#1

Whatever isn’t software, embedded with software, designed by software, or at least excellent at using software will be outcompeted. Software freedom is absolutely necessary for a good future, and the free software movement demonstrated the possibility of a bottom-up strategy against the IP juggernaut.

Fortunately there are many great organizations and other initiatives focused on software freedom. However, no entity that concerned about open or commons [fill in the blank] ought ignore software freedom – if they do, their concern will be outcompeted by things embedded with, designed by, run by proprietary software.

Thus WIFO must include a software category to avoid falling into this trap. But there are more than enough places to discuss free/libre/open source software. Things not often discussed elsewhere that may make good topics here:

  • Some proponents of software freedom make ethical claims, but are they robust? They need to be critiqued and improved, otherwise they will fail to convince others, a tragedy. Question software freedom‽ If you find work addressing claims of software freedom by outsiders – for example philosophers or social scientists – please share here.
  • The free/open source software movement suffers from many of the coordination and lack of direct competition with proprietary vendors on what they do well (distribution, marketing, sales) as other free/open fields. Contribute to describing the problem and solutions.
  • How can other free/open movements be convinced that software freedom is necessary, including for their practices? Envision a world in which at least the staffs of various free/open organizations are using devices running free software operating systems? How could this come about?
  • Other software freedom related ideas that you can make the case ought be discussed here because they are especially pertinent to the WIFO theory of change and are under-discussed elsewhere.

Short critique of saint-hero free software ideology and activism
Software freedom motivated for research outputs, research infrastructure