The High Price of Free [↗]

An interesting post about the cost of open source, in terms of time, effort and money. Having worked on a “free software” project myself for many years, I can relate to much of it.

What pays the bills for me, and enables me to spend my spare time doing unpaid work, is my product Perch. Yet we launched Perch to complaints that it wasn’t open source. There are very good reasons why someone might want, or be required, to use software that has an open source license. However, when we ask about it, people rarely cite these reasons. When they say open source, they mean free of charge.

I hear this a lot. Many people think open source and free software equate to the same thing. They don’t, at least not according to the Free Software Foundation:

Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement.

So, strictly speaking, it is entirely possible to charge people to use open source software. I should probably shut-up now, before I get called a neckbeard.

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