2011-06-20

Frjáls Hugbúnaður

Today's theme has been about 75% software freedom and 25% helping Ewelina find a job. Both are going reasonably well.

I made quite a bit of progress on my forked socksipy, and actually started removing code from pagekite.py and making it depend on the new socksipy instead. Being able to remove code and move to a reusable abstract library is always a good thing, it gave me warm fuzzies. There is more code that wants moving though.

I called Rannís and found out that the next step towards getting a grant from the government, will be to respond to an e-mail they will send me, inviting me to meet and negotiate. So now I just wait.

Tomorrow I will meet Richard Stallman for a brief chat about PageKite. This is entirely my idea, I hope I ask some sensible questions so he doesn't feel I'm wasting his time.

Frjáls Hugbúnaður

On the subject of Free Software, the lectures this weekend were suitably inspiring and have generated some discourse in the Icelandic media in addition to some interesting conversations around the house, at the pub and at the lectures themselves.

As usual, just the terminology confuses people. What is the difference between Free Software and Open Source? Culture and motivation. Is Free Software always given away for free? No. How do programmers earn a living if they don't get to subjucate their users? They do useful things people will pay for. Good stuff like that.

These discussions made me think of the equivalent Icelandic terms. Specifically the term Frjáls Hugbúnaður, which means Free Software without suggesting the software is gratis, thus avoiding the biggest problem which led to people inventing Open Source in the first place. The term has been relatively successful: Icelandic geeks generally either talk about Frjáls Hugbúnaður or Ópen Sorss, giving the former a pretty significant advantage since it's actually proper Icelandic.

This makes me happy, because I have this vague memory of having invented it. Frjáls Hugbúnaður!

I could of course be imagining things, and it's quite likely that others independently came up with the same translation around the same time (it is rather obvious)... but that doesn't keep me from feeling just a little bit proud every time I see it in print or hear it used: I couldn't resist whispering a bragging I invented that term in Ewelina's ear when people were telling Stallman about it at his lecture this weekend.

Here is the oldest reference I could find of my own use of the term, from 1998. I haven't grepped my e-mail yet, not sure I will bother.

But I hereby officially recognize and document my self inflated egotistical fondness and paternal feelings for the term. Let the deflating begin?

Or... hooray for Frjáls Hugbúnaður!

Tags: life, tech, pagekite


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