Re: [board-discuss] 'Free Beer' Office?
I'm still getting a little annoyed by the 'free beer' matter. The whole
problem starts with different conceptualizations (contexts) how they
term free is used.
Free beer is used in context of the four freedoms in context of software
development https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html not to be
confused with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms
From the free software paradigm/philosophy as defined on (gnu.org) is
open source not equivalent use with being free of charge.
However this not universal conception. Free can be equivalent for gratis
in day to day use.
And there even software developers who distribute their program
intentionally for free in the sense of being free of charge (without
expecting something in return)
Or all the different models where software tends to be free, with a
catch somewhere. Firefox search preferences. Add financed software.
Software bundles. Software with nag screens. Software free to use with
Another point is what to archive by saying LibreOffice isn't free as in
What do you expect from non-commerical user? What should they do?
Even in they context of commercial party's. LibreOffice is free of
charge. And the license doesn't prohibit anything What do you expect them?
The core issue is that eco-system partners are spending money on
development (code); which they are sharing with the world for free.
They code gets compiled and distributed for free by TDF.
They idea seems to be about everybody contributing their fair share.
And there is quite some theory about that. In the area for governments
finances. More specific taxes. You pay taxes to finance "common
interest", but show it's a tendency get around those.
They idea behind taxes letting everybody pay their fair share. Ideally
voluntary, but show this doesn't work well. So mostly with 'force'.
And people do acknowledge government services, but at the point of
paying.. They government is taking away your hard earned money with
And if other people dodge taxes big time, they they smaller fish doing
they same thing. Of course a governments far bigger compared a software
vendor, so you know a bit better how your share is used.
They idea/ideal/vision is that non-commercial and commercial contribute,
but spending a part of their license savings on they Office Suite being
spend on LibreOffice and/or taking services from company's involved.
They reality is that LibreOffice is used for maximum cost cutting (or
something like that) or less pessimistic, aren't aware of those services.
And this whole dilemma isn't unique. Wikipedia is from perspective of
the user free. And from perspective of the founders perceived as giving
away 'free beer'
They whole service costs a lot of money. It has to come from somewhere.
They don't deliver ad's as most sites do (out of principle). Quite
noble. However a way of making your living very hard; but they are
different at the same time.
And those who donate (minority) might fee they are sponsoring the free
riders. So refrain from donating too. Of course not good reason, but ..
"Libre"and "Free" are loaded terms; everybody reads them in they way the
see fit (if they context is lacking). Free as reference to Developer
ethics (so free to use the code). Free from Vendor Lock-in. Free of charge.
Free source code; free to redistribute; Free from American company's.
Free from back-doors. Free of bugs? free of software limitations. free
of ads; Free of bundled software. However not free of commercial interest
I think more should be done about communicating the philosophy of
LibreOffice (or Open Source in general). Create a story/narrative.
Should and little less about the product/ software as such.
Bit more about how it's made and what the principles are. Where does
LibreOffice stand for; believe in? LibreOffice is build on the idea of
working together (team effort)/ sharing idea's, code, knowledge/ openness.
It's about showing how a program works, about learning to code (or
design). To create a better product in collaboration.
It's about contributing. It's about working together all of the world.
It's about Personal control, customizability. It's a society/club
(German: Verband: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verband_(Recht))
Creating an development eco-system being less capitalistic driven. To
improve and involve together, instead dictated functionality by a major
Making Office Suite accessible for everyone at low costs or no costs.
But also what it's not. LibreOffice is not a charity or based on (pure)
Above is only pointers for a philosophy/ ideals which should be
communicated. The webpages should also contain some explanation about
they multiple ways Free & Libre can be interpreted and how TDF
Libre is by some people interpreted as 'gratis'. While at GNU they state
"We sometimes call it “libre software,” borrowing the French or Spanish
word for “free” as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is
So please communicate this properly. You can't expect people to know
what is meant. Everybody interprets it from their context (as long as
the text is lacking context).
So free can be interpreted as equivalent for gratis, without those
people being 'wrong'. Even that's not the message you want to send.
Communicating is not that easy
LibreOffice being free of charge is an result of the philosophy/ideals.
It's not something needing extra attention or emphasis. It's merely a
fact; at state of being.
It's not they mission of TDF/LibreOffice. Not the point. It's mere an
expression of they philosophy. Else - by promoting free - you end up in
the area of charity/ altruism. And LibreOffice isn't about that (based
So 'for free' 'free of charge' shouldn't key words. LibreOffice is a
free product; what does this mean? Read here.. Make bit more of mystery.
You want people to read the whole story. Instead clicking download after
reading "Free of Charge".
I'm maybe overstating they effect, but it's al least an attempt to
'spread the word'. Or some would say 'educate people'. However has a
negative connotation for me. Learning someone a lesson. Or they
enlightened people (patricians) versus they plebs. It sounds bit of
forcing an idea/vision on to people. You need to persuade/convince
people. You maybe still educating them, I know. However sounds nicer.
You need to create a story around LibreOffice; mission, vision, goals.
Making interest/vivid to read. Not something like this
https://opensource.org/docs/definition.php. Of course you may point to
it, and they topic should be addressed in someway.
But make it more attractive. I found they whole map thing:
https://youtu.be/a5-7N197T18?t=2008 quite insightful. About where
software is developed/ licensed. And no don't dump a link of youtube on
they page or link to they slides. But write it out in blog posts.
However that's more a formal/legal description. Like say a
Journalist/Marketing; not a lawyer .
Where do you stand for. What do you want to archive. What do you want to
convey. As F(L)OSS in general and LibreOffice in specific.
This is part of the business plan/ marketing plan/ marketing
communication plan from TDF. The ideals should be compatible with they
vision of the eco-system partners
So not something sleepy to read like this:
https://ubuntu.com/community/mission. How abstract and dead can you make
it. Where is the enthusiasm/ pride.
Really interested how they - at Ubuntu - would define say they mission
of say a local football club. If they would write it like this, would
you become a member?
It read a bit like technical manual/ specification sheet. A prefer more
they Apple product story telling. Vivaldi community/ about
communication is already a lot better.
Op 27-7-2020 om 10:02 schreef Mike Saunders:
On 25/07/2020 09:58, Andreas Mantke wrote:
for those who complains about LibreOffice campains stating free (like
free beer), here is a current example from the official LibreOffice account:
This is actually an image from an older campaign, before we started to
reduce usage of the word "free". The reason I reused the image there was
because there was a flurry of tweets around Microsoft's subscription
models, and people asking about alternatives. So I quickly dug out that
In general, I have cut back on promoting the "free as in beer" messaging
on social media. Still, it can be very useful for some targeted
messaging, such as showing OpenOffice users that there's a much more
up-to-date alternative. I tried doing this without any mention of
"free", but kept getting the same response: "Yeah, but is LibreOffice
free like OpenOffice"?
And, of course, "office software available for use by anyone free of
charge" is part of our statutes.
But I agree that constantly emphasising the "free as in beer" part is
counter-productive to the project as a whole. I spend more time now
engaging in discussions to highlight that the software isn't made for
free, and focusing on LO in terms of the community rather than just the
To unsubscribe e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posting guidelines + more: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Netiquette
List archive: https://listarchives.documentfoundation.org/www/board-discuss/
Impressum (Legal Info)
: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images
on this website are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is
licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2
"LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are
registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are
in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective
logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use
thereof is explained in our trademark policy