"r0ml" (Robert Lefkowitz) gave an amusing and interesting look at words, code, and rhetoric. He started by saying that software, code, is the rhetoric of the 21st century and open source is the trivium of code.

If those words are too much, you should stop reading now.

He talked about how we need to stop using acronyms, and rather starting having words. But no words really capture programming terms, so we can steal them from the middle ages (since no one else is using them). He then commenced showing us what great words we should be using for things; I'll highlight a few.

He closed his talk discussing a pet peeve of his. In the open source world we often talk about how free has two meanings: free as in beer, and free as in speech. We do this because in English we only have one word for both of these cases. Other languages have a specific word derived from the latin libre to signify free as in speech. So often we call free software, software libre. However, English in fact does have a word descended from the latin libre. Liberal. So really we could talk about Liberal Software, much like how we have the Liberal Arts.

Interesting, isn't it.

Posted: Jul 29, 2007 | Tags: 42 OSCON OSCON07

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