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(NEWS) Mostly Free Software
Describing what 'free' means to us.
by @admin, june 26, 2020, 01:16pm utc

So, we have told you about mostly free software; but what does that really mean?

"Free software" can mean different things (see the sidebar What is "free" software?).

For our customers we promote truly free-to-use software and applications.


So ... why does La Vojo show fees with some of the free software replacements?

What we are trying to do here is to provide back some support to the creators making the free software. These people live on contributions. The amount that they get determines how much and how frequently that their software will be updated.

We think that is is fair to help them, if we are using their tools to save our customers a lot of money.

These fees are admittedly arbitrary, so we would be pleased to work with you to jiggle them around -- with a goal of being fair to "the ones that brought us to the party" as well as to you, our customers.

What is "free" software?

In this context there are two types of "free".

1. The ability to see the source code of the tool or application. The vendor may charge for this software, with the main benefit being -- that you actually know what it is that you are getting. There are no hidden backdoors; malware; or other tricks buried within a lump of compiled binary software that you would get from, say, Microsoft.

2. Same as the above, but at no cost.

There are occasionally some other twists, like how the software is licensed to you (the user).

It can be licensed in a way that allows you to use the software, but if you make any improvements to the code of the software, you are supposed to offer those changes back to the originators, often for free.
This is actually a good deal, for two reasons.

First, you started with something that took a great deal of time, effort and money to create. Offering back your changes is a very fair return.

Secondly, it is likely that you will still use the bulk of the original each time it changes. If you DID NOT offer back your changes, you would have to reimplement the changes each time the base changed. If you DID offer your changes back and the originator uses them; then each new update of the original would already have your stuff in it.

For a real life example of this, the Linux Mint Debian operating system is a version of Linux Mint, built on top of the upstream, originator Debian.

Or, like the BSD operating system, it can be licensed in a way that you can do whatever you please with it -- changing it; bundling it with your own software; or whatever you would like.


Our goal is to save you money and to promote open source software.

So we will be finding the very best, while least expensive item for you in all cases.

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