Free as in Software: An Exploration of Free Open Source Software – by “Michael W”

Free Open Source Software has played a critical role in the emergence of the digital age. For my final project I decided to examine this phenomenon from a few different angles. First, I built a website using only free open source software. This was, not surprisingly, exceedingly easy. The widespread availability of open source software and the vibrant health of online programming communities have contributed immensely to the explosion of innovation on the web. Next, I captured this precise point (inadvertently, I should add), by stumbling into a situation in which I needed to ping the FOSS community for help, and they ultimately answered beyond my expectations. I used Facebook and its pending FOSS alternative Diaspora to illustrate the subtle differences between “free” versus “free software” versus “freeware.” And finally, I wrapped up with some thoughts about the future of free open source, as it applies to software and perhaps even beyond. You can view the project at

Free As in Software

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