In email to a third party, copied to me, Linux activist and long-time friend Rick Moen comments on the acronym FLOSS (usually explanded “Free, Libré, and Open Source”.
I continue to find it difficult to take seriously anyone who adopts an excruciatingly bad, hopelessly obscure acronym associated with dental hygiene aids. We learned in the late 1990s a number of lessons about how not to market free / open source, and the idiots who keep coming up with bad ideas like “FLOSS” and “FOSS” are determined to rush, like urban-legend lemmings, off the very cliff of PR incompetence that we so painfully learned to finally avoid, a decade ago. I’m sorry, but those people need to be cluebombed and routed around until they stop shooting at everyone’s feet.
I couldn’t have put it better myself, so I’m not going to try. Near as I can figure, the only appeal this term has is a sort of lily-livered political correctness, as though people think they’d be making an ideological commitment will cause petulant screaming from a million basements if they pick “open source” or “free software”.
Well, speaking as the guy who promulgated “open source” to abolish the colossal marketing blunders that were associated with the term “free software”, I think “free software” is less bad than “FLOSS”. Somebody, please, shoot this pitiful acronym through the head and put it out of our misery.