Rename IndiaOS to IndiaFOSS

‘Open-source’ is used many times as a substitute for ‘Free’ software.

Clearly it is not.

Open-source is also being used as a substitute to ‘Visible-source’ deliberately.

So I recommend that we rename ‘IndiaOS’ to ‘IndiaFOSS’.


As far as I know, IndiaOS covers open hardware too. In that case “Free and Open Source Software” will be contradictory I guess.


Yes it would be better not to restrict only to software.

But I would still choose IndiaFOSS over IndiaOS.

As ‘Open Source’ can be used in the context where ‘Intellectual Property’ is owned by the creator and code is just visible to buyer.

There is no perfect name I guess.


After the event I was explaining to my friend (a beginner in this field) about what IndiaOS was about. I first explained to her what open-source meant. Then I talked about Kailash’s talk. She asked me, so, “Zerodha” is open source?

Then I explained to her how free software and open source, although superficially same, are widely different philosophies. I told her how in a “free software” conference Zerodha, MOSIP, etc would have no position, but in an “open source” conference all of them would be welcome.

The way I explained that to her is that “free software” has traditionally been about the political vision of a society where software is fundamentally free and respects the user rights. It is about a radical economic structure where every human enjoys the benefits of software.

And that “open source” is less strict in the political sense and is a compromise made by big companies and small organizations (individuals included) alike to work together on a common base and contribute to each other’s (usually) libraries so that everyone benefits in the long term. That building a proprietary business over open source projects would be totally alright in the “open source” philosophy.

She then asked me, “Ah, so is this the same as the difference between for-profit and non-profit” (in that both of them have to make profit to be sustainable, but the primary motive for a for-profit is to make profit while that for a non-profit is to benefit others). I agreed. Open source is like for-profit sharing of code. Free software is like non-profit sharing of code.

The sense I got from the event was that “OS” was the right suffix for India in this conference.

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OS’s meaning has been diluted quite a bit and FOSS (really, FLOSS) are more “correct”.

This is incorrect. Any entity that generates FOSS would be relevant to a free software conference. How do you expect FOSS developers to earn a living? :slight_smile:

This is also incorrect. It’s possible to have for-profit FOSS too. Building a proprietary business over FOSS is also fine (but wouldn’t be likely be very appreciated), as long as you adhere to the terms of the license used.

Conflating the idea of profit with philosophies of FOSS has always been a source of great misunderstanding.

Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible—just enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding.

Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and sell them, it is a nonfree license. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.


I think this is wrong. It’s important to remember the 4 freedoms here: the freedom to use, study, modify, redistribute. See

I think this deserves its own topic :wink:

My only problem with IndiaFOSS is that hackers from out of India might ignore us. For example how would we perceive a project from ChinaFOSS. I think IndiaFOSS would be a great conference name, but the org should be probably called something more universal, like “FOSS United” or something :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I’m sorry that’s the wrong essay. It talks about selling code that is itself open source/free.

But, the difference in philosophy is better explained in this essay:

I think copyleft is the defining difference between the two philosophies

I’m not talking about license. I’m talking about philosophy.

In the free software philosophy, building proprietary projects over free software would take away user’s freedoms and isn’t good.

But in open source philosophy it is okay.

Immaterial. If you don’t like someone’s philosophy or the way they run the project, fork it and run your own free software project. MOSIP etc all can be forked.

It’s gratis vs. libre. As long as the freedoms are guaranteed, it’s FOSS. A FOSS developer can sell their wares for profit. Doesn’t infringe on the philosophy. Whether one’s doing it out of altruism or not is a complicated and subjective matter.

The proprietary bit got really blurry with the advent of SaaS, which is something that wasn’t originally envisioned. GPL -> AGPL. Then again, one’s free to run a for-profit SaaS, as long as the freedoms are maintained.

My point was, “for profit” and FOSS do not have to be mutually exclusive as you stated in the original post.

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I don’t disagree.

In fact, Zerodha is a wrong example here. We all love Zerodha and it complicates things.

If Microsoft were to develop a couple of free software projects and come to talk at a free software conference about Windows, they wouldn’t be much welcome. But if they indeed come to talk about the two free software projects that they built and is widely popular, then things would be slightly different. (Even then, it is a matter of concern whether Microsoft can be seen independent of their widely popular proprietary product). Essentially, all these concerns arise from the purely “free software” philosophy that the world should be dominated by free software.

Yep, this was my point :slight_smile:.

@rushabh FOSS Awakens (à la Force Awakens) :smiley:. Surprisingly, only 42 references.


I think the business world have polluted the word ‘FREE’ to an extent that if you prefix it before any product or service, people nowadays are having a perception that may be it is of low quality, may be it is not good one, may be there is something wrong in it, may be there is something fishy about it :slight_smile:

So naturally the word FREE prefixed to Open Source Software also led to negative image among the people who were new to this concept. This perception is still there. It is just a matter of time when this will fade away.

I appreciate all the thoughts of people in this thread. There is nothing right or wrong and we should welcome different views, perspectives and keep the discussions continuing.

Yes, a generic cool name would be good for the organisation. We even need not associate the name to a nation, product or a philosophy. IndiaFOSS can just be conference name.

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