Free/Libre and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics: GIS-GRASS Users Conference

Message from Richard M. Stallman, President, Free Software Foundation

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At the MIT AI lab of the 70s, where I learned the free software way of life, we believed that users must have access to the source code for the software they use. Without the source code, users are helpless.

In no field is this more crucial than in science. You can't fully understand the meaning of someone else's research results, or even your own, if you cannot check the source code of the programs that generated them.

Development of the free GIS package GRASS reflects and nurtures the the sprit of freedom and openness in scientific software. I commend the developers who have contributed to science by writing and maintaining GRASS, and also the users who have chosen free GIS software, rejecting the ignorance-spreading proprietary alternatives.

Thank you for furthering science and understanding. Thank you for contributing to the spread of freedom.

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