Wording and phrases for Hyperbola

There are many words and phrases like “freedom” used around free, libre software and culture. But within their exact meaning many of them stay vague and not clear defined. For example the word “freedom” is referenced on multiple ways, each of in different relations: The freedom of speech, the freedom of expression and others. Within this article we want to give an overview and clear meaning for the wording and phrases used around Hyperbola as project, also in relation what is important for Hyperbola and in what kind of relation this follows up.

Freedom as vague term

The wording “freedom” is most time referenced in social and technical ways. Generic said Hyperbola is always following the four freedoms defined:

  • Freedom 0: The freedom to use the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute and make copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

But as to be clearly seen this only refers to the software itself and what people can and should be always allowed to do. The word “freedom” is further enhanced by people around the sphere of free, libre software and culture. Most referenced in the meaning of “freedom of speech” but here we are leaving the term of technical and social definition direct and even worse also leave a clear meant definition.

The definition “freedom of speech” is even not clear when looking on different countries and cultural meanings. So Hyperbola nevertheless wants to define this corresponding to the goals of the project itself: In respect of the four freedoms quoted above Hyperbola as project for sure respects the freedom of speech, but always in combination with the duty of responsibility. In regards to our social contract we await from every person active in our community to respect the personal limits drawn from an individual. There is no such thing like “freedom of speech”, when insults and harassment is included. There is also no such thing like “freedom of expression”, when this means to reject clear facts and common sense information. The personal freedom always ends, when others get restricted by any means and this clearly includes also dehumanizing and propaganda for harassment in general. There is no such thing alike “marketplace of ideas” where the so-called best idea gets seen when only enough people encourage it. Under those vague and even false definition a dangerous competition is rising, with the ground idea of pure pragmatism towards anything helpful for the own self.

Hyperbola as project is not interested to welcome such competition and discussions about hearsay, half-truths or even worse conspiracy theories are never encouraged here. Also it is clearly declined to use the word “freedom” in such relation and context: Surely everyone has an opinion and also a right for expression, but an opinion without any reasonable and rational base is not oriented on facts, just as mentioned hearsay. Hyperbola awaits from every community-member to use facts, there is no freedom of speech without responsibility to reflect the wording. Words can do harm when misused and therefore we await also respect and a clear will to stand up for each other. False claims are never to be defined as “freedom”.

So what is freedom here at Hyperbola?

Freedom is including the four mentioned ones for sure at any time in regards of the technical terms and social rights. But freedom also includes the responsibility of looking beyond the own self and motivation. There is always a community, a group of beings with given rules. Here the rules are clearly to read in the Hyperbola Social Contract and also how we wish to work together as team.

And what is freedom not for Hyperbola?

Freedom does not include only the own and personal freedom, the pure egoism. When this is the only measurement size for you we can state that conflicts will rise for sure. Hyperbola is as project not here to fulfill only wishes for more packages, more code and a minority being under the pressure to always deliver. Hyperbola is a platform, a system-distribution and a free, libre operating-system giving everyone interested a toolset for technical emancipation. But emancipation means also that people should stand up for developing on their own, not to await always guidance but also to research and learn more about the system in usage. Egoism includes the expectation of full flavored guidance with complete, written tutorials step by step in defined commands just to copy and use. This is exactly not the kind of freedom we have here in mind likewise we also oppose any “freedom of speech” without respecting own responsibilities and influence taken.

Pragmatism as false approach

As before in regards of the wording “freedom” we have here the next one named “pragmatism”. The issue here is a quite different one as surely pragmatism is not an issue when seen as approach for development. But there is also a different layer meant towards packaging. Hyperbola has clear packaging guidelines and therefore rejects any contribution without a stable released tarball (or other format to download sources) and even missing sources in general.

Users in general are surely free to do whatever they like to do, but there is the difference also: It is your own responsibility when using pre-compiled binaries or software even without source-code to compile. But free, libre software and projects always include source-code to compile, modify and distribute in the understanding of Hyperbola as project. It is not acceptable to offer pre-compiled binaries. This kind of pragmatism on a more wide perspective is and will never be encouraged from Hyperbola and team-members.

What is pragmatism here at Hyperbola?

Simple and minimalistic oriented software is preferred, especially when following the UNIX-philosophy. Hyperbola is always source-based and as to be seen from the packaging guidelines we have a clear ruleset what we do and how we organize. Also Hyperbola is oriented to view out for prediction, problem solving, and action, offering a deterministic, free and libre system.

What is pragmatism not at Hyperbola?

We do not and will not offer software with questionable licensing and being too complex alone. It is always the decision of the users to decline or accept personal different approaches and what is installed on their system. But Hyperbola as project is not allowing binary distribution without source-code and also not distributing unstable software compiled from the repository. It maybe seen as pragmatic in a way to use what is fitting, nevertheless a personal decision from users.

Open-Source is not a fitting description

We have already written about vague terms, so we have also now to mention “open-source” as another example in this category. In fact “open-source” is exactly designed to be used alike this: Free, libre software is for sure including also available source-code, but this is not the only definition fitting and using that term is rejected by Hyperbola as project. Free, libre software is using the four defined freedoms, the wording freedom as the orientation towards inclusive approaches with strict perspective on values of a free society, the will to help each other. The difference is that “open-source” is only describing one state without declaring under what permissions any further usage is allowed. A project can be defined as “open-source” and is at the same time not allowing any modification or further distribution, even compilation maybe later on not allowed. Another article describes the issues and logic failures for “open-source” in more depth!

The wording “open-source” is just a failed try to combine projects using partwise even vague licensing with rulesets of capitalism and so-called “free market” - free from any further regulation especially. Not helping any altruistic motivation or technical emancipation in general so people can't be empowered with this approach in any way.

Responsibility and trust have a meaning

We want to reach out to every member of the community reviewing our acting. Hyperbola is a project to grant the words “responsibility” and “trust” more than just the generic meaning. We trust in each other, so we also help and support same way as we talk open and criticize in respect. We are acting with responsibility, so we do not just package and distribute software without tests, further reviews and iterations when something is missing. Every direct team-member is for sure committed on this approach, but at the same time we await this from every member of the community. Ports and packaged software driven by community-members should be always reviewed for working and oriented on true free, libre and permissive licensed data and code.

You are disagreeing with some rules we have written? That is absolutely okay, but we therefore ask then to get in touch and work with us on better wording and textual design. Just to criticize for stating criticism without giving any point to work together is not the way forward, also not the way to grant more trust and develop a common understanding for responsibility. The one done from others, but also the one from the own position, so in relation the responsibility for each other!

Marketing is questionable with shortened phrases

The word and phrase “marketing” is most common used when it gets to the point having project better known in the eyes of the “global internet-community”. So people knowing Hyperbola as project better. But “marketing” as word is not only vague but also includes further questionable aspirations when it comes to clear principles: Using buzzwords and some false promises is exactly not the approach Hyperbola as project is in favor. Yes, we have no issues with materials like clothing with the official logo, but we are not oriented to spread hearsay about the project or building up false information. This always ends in unwanted dreamcastles nobody has any further advantage from and people get frustrated.

Buzzwords are not important and not helpful

As project oriented on facts and information Hyperbola is rejecting shortened descriptions: So to note:

  • There is no “cloud” just other people's computer-systems.
  • There is no “artificial intelligence” as those are algorithms designed for machine learning in support of interpretation for different real language-based models.
  • There is no “big data”, just a defined too big amount of data used for many unethical purposes.

Especially in the orientation of the last remark: Hyperbola does not consider to implement non-free platforms and services as any helpful and also rejects possible free, libre designed ones as the user is always in charge and command what should happen with personal data and input. Not any application should send data outside without noting its users! When users want such applications, frameworks and libraries on their system to be installed, they have to do this on their own. Hyperbola does not encourage the usage of applications and other software implementing web-services with the approach of fast development, because this also breaks the orientation of Hyperbola on a long-term stable focus.

Security and privacy are not the result of freedom

The essential result out of free, libre licensed and designed software is not security and privcacy. They are also not the most important parts of freedom. Surely they are important, but they are caused throughout the possibility of free and libre software when users have the freedom to review the code and modify it based on their needs and interests. Software under an audit from its users at any given time has the possibility to be secure. But here comes a generic misunderstanding: This is not generic for every free, libre licensed software and project. This is also not coming out of nothing and when people just “use” the software without ever looking after its source-code and data, errors and failures are not seen. This is also a reference for cooperation and working together: A majority is using the work of a minority and is not offering any helping hand, does not work and is also a misguiding phrase then in the end when individuals claim: “Privacy and security are the most important parts of freedom.”

No, they are not. They are the result of working together and continuous cooperation. But not the most important part or just delivered “gratis”.


This article is written with the intention of clearing possible misguidance and misinterpretation. Hyperbola was, is and will be always a project oriented on democratic values. But this also means that Hyperbola is not supporting clear marked lies and propaganda resulting from shortened phrases and buzzwords. A democracy needs rules for orientation and not to grant the highest amount of egocentric will. Giving back means also to grant support and help for each other, to empower every member to overview possible risks and never stop learning. If you are same committed to those values and principles, feel welcome here at the project and in our community. If you decline the essentials written down, Hyperbola is not the place you want to engage. This may look like exclusion, but is in fact only the clear statement that anybody is asked to question own perspectives. Rules are not always perfect same way, so if there is a clear point seen we ask always for feedback and criticism. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us and support in the development of this project.