FRS: //, n.,obs.

[obs.] Abbreviation for “Freely Redistributable Software” which entered general use on the Internet in 1995 after years of low-level confusion over what exactly to call software written to be passed around and shared (contending terms including freeware, shareware, and sourceware were never universally felt to be satisfactory for various subtle reasons). The first formal conference on freely redistributable software was held in Cambridge, Massachussetts, in February 1996 (sponsored by the Free Software Foundation). The conference organizers used the FRS abbreviation heavily in its calls for papers and other literature during 1995. The term was in steady though not common use until 1998 and the invention of open source, after which it became swiftly obsolete.