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Richard Stallman

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supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Anyone read the Stallman piece that was posted on lxer.com tonight? It's here:

http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2006/04/unabridged-selective-transcript-of.html

This guy is so dead-on when he speaks at universities. I don't often agree with some of the things he says on his website, perhaps as much as 30 to 40% of it, but I agree with most of what he says in the article above.

However, I really doubt many will start saying "GNU/Linux" in place of "Linux" when speaking in the workplace. It's just too ingrained.

I also love that day when he went to Tunisia to meet with the UN and he found he was forced to wear an RFID chip on his badge. He really wanted to speak there, but protested this and could not defeat it. Therefore, he walked around in a tinfoil hat, using it as a political example. I found that quite funny. I wish I had been there. I would have bust up laughing and then I would have agreed with him. (Reminds me of a tech conference I went to that had an air conditioning problem -- it was too cold. A funny guy (funny to me -- he was actually deadly serious) walked around wrapped up in his hotel blanket to make a point. Man, did that get some stares.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Funny thing I just skimread that. That's his "stock" speech he gives often so I've actually read it before and even heard it live last month when he came to give a lecture here in Croatia.

I admire him and of all political leaders and figures I place him at the top. I'd say I agree with him 99% if we're dealing with percentages. Eye

As for the name GNU/Linux, I use it all the time on the web though when speaking live (in "real world" that is) it does slip to me to say just "linux" sometimes, but I usually make an effort to emphasize GNU and when it slips I usually correct it by saying, "or GNU/Linux what would be its proper naming". The reason to make the effort is explained by him in that speech. GNU needs credit not for the sake of credit, but association with their philosophy without which there would be no GNU/Linux as we know it nor this fruitful Free Software community. I don't like what the Open Source initiative did in 1998. I don't think it did any real good for the FLOSS movement. I think corporations would have noticed it anyway. "Open Source" is a missed initiative that only spread further confusion. Besides, what is left of the Open Source Initiative now besides the mere term (which is getting so painfully abused)? ESR isn't so vocal anymore. Alot of people start to dislike him, the opensource.org site looks old and the whole thing seems to have formally died out.

And look at FSF, they have launched a new friendly site last year at fsf.org that is as active and attractive as ever. RMS is actively traveling and giving speeches, making activists of people. They are revising the legal life blood of the Free Software community, the GPL license. The European offshot FSFE is helping the legal battle against Microsoft in EU. I think that is just a proof that Free Software movement stired by the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project was not only the one without which there would have been no FS community and free operating system as we know it, but that without it it probably wouldn't be able to progress further.

As for these funny acts of protest, it just shows how strongly he believes in what he preaches. If he wouldn't protest who wouldn't? The fact we find it funny is a bonus actually - it should entice us to be ready to do the same in such situations because funny isn't bad. It's good to be funny when that means making your point clear and not making a compromise. Smiling

And that guy wrapped up in a blanket is apparently another of the courage activist types. Those should be admired. Smiling

Oh and btw; For this comment on that transcript I must say that the guy, however intellectual he sounds, is severely misinformed.

For one, calling FSF and RMS's principles a "religion" is just flamable. Maybe he didn't get the saint iGNUtious joke, but calling FSF religious is an old way to disregard it and I'm really getting tired of it. Second, the schism he talks about isn't created by FSF, but by the open source. Who was there first? It was FSF, open source then came in thinking they can set things right, well they didn't.
Third, RMS is not an extreme point with a "seed of the opposite". Communism is an extreme point and Microsoft has an extreme point. Microsoft attacks, FSF merely defends.
Fourth, that copyleft restricts freedom because it is asking that every derivate be free software, how can that be? That requirement is not a restriction of freedom, it is about preservation of freedom. It perfectly fits the accepted "do what you wish as long as you don't disallow others to do as they wish" principle.

Thanks (sorry for the big post).

Whistler's picture
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Joined: 2006-01-03

well actually I also say "Linux" most of the time when speaking (especially when talking to my teachers) but when writing (of course, except testpapers Laughing out loud ) I always write "GNU/Linux" Smiling

but for another one: "free software", I always use this word (and just like any other non-English languages in Chinese the two meanings of "free" are not the same word) and neither this nor "open source" is likely to appear on testpapers Smiling

I also seen many trolls comparing free software ideals (or just idealism) as Cultural Revolution, but as long as no people doing or using proprietary software are killed neither this nor calling it "extremist" are right.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08

I read that one, yes. And I loved the RFID thing Smiling
I tend to use GNU/Linux on media-based communication channels (written (E-)Mail, Forums etc, articles...) and linux on on-the-fly communication channels (speech,laps live chat) I only seldomly refer to Open Source (I think) exceot when addressing people who I expect to know Open Source, but not Libre Software. I randomly alternate the terms libre and free... in German this problem is not given... (interestingly enough, the example given when explaining FSF-free vs Freeware-free is free speech vs. free beer. Free beer is the only case I can think of where the German word for libre means gratuit.)

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
"libervisco" wrote:

Funny thing I just skimread that. That's his "stock" speech he gives often so I've actually read it before and even heard it live last month when he came to give a lecture here in Croatia.

I admire him and of all political leaders and figures I place him at the top. I'd say I agree with him 99% if we're dealing with percentages. Eye

As for the name GNU/Linux, I use it all the time on the web though when speaking live (in "real world" that is) it does slip to me to say just "linux" sometimes, but I usually make an effort to emphasize GNU and when it slips I usually correct it by saying, "or GNU/Linux what would be its proper naming". The reason to make the effort is explained by him in that speech. GNU needs credit not for the sake of credit, but association with their philosophy without which there would be no GNU/Linux as we know it nor this fruitful Free Software community. I don't like what the Open Source initiative did in 1998. I don't think it did any real good for the FLOSS movement. I think corporations would have noticed it anyway. "Open Source" is a missed initiative that only spread further confusion. Besides, what is left of the Open Source Initiative now besides the mere term (which is getting so painfully abused)? ESR isn't so vocal anymore. Alot of people start to dislike him, the opensource.org site looks old and the whole thing seems to have formally died out.

And look at FSF, they have launched a new friendly site last year at fsf.org that is as active and attractive as ever. RMS is actively traveling and giving speeches, making activists of people. They are revising the legal life blood of the Free Software community, the GPL license. The European offshot FSFE is helping the legal battle against Microsoft in EU. I think that is just a proof that Free Software movement stired by the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project was not only the one without which there would have been no FS community and free operating system as we know it, but that without it it probably wouldn't be able to progress further.

As for these funny acts of protest, it just shows how strongly he believes in what he preaches. If he wouldn't protest who wouldn't? The fact we find it funny is a bonus actually - it should entice us to be ready to do the same in such situations because funny isn't bad. It's good to be funny when that means making your point clear and not making a compromise. Smiling

And that guy wrapped up in a blanket is apparently another of the courage activist types. Those should be admired.