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Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.

GNU is Not Unix 480

Richard Stallman (RMS) founded the GNU Project in 1984, the Free Software Foundation in 1985, and remains one of the most important and outspoken advocates for software freedom. He now spends much of his time fighting excessive extension of copyright laws, digital restrictions management, and software patents. RMS has agreed to answer your questions about GNU/Linux, how GNU relates to Linux the kernel, free software, why he disagrees with the idea of open source, and other issues of public concern. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

well,..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347171)

I'm playing spot the shill on this story. Bonus points for who paid them.

Shave, damn you! (5, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#46347257)

Okay, just kidding... but my question is this: How do you see the FSF remaining relevant 10 years hence - in other words, what is the FSF doing to keep from being obviated by the evolution of technology at large?

My Question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347691)

What you do have against bathing/shaving/personal hygiene?

Oh c'mon! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347187)

Why are these interviews always for some dude trying to sell his latest crappy software? Yet another way Dice has ruined slashdot.

Denommus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347411)

Are you insane? Richard Stallman is not trying to sell software, he is the founder of the free software movement. At least Google before you shit in the keyboard.

Re:Denommus (0)

dugancent (2616577) | about a year ago | (#46347825)

I don't care if he is the founder of modern civilization. His holier-than-thou, my wayor the highway attitude leaves with me with a bad taste. I have little respect for the man.

What 100% free distribution do you recommend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347189)

I've been trying to switch for a long time, but gNewSense has never worked for me. Are there any distributions you can recommend?

Re:What 100% free distribution do you recommend? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#46347269)

Fedora is 100% free and they have good quality assurance.

100% Free distro, Fedora is not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347399)

Fedora has non-free firmware thus it is not completely free.

Re:100% Free distro, Fedora is not (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#46347433)

That seems to be correct. Binary firmware is their only exception.

Re:What 100% free distribution do you recommend? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347481)

http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html [gnu.org]

Next question please.

Easy Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347193)

Every time you do one of these I ask the same question, and you never answer.
What is the last time you took a shower?
Can you not remember? It's OK if that's the case, please just let me know.

Re:Easy Question (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a year ago | (#46347633)


Erotic Novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347201)

Why don't you write an erotic novel featuring yourself?

Re:Erotic Novel (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347247)

If he ever did, you know it wouldn't have a shower scene.

Do we still have a chance? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347205)

Inbetween Google, Apple, Samsung, NSA, GCHQ, ... can we still make it?

I'm intrigued (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347207)

What do your feet nibbles taste like?
And what do you think of people who question your personal disgusting hygiene?


Re:I'm intrigued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347305)

Why do you have to bring up that issue again? I bet that he has been punished about that enough already.

Re:I'm intrigued (2)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year ago | (#46347885)

"It's not what goes inside of a man that makes him dirty, but what comes out of him."

- Jesus Christ

Who put the bomp (0, Offtopic)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#46347219)

in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?

Re:Who put the bomp (0)

click2005 (921437) | about a year ago | (#46347245)


Re:Who put the bomp (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#46347671)

Why has this been downvoted Offtopic?! Maybe he knows.

Re:Who put the bomp (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about a year ago | (#46347831)

I don't know about that...but I'd like to know who upgraded the memory in the RAMALAMADINGDONG server.

NSA/GCHQ (5, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | about a year ago | (#46347221)

What are your views on the recent NSA activities and how do you think it will change free software & the internet?

I've always wanted to know (0, Troll)

Lord Kano (13027) | about a year ago | (#46347241)

What did you eat off of your foot in this video? [youtube.com]


Re:I've always wanted to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347353)

Flamebait my ass, that's what i wanted to know too.

Re:I've always wanted to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347387)


Re:I've always wanted to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347473)


Who let the dogs out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347243)

Who, who, who!?

Opinion? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347251)

What is your opinion on cryptocurrencies?

Re:Opinion? (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#46347725)

Please choose this one; I suspect he has something interesting to say about it.

Free Software for Smartphones (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347259)

How close are we to obtaining a truly free phone given that MWC 2014 has shown us a once proprietary Nokia running Android and do you have any further ideas as to how we can finally free the hardware firmware and what would be timescale until we see a truly free smartphone?

plan9 (4, Interesting)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#46347261)

What are your thoughts on the gpl'ing of plan9 recently? What affect do you think this could have the gnu/linux ecosystem?

Re:plan9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347575)

I think you mean effect.

GPLv4 (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347263)

Can the GPL version 4 become the 'Good Public License'? One which forbids use of the software for weapon systems and invading privacy? A committee by the FSF could for example determine what is 'evil' enough to prohibit its use.

Do you think that's a good idea?


Jasper Internet

Re:GPLv4 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347793)

"Evil" uses should be forbidden by law, not by the license.

Cell phones (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347295)

I read a little on your website [stallman.org] about your take on technology that uses non-free software. Do you still not own a cell phone? If not, I'd love to hear your perspective on life without one these days, where its just assumed that people own one.

As a follow-up, where exactly do you draw the line concerning openness of source and whether or not you use software. For example, do you toast bread in a toaster that runs proprietary code? Obviously we're talking about different things here, but I'm curious to know at what point you say "no thanks!" when it comes to locked down technology.

Re:Cell phones (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347787)

On a related note, does he go out to eat at restaurants? Because just like with non open source software, he would be consuming something that does not come with the recipe. How does he trust even the groceries that he buys hasn't been tampered with?

This is why the free software movement is garbage. It makes no sense outside the world of software.

Re:Cell phones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347873)

> This is why the free software movement is garbage. It makes no sense outside the world of software.

That's why it's called the Free *Software* movement, not the Free Stuff movement.

fuck beta!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347297)

fuck beta!!!

Re:fuck beta!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347571)

try beta its quite good already

GPL (0)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#46347301)

If you truly want free and open software, not "open source", then why not do away with the GPL? That license is a primary reason that many companies, and many developers, want nothing to do with anything 'open'; the terms of the GPL greatly restrict what you can do with the software. So why continue with GPL?

Re:GPL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347389)

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html [gnu.org]

Any more questions?
Or was your question retorical?
Because surely we can ask Mr. Stallman questions that are more interesting than just the same stuff he's been asked for decades now.

Re:GPL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347863)

Your link is mostly RMS wanking over the advertising clause in the original BSD license, and ends up recommending the Apache 2.0 license.


As someone who works in an actual company and wants to use open source, I can tell you that MIT/Apache 2.0 licensed software is (just barley) possible to get past the Lawyers. GPL open source is a non starter.

_That_ is the issue that the GP raised. Not some food fight over a mistake made in the original BSD license, and corrected 15 years ago.

How do you feel about Bitcoin? (1, Interesting)

tom229 (1640685) | about a year ago | (#46347311)

Do you think it's necessary, or even a good idea? Do you own any?

Re:How do you feel about Bitcoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347543)

Do you think it's necessary, or even a good idea? Do you own any?

It's like he has never answered that question before [rt.com] .

Facebook and Internet.org (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347319)

How do you view Facebook's internet.org initiative? In my opinion, it's even worse than DRM, because today I can opt out of DRM content. What if someday internet access that doesn't pass through Facebook become so expensive I can't afford it? How can we fight to keep the internet away from such corporate control?

GTK future? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347323)

Dear RMS, I for one am very interested in what your view is concerning the future of GNOME and specifically GTK. In the past there were concerns over licensing between GTK and Qt and there seems to be a rise in uptake of Qt. My question is whether you see there being a future in GTK and should developers consider moving their projects to Qt?

Question (5, Interesting)

The Cat (19816) | about a year ago | (#46347333)

Which site would you recommend for grown-up adults who used to visit Slashdot and who want to talk about computers, GNU/Linux and technology?

Re:Question (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a year ago | (#46347665)

maybe hacker news?

Quality (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347377)

In the recent Clang thread, you seemed to say quality of software either isn't important to you, or at least is less important than the software being free software.

As someone who writes software for a living, this seemed like a "jump the shark" moment. (But maybe you jumped this particular shark long ago.)

Does it do your moment a disservice to say things like to, and also to have software that isn't of the up-most quality?

How many (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#46347383)

How many times have you been attacked by ninjas?

GNU/Hurd (5, Insightful)

mrflash818 (226638) | about a year ago | (#46347385)

Please share your vision for where you would like to see GNU/Hurd, and GNU software over the next 25 years, and what people would be doing with it.

Rise of VMs and failure of the OS (2)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year ago | (#46347893)

How about relating how OS have failed to the point where users are running virtual machines. (We all know restricted software makes this worse, but it is not exclusively their fault.)

GNU/Hurd does not seem like so much overhead today given the huge amount of waste a VM creates. Perhaps GNU/Hurd is better suited to address where things have been progressing?

Multics doesn't seem so "bloated" anymore either.

Do you forsee (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347395)

Hurd ever being relevant?

Free hardware? Why not? (5, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about a year ago | (#46347409)

In my experience; it is far easier to obtain; install and work with Free Software than with Free Hardware. I asked you about this in person 2 years back; but you brushed it aside saying hardware is not trivial to copy.

Recent events have proved me right; I feel. We simply do not have access to Freedom Hardware at low cost - even the Raspberry Pi has proprietary components in its hardware.

Why can't the FSF pool resources; license technology from ARM Holdings; and build a truly Free Tablet, Free Cellphone and Free PC running Free GNU/Linux instead of the pseudo-free Android? I am sure the community will pay any money to buy truly free Hardware from the FHF.

Re:Free hardware? Why not? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about a year ago | (#46347641)

Fast free video would be nice too. Hate having to choose between awful performance or proprietary binary drivers.

Re:Free hardware? Why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347767)

license technology from ARM Holdings

Unless you want "free as in beer" charity hardware, any licensing of proprietary hardware would immediately render the hardware as non-LIBRE. Not to mention it would be very hard to design anything with the current insane patent system that would not be sueable for infringement by some patent holders, therein likely requiring some licensing agreement. IANAL, but anyone attempting such a project probably needs to talk to one or more specializing in IP law.

Too often, freedom is an illusion.

What do you suggest to do about wifi? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347451)

I've had issues with my built-in wireless and I know this is a big issue in the community. My system shipped with an intel card and it doesn't work with free software. I was told this is due to digital restrictions. So when I tried to replace it there were digital restrictions that prevented me from doing so. My laptop is a Lenovo. Are there any USB wifi adapters you can recommend that might work? The two I've bought in local stores haven't worked. I did look up adapters in h-node that supposedly worked, but did not. I think h-node is not that reliable.

Re:What do you suggest to do about wifi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347737)

You don't necessarily need a USB WiFi adapter. The internal WiFi adapter is a mini-PCIe card that can be replaced. Those cards work much more reliably than USB WiFi adapters.

The PSTN isn't Free Software (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347455)

Why do you encourage people to call you with the telephone instead of using Skype? Both rely on proprietary software.

Follow up Question: Recommend Talky.io now? (2)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year ago | (#46347629)

https://talky.io/ [talky.io] AFAICT is a fully free software video chat system. Have you used it? Would you recommend it to others?

It uses http://simplewebrtc.com/ [simplewebrtc.com] .

Why don't you do it on Kuro5hin instead?$ (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | about a year ago | (#46347495)

I hear there are only crap informercial for closetted ghery asstards on that silly excuse for a web site. Even Taco had some more to offer instead of that junk.

All alone (1)

Cheeze (12756) | about a year ago | (#46347509)

What do you foresee happening to GNU in the next 20, 50, and 100 years?

cloud and freeness (3, Interesting)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about a year ago | (#46347541)

Hi, Richard!

In the debian-cloud list, we had a long discussion about wordings, which I also think is very important. It stroke me that you felt cloud was in essence non-free, and that you wanted everyone to stop using the word "cloud" which you (rightly) thought was too vague. But since there is also private IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), I do think we may have fully free cloud systems.

I never knew if I was able to convince you that a completely free IaaS software was very important to keep our freedom, and would like to know what is your current feeling about it.

Computer Games (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347549)

Mr. Stallman, do you ever play computer games (video games)?
If so, which ones?

What's your take on our perennial debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347559)

A frequent argument on Slashdot centers on the flexibility granted by the BSD license vs. the restrictions of the GPLv3, especially with regards to CLAs. Both sides have good arguments for their way of doing things and both sides also have excellent counterpoints about ways each license can be misused. Is free software truly free if copyright has to be invoked to enforce it?

Surviving off the GPL (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#46347563)

I live a modest life, how ever I do need to pay the bills. For the most part I make my living doing stuff against the ideals of the GPL.
Here is why.
1. I am not charismatic enough to gain peoples attention, so I will not make a living off of speeches and publications.

2. The software I write tends to fill a small niche, so it will not gain mass popularity outside that niche. So my products won't make a good resume item. And the owners of the niche mostly will not donate to my efforts, if they can get it for free. As well wouldn't be distributed on most systems.

3. The software I write tends to be user friendly and intuitive to use. So consulting off the product or service isn't a good way either.

4. The ease of Internet Download makes shipping of media seem barbaric.

Now I would love to make all my stuff open source, however I do need to live, and I prefer if possible not to live off of government handouts. I am a software developer by heart and nature, doing it as a hobby would be a waste of my talents.
So how would a 100% GPL developer operate in a small business settings?

Slashdot Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347579)

What do you think? Does it look nice? Would you use it? Do you support those of us who gate its guts?

Organizational decrepitude (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347591)

How do you reach people whose salaries depend on them remaining unreachable?

What do you think about the Neo900? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347593)

http://neo900.org/ [neo900.org]
Would you maybe want to own one? Why?

They seem to go different way than FSF does with "Respects Your Privacy" program - instead of modifying the modem to either be free or act "as a circuit", which both may be not feasible given their limited resources, they seem to go with the "sandboxing" way - giving the user a way to control and monitor what does the modem do. They want to achive the same result, but with different way than proposed by FSF. What is your take on that?

Who is your hero? (4, Interesting)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#46347597)

And if not hero, then perhaps mildly inspiring personage (real or otherwise)?

Why you are not active? (1)

kifcaliph (1289098) | about a year ago | (#46347605)

for me what you really did in the software field is like what Katniss and Peeta did to end the fight in the hunger games by writing free software. but I feel now you are not active as before. so can you tell me why??

I just want to say Thank You! (2)

megalon (19030) | about a year ago | (#46347611)

I appreciate what you have done. I understand your ideology and wish you the best.

Thank you.

GTK vs Qt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347619)

What is the future of GTK given the issues we currently face with GTK3. Is Qt the future of the GNU/Linux desktop?

Can Free Software restore our privacy? (3, Interesting)

exa (27197) | about a year ago | (#46347639)

Dear RMS,

Many users have fallen victim to spying software such as facebook, and have willingly or unwittingly surrendered their privacy rights to corporations which sell their information.

Can Free Software salvage this situation and make the Internet a more private, a more free place for the common user? And what must we do about it?


Wireless communication in various forms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347649)

What are your opinions on medium- to short-distance wireless communication in its various forms, i.e., cellular carriers, WiFi, Bluetooth? Issues could include privacy, protocols, access to source, etc.

Semi off-topic (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#46347659)

Not a question for RMS, but a question about /. interviews. What happened to the one with Limor Fried, aka LadyAda of AdaFruit? Questions were asked but no response ever posted.

"locking/unlocking" of devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347669)

Dear Sir,
  I recently read that there might be new legislation making it illegal to "unlock" a telephony-capable device (PDA/Smarphone/etc.).
What is your opinion on obstructing effective and efficient use of technology?

Trying to monetize an open standard (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#46347679)


I am trying to use GNU code to put in my product where I will patent and trademark it and then charge A LOT of money in return. My hope is to poison some open standards so they can use my other standard which I will have free, but all closed sourced instead in my evil plot. From there a new EULA will be introduced where upon a certain metric of time after my standard takes over the free one, I will have IP rights over anything on their computers.

I feel the need to dominate others and would love nothing more than to have my users sell all their children into slavery for my master vision of a new world order. I need to do this to feel better about myself since I am all jealous of my friends who have actual jobs and lives. I have an army of master robots on hand and plan to take the whole world hostage unless they bow to me and sign an EULA saying they only have the right to pursue their lives as their lives are a copy and not a real one. I own the real one just like Windows where you only have a copy. MS has the real one etc.

My question is which editor should I use to perform this? Vi or Emacs?

Thank you,


Patrick Bateman [youtube.com]

Plant breeding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347693)

Could you imagine that you'll get active in the area of plant breeding? You could create new species of e.g. potatoes (out of "public domain potatoes") and allow people to create new ones of those only if they are willing to make them available under a "free license", thus bringing the concept of "share-alike" to plant breeding.

You could call it OTL = OpenTuber License

4chan's /g/ technology board (3, Interesting)

snarfies (115214) | about a year ago | (#46347697)

You are an idol on 4chan's technology board, /g/, including an iconographic picture of you in that board's sticky. At one point you've even addressed us, or at least some common misconceptions circulated on 4chan (http://stallman.org/to-4chan.html).

Do you read 4chan at all? How did we come to your attention? Are you okay with your demigod status there?

Staying positive? (1)

chrisl456 (699707) | about a year ago | (#46347713)

Do you have any advice for keeping a positive attitude in this screwed-up world of government surveillance, software patents, and DRM?

Beards (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year ago | (#46347735)

How do you feel about the current popularity of beards, and what can I do to make sure my own beard style is not incorporated into a proprietary system?

how is the 'weather' where you live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347741)

we must like ours? http://www.geoengineeringwatch... [geoengineeringwatch.org] so we can keep us cool? stay safe dude

Llieonuvxr1994 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347745)

I'd jsut lkie to icnrjetet for a mneomt. Waht y'roue rifeernrg to as Lunix, is in fcat, GNU/Lunix, or as Iv'e retlecny tkaen to cinllag it, GNU puls Lniux. Luinx is not an oatipnerg ssyetm utno iltesf, but raethr ahnteor fere cneomopnt of a fluly ftcnoiunnig GNU ssytem mdae uuesfl by the GNU celbiors, slhel utiiletis and vtial sseytm ctonenomps crniopmsig a flul OS as dniefed by POISX.

Mnay cmotuepr uress run a mioifedd vseiorn of the GNU steysm eevry day, wotiuht rleiazing it. Torhugh a pluiacer trun of eevnts, the visoern of GNU wichh is wieldy uesd tdoay is otfen caleld Lniux, and mnay of its uress are not arwae taht it is bialcalsy the GNU stseym, dopelveed by the GNU Pojrcet.

Trehe ralely is a Luinx, and teshe pleope are unisg it, but it is jsut a prat of the seystm tehy use. Lniux is the knreel: the paorrgm in the sestym taht aacltoles the mec'naihs reucresos to the otehr prormags taht you run. The krneel is an esineatsl prat of an oetirpang sestym, but usslees by iesltf; it can olny fotcnuin in the cxontet of a cmotlpee oatprneig ssytem. Luinx is nlmlraoy uesd in cioonmtbian wtih the GNU onpieatrg stesym: the wolhe sestym is baasiclly GNU wtih Liunx adedd, or GNU/Lnuix. All the so-caelld Lniux disotibriutns are ralely dbtotirniusis of GNU/Liunx.

Error in summary (1)

simplypeachy (706253) | about a year ago | (#46347751)

"digital rights management" should read "digital restrictions management". I don't need software to manage my rights.

Time to stop fighting for GNU/Linux (4, Interesting)

jaiyen (821972) | about a year ago | (#46347755)

Isn't it time to let this go? Fair or not, 'Linux' has won even if only because it's a more marketable name. Isn't encouraging community infighting over this distracting from many far more important free software issues?

When does "free" become "not free"? (3, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#46347759)

Let me just state up front, I think the new versions of the GPL are becoming exactly what the GPL was originally used to protect agains, another intrusive EULA, restricting usage because someone doesn't like that usage. I personally use BSD style licensing, because I create for others to use, and I am not concerned with how they use it. My source is open, free, to use as you (end user / repackager / thief) see fit. By keeping my source pure, at my point, forks become the one-offs that are abandoned, while mine remains (i've already seen this). I truly believe that what goes around, comes around.

My question is, when does "free" stop being free? My reading of the GPL3 is such that it is placing restrictions on use, simply because of how it is being used, not because of anything else. Using GPL 2, or better yet, BSD, one is not restricting its use, and isn't that better for everyone? Restricting use, is not "free" in my definition of "free".

On the other hand, I admire your zealotry. People like you(and me??) drive the conversations we need to have, even if we disagree.

Why a gnu? (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#46347761)

Why not perhaps a more majestic creature?

Compiling, Linking and Embedding (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347763)

There is a recent trend (as in ever since the smartphones came out, Mac/PC/Linux has been doing sandboxing/jails before then, but never to this extent) where it's now incredibly difficult to use third party libraries as external shared libraries because the sandbox prevents access to them, making them just huge wastes of code if 100% of the functionality isn't used. What changes could be made to a future GPL to allow developers to use statically compiled parts of free software without destroying it's purpose of the GPL?

(Like IMO, many free software libraries are referenced in a credits/licences file that is accessible from inside the software, but that is not the same as sharing the source code to the software.)

I'm done asking questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347801)

Let him ask US questions

Why Unix didnt provide a free kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347809)

Hi Richard, Reading about Unix, and the development of the Free Software movement, I learnt that nowdays:
a) GNU-linux distros use the linux kernel.
b) BSD distros, Darwin and comercial derivatives from Darwin use the Unix kernel given to some Univiersities some time ago.

So my question is:
Why the owners of the UNIX operating system never made open source the Unix original kernel?
So today we are forced to emulate Unix using other kernels.

regards Hector. hecalvar@yahoo.com

Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#46347833)

What do you think about /. Beta?

Airport security and agencies (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about a year ago | (#46347843)

In the aftermath (well we're still in the middle of all this...) of the current whistle-blower cases (Snowden et al.) many people related to them have been detained/questioned/.. by various agencies especially at airports. Have you yourself experienced more scrutiny towards your person this past year, have you ever been the subject/victim of questionable interaction with agencies in general, and how did you tackle these events?

Shorter copyright (5, Interesting)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | about a year ago | (#46347845)

I believe you're in favour of much-reduced copyright terms - a few years rather than the endless decades of today.

If copyright were reduced to, say, five years, then the vast majority of GNU code would become public-domain - copyleft depending on copyright as it does, this would mean anyone could create a closed-source fork of, say, emacs. How do you feel about that?

Is Linux becoming Windowized? (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about a year ago | (#46347867)

I remember when compiz was new, demos of it running effectively on 7 year old machines.
Recently I replaced the had drive in an old laptop with an SSD despite meeting the minimal requirements for Mint KDE I had many problems installing.
I kept running into out of memory problems when the LiveCD used the ramdisk it created. Finally I created a VM on which I installed a basic copy of the distro, I then rsynced the files to the old laptop drive. There I tweaked a few thing installed grub, made the drive bootable. Then I booted from a USB dock installed ubiquity on the old drive and installed Mint to the SSD. This seems like a very exhausting process to go through to install Linux.

In doing this I see a lot of defects in linux: growing memory requirements, drowing disk space requirements, inefficient sytems. In this sense Linux and free software seems to be becoming Windowized. Good archotectural decisions are been forsook for the sake of expediency, even to the point of exposing the systems to malware writers. Is this a concern for you?

People like apps (4, Interesting)

thetagger (1057066) | about a year ago | (#46347897)

There is an entire generation of people out there for whom mobile apps, mostly on iOS and Android, are the way in which they do their computing. The more successful apps are usually very well-designed with incredible user interfaces, an area where free software has not achieved much success, and sold at very low prices and, in many cases, also monetized through stolen personal data.

It appears to me that the GNU project is mostly ignoring this important area - I am aware of Replicant and F-Droid but these are well behind their proprietary counterparts at the moment. What should we do? Ignore mobile and hope it goes away, try to get onboard with Replicant and F-Droid, try to bring in a new generation of free software developers that is native to the mobile environment, or avoid the mobile "ecosystem" completely and try to work on the hardware side and try to make free hardware that is not inherently trackable/centralized and then run free software on top of that instead?

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