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Interview: Ask Eric Raymond What You Will

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.

Open Source 126

Author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar and The Art of Unix Programming, Eric S.Raymond (ESR) has long been an important spokesperson for the open source movement. It's been a while since we talked to the co-founder of the Open Source Initiative so ESR has agreed to give us some of his time and answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

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Why do you have 2 first names? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398131)

Did you get harassed when you were a kid about this?

What about protocols? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398157)

What are your feelings about protocols and file formats and keeping them open? Where do the efforts to keep protocols and file formats open and accessible to others fall on your list of priorities?

Mine (0)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 7 months ago | (#46398173)

How many roads must a man walk down?

Re:Mine (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#46398253)

42. Easy one.

Re:Mine (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46402379)

Yes, it sure is easy to repeat the same old tire and beat to death joke instead of come up with your own answer.

42 is the most overused number in the history of man...
You heard me.

Re:Mine (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#46402697)

If I had to guess the most used number in the history of man, I would think 1 and 0 would be close to tied for first.

Zero (1)

McFly777 (23881) | about 7 months ago | (#46408339)

Depending on how you are counting or weighting the count (ie do the number of times 0 and 1 are used in binary/computers count?), I would say that 1 would win against 0, since zero only showed up with the Arabic numbering system. So, releative to the whole history of man, it is a fairly new invention.

Now, to keep on topic, I suppose that I should put this in the form of a question for ESR, so...

What is your opinion of the relatively recent Arabic introduction of the number Zero to the field of mathematics?

Re:Zero (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#46408453)

Depending on how you are counting or weighting the count (ie do the number of times 0 and 1 are used in binary/computers count?), I would say that 1 would win against 0, since zero only showed up with the Arabic numbering system.

That had occurred to me. Perhaps we can at least agree that 1 is the loneliest number.

Re:Zero (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46447153)

1 occurs most (in the first 100 numbers, 0 occurs 12 times, 1 occurs 19 times...

Slashdot Beta (2, Interesting)

linuxci (3530) | about 7 months ago | (#46398181)

What do you think of Slashdot beta?

Re:Slashdot Beta (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398199)

...and do you know of any projects that we could all move to replacing it?

Re:Slashdot Beta (1, Offtopic)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46398289)

Did you seriously miss all the people spamming comments about the replacement?

Re:Slashdot Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398427)

I did indeed.

Re:Slashdot Beta (4, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46398709)

Fine, taking a karma hit to provide one curious person an answer, then:

http://soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org]

Re:Slashdot Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398875)

HTTPS also supported.

Re:Slashdot Beta (0)

zenbi (3530707) | about 7 months ago | (#46402457)

Don't forget the other sites that have popped up post-beta as well: Technocrat [technocrat.net] and Pipedot [pipedot.org] Choice is good.

Re:Slashdot Beta (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 7 months ago | (#46405383)

Technocrat and Pipedot seem to have less than 10 comments per article on average. Soylent News has around 20-30.

What's the point?

Re:Slashdot Beta (0)

Bugamn (1769722) | about 7 months ago | (#46407483)

The problem is that Pipedot should be called Pipecomma. They didn't distance themselves enough from Slashdot.

Re:Slashdot Beta (1)

doom (14564) | about 7 months ago | (#46410909)

The problem is that Pipedot should be called Pipecomma. They didn't distance themselves enough from Slashdot.

But commas aren't used in urls.

PipeColon would work better.

Re:Slashdot Beta (1)

zedrdave (1978512) | about 7 months ago | (#46404815)

All right then. I'll be out. See you and thanks for everything, Slashdot!

Re:Slashdot Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398283)

I bet he will be glad that it is finally out of alpha.

Re:Slashdot Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398589)

It should have died in the mockup stage.

Re:Slashdot Beta (0)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46398921)

What do you think of Slashdot beta?

Will the new engine running Slashdot Beta be open sourced, like the previous two /. discussion systems?

Re:Slashdot Beta (0)

fsck-beta (3539217) | about 7 months ago | (#46398945)

The new one is proprietary DICE failure.

Damage to the Internet (3, Interesting)

stox (131684) | about 7 months ago | (#46398191)

What's your opinion of the damage done to the Internet by the NSA scandal, and potentially by, the Comcast TWC merger?

Still Surprised By Wealth? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398249)

Did you get to cash out before the crash? After you infamous gloating here, http://news-beta.slashdot.org/story/99/12/10/0821224/esr-writes-on-surprised-by-wealth, inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Still Surprised By Wealth? (1)

ardmhacha (192482) | about 7 months ago | (#46400173)

He received 150,000 shares at the IPO
If he held until today after a 1:10 reverse split he would now have 15,000 worth $14 each

In all seriousness... (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46398255)

I believe, but cannot prove, that global “AIDS” is a whole cluster of unrelated diseases all of which have been swept under a single rug for essentially political reasons, and that the identification of HIV as the sole pathogen is likely to go down as one of the most colossal blunders in the history of medicine.

Do you still deny a link between HIV and the disease known as AIDS [ibiblio.org] ?

You picked an extremely bad example there; Turing was atypical in a way that damages your case. If you examine the actual circumstances of Turing’s exposure, you’ll discover that he was remarkably and willfully self-destructive about it. Outed himself, under circumstances where he could easily have covered and (as I read it) the cop was trying to look the other way. Still, I’m not “pro” Turing’s suicide, just refusing to blame anyone else for it. He made his choice and died. End of story.

Do you still blame Alan Turing for his fate? [ibiblio.org] So have you become a total crackpot since September 11th, or was it something that was always sorta brewing under the surface.

Re:In all seriousness... (5, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46398497)

We can go on like this for days, by the way. [rationalwiki.org]

In all seriousness, why is this guy still a thing in the Open Source movement? He wrote a few books in the 90s, very good ones, but he's been irrelevant for years and he's a nut. He has nothing to offer.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Jiro (131519) | about 7 months ago | (#46398781)

I just looked up that Haitian earthquake quote using your own link. Eric is not arguing that the earthquake was caused by a voodoo curse. All he's arguing is historical accuracy--someone really did perform a ceremony that's pretty much a curse. He's not saying that the curse caused the earthquake, only that the curse ceremony itself was not something someone just made up yesterday because they didn't bother to check the history books.

Re:In all seriousness... (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46398899)

All he's arguing is historical accuracy--someone really did perform a ceremony that's pretty much a curse.

You're giving him quite a lot of credit, not only does he assert that the curse was real and effective, he also declares that he's a "third degree wiccan" and then identifies the deities he would have would invoked. There's no question that he believes the Haitian people actually invoked the santeria deity known as Ogun to liberate them from French domination, and that the earthquake may have been Ogun collecting on the debt.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

porges (58715) | about 7 months ago | (#46399411)

I think if you read "invoke" in Eric's posting as "appeal to" rather than "cause to appear" you'll see what I took him to be saying. The one thing he doesn't believe in is literal religious magic. I am with you on all the other examples, though.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

porges (58715) | about 7 months ago | (#46399467)

Late update to my own post: on the other hand, later in the comment thread on that same posting, he clearly believes in literal faith healing, in one case of a sprained ankle, so, uh...

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

ESR (3702) | about 7 months ago | (#46400459)

I think I see why you're confused. The curse was an effective way to kick off the revolt, yes. Not any way to start an earthquake, though. Reality doesn't work that way.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46401303)

I admit my reading was not as charitable as it could have been :P

Re:In all seriousness... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398807)

That one is incredible. The fact that he isn't asking "Do you accept these negative observations about black people as fact without any evidence?" shows what a massive, unthinking racist he is. And I've emphasized "unthinking" for a reason; for all his squawking about rationality, he consistently makes judgements based on his emotions and prejudices rather than basic logic, in a way that a barely-educated child would have learned not to do.

Every esr argument ends up with him insisting what he wants to be true is absolute fact, and that his detractors are illogical idiots. It's a stunning lack of awareness or capability. The man should be a case-study.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398901)

Pfft. That's absolutely typical of extreme libertarians: they go on and on about how rational and logical they are, but in reality they're making emotional value judgements like the rest of us, the only difference is that they take their value judgements to the logical ad absurdum.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46399407)

> In all seriousness, why is this guy still a thing in the Open Source movement?
If it's everywhere you can't call it a movement.

It's not 1998. The world is not all C and Perl.

Jquery and Rails and under the MIT license.

You don't see Tux the penguin anywhere, except kernel.org

all in all the world has moved on

Re:In all seriousness... (4, Informative)

ESR (3702) | about 7 months ago | (#46400439)

OK, let's squash some of this nonsense right now.

I never believed the 2010 Haiti Erthquake was caused by a voodoo curse, and I'm astonished that anyone interpreted that post in that way. What I found anthropologically interesting is that something like Robertson's "satanic" invocation seems actually to have taken place. Not actually "satanic", but within Robertson's impoverished terms of reference that's about the only way he could describe an invocation of the loa.

I believe, and have repeatedly said, that the supposed "scientific consensus" on CAGW is not a conspiracy but an error cascade. I think most scientists are honestly trying to do right, but have been overly credulous about data and models that have been (and continue to be) fraudulently manipulated by a tiny minority of them. Those of you who think this makes me some sort of nut are going to have some explaining to do when measured GAT drops out of the bottom of the IPCC's 95% confidence band, which looks set to happen before the end of 2014.

I might reply to some of these other questions at more length, but these two deserved to be dispatched immediately

Re:In all seriousness... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46400563)

That's a longwinded way to say "yes, I'm an AGW denier and conspiracy theorist".

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46401379)

I believe, and have repeatedly said, that the supposed "scientific consensus" on CAGW is not a conspiracy but an error cascade.

With all due respect, human beings do not cascade errors, machines do. What you're suggesting is that hundreds, thousands of PhDs, all taking either their own measurements or analyzing a broad corpus of measurements collected by generations of researchers, of all manner of phenomena, are all arriving at the same erroneous conclusion, over and over, and that no one with the qualifications to catch the mistake is catching the mistake, for decades.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46404969)

With all due respect, human beings do not cascade errors, machines do.

Please cite evidence for this claim.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46418527)

Anyone who catches the mistake is labeled "denier" and no longer part of the "consensus".

See: "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46446619)

Quoting directly from your blog dated 2009-11-24

This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s 1930s — see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot.

For some one who supposedly is a hot-shot programmer it turns out you missed that the code was commented out and labeled as an experiment.
So unless you mean that the Global Warming deniers like you Watts/Spencer/Lindzen/Christy have been caught "fraudulently" manipulating the data. You need to post a PUBLIC apology to the scientists you libeled with yo

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46405179)

I am not sure where to start. I have been on a website where they hero-worship a flat-out racist. I bid slashdot farewell.

Re:In all seriousness... (4, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | about 7 months ago | (#46398521)

So have you become a total crackpot since September 11th, or was it something that was always sorta brewing under the surface.

It was always brewing under the surface.

He is a blind follower of extreme libertarian ideas. For example, a long time ago in a personal discussion I showed him how under the specific libertarian rules he was suggesting I could buy all the land around a person's house and starve them to death since they couldn't leave. He didn't bat an eye. He kept insisting that "free market rules" wouldn't allow this, as if by magic, rather than rethinking his simplistic position.

Frankly ESR is an embarrassment to the open source movement.

Re:In all seriousness... (1, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46398793)

Yes, because political ideology makes everything else in a persons life irrelevant. What have YOU done for the open source community? I mean other than make bad political analogies that have no baring on reality. Any political system taken to an extreme is bad. A glass of water is good and healthy, downing in an ocean is not. That doesn't make water bad.

Re:In all seriousness... (4, Informative)

fsck-beta (3539217) | about 7 months ago | (#46399003)

What has ESR done in the last decade for the open source community? Well he has spread a lot of ignorant and hurtful ideas outside of the open source community...

Re:In all seriousness... (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 7 months ago | (#46407069)

I believe he still actively maintains gpsd, has been doing work to try to measure latency across the internet backbone due to bufferbloat, and has helped a few big projects migrate to git.

That's a lot more than the average slashdotter, even though he hasn't written any landmark books in the last few years...

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46399229)

Yes, because political ideology makes everything else in a persons life irrelevant.

Ask ESR what he had for breakfast that morning and you're likely to get a lecture on Murray Rothbard. Everything he contributes is subsumed by his ideology, his politics, and his bizarre peccadilloes.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about 7 months ago | (#46409215)

No, you're likely to get a recipe [ibiblio.org] .

FWIW, this is a good one. I make it about weekly, though I use chorizo; real andouille is hard to find in the wilds of rural Minnesota.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46399461)

You are none too bright. I showed with actual examples that ESR judgement can't be trusted and what do you say about that?

"What have YOU done for the open source community?"

Oh wow, I guess that makes alright that ESR wears a tinfoil hat around the house.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46401503)

Could he now get drone food delivery....or better yet, sell his home and have drones deliver him piecemeal parts to put together a larger drone to carry him and his items to an outside area? LOL

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46401871)

Nope, airspace is owned by his neighbors too..

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 7 months ago | (#46403239)

I could buy all the land around a person's house and starve them to death since they couldn't leave.

Hmm... I don't think so. Planning law would require that the house has a road leading to the house, and the road is publicly owned.

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46405887)

You don't get it. ESR was suggesting we do away with all planning laws and let the free market take over.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 7 months ago | (#46403539)

I would expect that in a libertarian society, when you buy a house you'd buy the right-of-way to get to the nearest road system, so nobody could cut off your access. You would also buy title insurance on your right-of-way just like you buy title insurance on the rest of the house today. Eventually there would be an ecosystem where anyone who registers themselves as owning property also registers the status of the rights-of-way through their property (because nobody will transact with you if you don't do it through a trusted company, and all the trusted companies will require that you state your right-of-way ownership).

In practice, you'll probably end up with the road owner having the right-of-way right up to your front door, while you have a contract with the road owner saying that you have a right to use the road as long as you pay your road fee.

And that's what I came up with in just fifteen minutes. I'm sure actual libertarians have thought about it for longer and come up with better answers.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

Alomex (148003) | about 7 months ago | (#46406003)

Buying a right-of-way into a "road system"? ESR libertarian utopia has no such thing.

Once you have "an ecosystem of roads" as you suggest which is maintained by road fees and requires public access so you can get to all places you want to go, you have just reimplemented government owned public infrastructure under a different name. This is what typically happens when people get a chance to implement their simplistic libertarian philosophies: it either devolves into a lord of the flies scenario (Somalia, Sealand) or governmental structures quickly reappear.

Re:In all seriousness... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 7 months ago | (#46473575)

Once you have "an ecosystem of roads" as you suggest which is maintained by road fees and requires public access so you can get to all places you want to go, you have just reimplemented government owned public infrastructure under a different name

Nonsense. In the libertarian utopia, the network of roads is a monopoly owned by someone else with no accountability or democratic input. Hooray!

Re:In all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46405157)

He got to the land somehow before so there's an established easement for access that you can't buy without that guy's consent.

Re:In all seriousness... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46399187)

In all seriousness, did you vote Obama, and therefore voted for 1984? Do you hate freedom? Why did you vote for the super stasi?

So... (4, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46398281)

So how annoyed are you that RMS got to do an interview a week before you did.

william richard stevens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398387)

Did you know William Richard Stevens, and if so, do you have any interesting stories or anecdotes about him?

Martial arts. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398399)

How does a tard get a black belt in anything?

When are we... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398415)

Getting an update to the Jargon File? Or have you given up on maintaining it?

Re:When are we... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398621)

Some background: ESR changed portions of the Jargon File to reflect his nutty personal politics, there was a predictable shitstorm, and since then ESR took his Jargon File and went home, no more updates.

vi or emacs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398447)

vi or emacs?

Re:vi or emacs? (1)

blackjackshellac (849713) | about 7 months ago | (#46447101)

Please don't let his answer be vi, I really have no need to agree with ESR on anything. One thing I do find is that /. sucks for this kind of reddit style AMA

Relevance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398449)

Why do you still consider yourself relevant to the whole open source movement?

How many Apple products do you have in your house? (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 7 months ago | (#46398455)

How many Apple products do you have in your house? More to the point, looking backward to Opensource projects trying to produce a desktop/laptop replacement and comparing those projects to proprietary like Apple, does it change your perspective or thinking in any way? Oh and currently, what is your favorite handgun?

Help! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398457)

I followed your tips on getting a girlfriend and they worked! But now she wants to have meet in real life and have sex. Do I have to buy a furry cat suit or will she have one?

So spectactularly wrong (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398461)

Eric, I remember "fondly" what was it 15+ years ago hearing you pontificating in person about gift culture and other sociology that you only had the slightest understanding of and economics that you had zero understanding of. The 'cathedral and the barzaar' has proven to be spectacularly wrong in every meaningful sense and nearly all of your technology predictions related to it have failed. My question is: will you for once have the humility to apologize and admit that you were wrong?

Android (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398501)

Do you consider the widespread global adoption of the Linux-based Android operating system to be a victory for Open Source, or a danger to the cause?

Hard work or talent? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398507)

You often come across as classless and creepy. Do you work at it or does it come naturally?

Are you still rich? (0)

crgrace (220738) | about 7 months ago | (#46398515)

With all the ups and downs in the industry, are you still surprised? http://www.linuxtoday.com/infr... [linuxtoday.com]

here's an obvious one.. (3, Interesting)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 7 months ago | (#46398523)

it's been almost 20 years since your write tCatB...i gave it a quick read and thought, "well, it *is* dated now, isn't it?" altho i am old enough to remember when its' ideas were pretty cutting edge.

given the current state of software development (ie the ease of use of PHP and the fact that, without a doubt, the cathedral model has won), what would you either like to change or add to your original thesis?

Re:here's an obvious one.. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46401357)

The cathedral model has won? I'll admit I haven't actually read the book, but I understand the basic premise, but if you're pointing to the Apple and Google app stores as proof of "winning", I think you're overly simplifying things. The existence of Android itself (with its Linux kernel) is proof the bazaar is also winning, not to mention the fact that most servers are running LAMP stacks, and that Linux itself (Android or otherwise) is found in all kinds of places now. Don't forget the success of the Firefox browser. Open-source has proven itself, and has "won". It just hasn't completely pushed out the cathedral. If anything, both sides have "won", they just own different territories. And the amount of "territory" they own is much greater than it was in the past: the market is much bigger.

Re:here's an obvious one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46405173)

iOS and Android are Cathedrals, but they picked up most of thier building supplies at bazaar.

Re:here's an obvious one.. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 7 months ago | (#46405459)

Is modern Linux kernel development actually a bazaar, though?

Re:here's an obvious one.. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46407979)

Why wouldn't it be? It has contributions from lots of different people and companies, and it's all freely-available.

Re:here's an obvious one.. (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about 7 months ago | (#46404143)

Also, what ever happened to The Great Brain Race? Do you see it as still a thing, or a product of the dot com bubble-era Silicon Valley myopia?

Dear ESR (-1, Offtopic)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 7 months ago | (#46398665)

What is it like being the Paris Hilton of the Open Source Movement?

Re:Dear ESR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46399013)

Oh god, is there an ESR sex tape out there?

Firefox ESR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398741)

What's it like sharing the acronym with Extended Support Release?

Why do we care? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46398837)

So why should the rest of us care about what one of the self appointed priests of open source has to say?

You're an annoying wanker, and you don't speak for all of us.

Why the attitude? (4, Interesting)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 7 months ago | (#46398897)

It permeates everything you write: the moral assuredness that You Are Right. I'm all in favor of positing that a position someone takes is the right one -- that's human nature. But your whole "I speak for the hackers" tone, wherein you seem to feel the need to put your views forward as representing others', puzzles me. I give, as a case-in-point, your "Sex Tips for Geeks [catb.org] " as exhibit A, but, really, most any of your writings -- most definitely including your handling of The Jargon File [catb.org] , as well as your stance on homosexuality [ibiblio.org] -- qualify. Care to comment?

systemd (5, Interesting)

Canek (37105) | about 7 months ago | (#46399123)

As a long time "Unix philosophy" advocate, and in the light of the announced switch to it by Debian, Ubuntu, and basically every other major Linux distribution, what do you think of systemd, and the tight vertical integration it intends to bring as a standard plumbing for (most of) all Linux distributions?

Dark Enlightenment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46399203)

Are you still planning to co-opt and subvert the Dark Enlightenment like you did the Free Software movement?

How to ask questions (3, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 7 months ago | (#46399453)

When you wrote "How to ask questions" did you have any idea how big it would be? Or how long it would be relevent?

And how do you feel that your most referenced piece of work is a howto for the clueless? :)

TAoUP has helped me alot, but... (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 7 months ago | (#46399793)

I don't suppose you have any pointers for breaking into an entry-level managed IT position from a short lifetime as a freelancer (ages 10-23?). Anyways, guess what your book taught me: alias joke="fortune -o | tee $(tty) | sed -e 's/\n/\.\.\./g' | espeak -v en-us+f2 -s 150"

What's your setup these days? What about your UNIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46399933)

Eric:

Your guide to buying parts for a UNIX system (http://en.tldp.org/HOWTO/Unix-Hardware-Buyer-HOWTO/) was very valuable to me a while back (in the 1.0 days, especially); I didn't have much money for a system, but I got to envy the good components and buy or barter piece by piece until I cobbled together a system that would run Linux and X. (Funny how small cases are now, compared to then ... ) What kind of system do you typically run now?

and I see that your hardware guide hasn't been updated in quite a while; is that because nowadays you can be generally sure enough parts will work with Linux / other mainstream and readily available OSes generally?

I'd really like to see another revision, with some "best of breed" modern components, but ones that are known to work out of the box rather than requiring silly workarounds. (Laptops especially tend to suffer quirks that mean slapping on a new OS is harder now than a few years back -- largely the fault of DRM, I think.)

Halloween Documents (3, Interesting)

frdmfghtr (603968) | about 7 months ago | (#46399947)

I recall reading (and re-reading on occasion) the Halloween Documents. Have you written anything regarding any other opponents to OSS, or perhaps a look back on them and see what the end effect of Microsoft's attempts did long term?

How essential is software redistribution rights? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 7 months ago | (#46400075)

One of the issues w/ Open Source has been the freedom to redistribute software downstream - be it just binaries, just source or any combination of the 2. Do you think there are any good ways for software companies who make their software open source to prevent their customers from effectively becoming their competitors - by giving away or selling cheaper what they were sold? Or is the only alternative going for a shared-source approach, as opposed to open source, where redistribution can be explicitly prohibited?

Appearance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46400169)

Do you find that your lack of a beard affects your ability to be taken seriously within the Open Source community?

Shared consensus (1)

fabrica64 (791212) | about 7 months ago | (#46400361)

What do you think about shared consensus technology (i.e. bitcoin)? Are they the bazaar while centralized entities (like the Fed) are the cathedrals? Do you think these technologies can be used in other areas in addition to bitcoin and play an important role in the future Internet?

Why is it "Open SORES" even given away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46400365)

For FREE can't overcome the marketshare of Windows? It defies logic (assuming of course your OPEN SORES stuff is as good, & clearly, based on the results of those shares, it's clearly not).

Sex Tips for Geeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46400753)

It's been over ten years. Care to share any more sex tips?

Re:Sex Tips for Geeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46401289)

Just the tip, to see how it feels.

Economic systems (0)

whitroth (9367) | about 7 months ago | (#46401129)

Hi, Eric,

      Haven't seen you since Philcon. Yep, back to heckle you....

      So, in the light of a) the dot.com bubble, massively under- or non-regulated, and the as close to free market as they could make it economic collapse of '07-08, in what way Libertarianism's goals have prevented the collapse, or moderated its affects on all the folks hit hard by it, as opposed to government intervention, as weak and cut back as early as it was?

      And directly related, how can I sue, say, either Lehman Bros or the credit rating agencies, who I learned only a year or two after the crash were *paid* by the companies they rated to rate them? And what would my options on getting a judge to hear the case, with, say, Bank of America on the other side, and their choice of judge?

        Say 'hi' to Cathy, btw.

                        mark

Linus's Law (Many Eyes) Problems (2)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | about 7 months ago | (#46401319)

Hi, there is currently some debate about the many eyes theory over on HNews (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7342352) about why it's a fallacious argument, but in my view they have it all wrong, in that a core component of Linus's Law is that the amount of code is directly inverse to the amount of eyes that can hit all of that code (or a significant percentage).

Therefore, in my eyes it is the problem of code bloat that is undermining the open source movement more than anything. For example, the Linux kernel is now at, what, 10mil+ lines of code? That's insane. Minix 3, on the other hand, is at ~15k?

What are your thoughts on this problem?

Re:Linus's Law (Many Eyes) Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46404633)

That's insane. Minix 3, on the other hand, is at ~15k?

You've never actually tried to use Minix have you? Apples and apples much?

Re:Linus's Law (Many Eyes) Problems (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | about 7 months ago | (#46409301)

I have had it running on a spare old boxen for a few months now, but I would say you aren't addressing the point, which is mostly in how the code is written. I'm not claiming it's ready for production at all, but I think it is making a lot of changes based on principles that Linux/BSD are too entrenched to rethink, and I feel like we need to rethink the early days of OS design a bit more. Eg, lets have a new debate on kernel architectures.

Have you considered getting help... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46401381)

Really? [ibiblio.org]

"...and consequently cuts a wide sexual swathe when he cares to..."

Seriously? Because you look like a fucking troll, dude.

Clever Exploitation or Genuine Belief? (1)

Victor_0x53h (1164907) | about 7 months ago | (#46401661)

Are you sincere in your vehement G+ rants on Global Warming or is this a clever exploitation of humans "Backfire Effect [youarenotsosmart.com] " (when given evidence against their beliefs, people can reject the evidence and believe even more strongly)?

What particularly made me think this at one point was: "Does that kind of language persuade anybody"?

I'd rather not. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46402181)

He's the biggest most pretentious shitbag on the planet. and I'd rather he just went away.

Re:I'd rather not. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46403245)

Well, other than Barack Obama.

Captcha: shitface

Who? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46402363)

haha, I kid.
Don't you mean GNU/ESR?
haha, I kid again.

What about the new wave of proprietary programs (w (2)

necro351 (593591) | about 7 months ago | (#46402429)

So it seems these days the most effective method of DRM is a network interface, like that used by Facebook, Google, Pinterest, etc... You cannot run your own instance of Gmail or Facebook, and you certainly cannot see or modify the code. At the same time all these companies are pressuring us to push our data into their servers by not supporting or coming up with solutions that let us continue to control/manage our data on our own machines and private networks. What can open source do to stem that tide? What about open source licensing? Could webkit or mozilla have slowed down the encroachment of Chrom/ium and its pro-Google agenda if it had more defensive licensing terms like something similar to the GPL? How do we convince hackers to hack on open-source 'website programs', like an open Gmail or an open Facebook (e.g., Diaspora)?

Apple today (3, Interesting)

wordtech (774952) | about 7 months ago | (#46402539)

Your comments in The Art of Unix Programming about Apple/Mac developers being diametrically opposed to Unix developers in development style and emphases (designing simple, user-friendly interfaces from the outside in) were quite interesting. I am wondering about your perspective on Apple now. My interest is specifically in Apple's contributions to open-source (WebKit and LLVM, chiefly) and your take on those. It seems to me that Apple has done quite a bit to foster an alternative ecosystem to the GNU environment, for instance in FreeBSD's adoption of clang as their default compiler; and also it seems to to me that WebKit has supplanted Gecko as the most widely used browser framework. Curious about your viewpoint here.

Nuclear War (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 7 months ago | (#46403561)

Do you think it would be possible to break into those computers that control the nuclear missiles and launch all the missiles like in that movie Wargames and start a nuclear war with the Russians, and if you think it's possible could you like tell me how, and could you like send it to my email and use like super secret encryption so that the NSA won't detect it, and make the instructions really clear so I can follow them. THANKS!

AK or AR (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 7 months ago | (#46403573)

Which is the better battle rifle, an AK-47/74 type or an AR-15/M-16/M-4 type? Please give your criteria as well as your answer.

Bonus: favorite handgun platform/caliber that isn't a .45 1911.

Your favorite editor (1)

renzhi (2216300) | about 7 months ago | (#46404181)

Which editor do you use on a daily basis? Emacs or Vi? :)

Re:Your favorite editor (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 7 months ago | (#46410431)

In his book on the Unix philosophy, he held up emacs as an excellent example, and said some definitely negative things about vi. I thought it detracted from the book. By rejecting software used very heavily by a large number of Unix/Linux geeks, it seemed to be overspecifying the group the philosophy belongs to.

AIS BDFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46404285)

If the President of the US gave you direct control over all the US government's use of and influence over AIS [wikipedia.org] , what changes would you make?

Why all the hate from our arbiters of Tolerance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46405405)

Long time Slashdot reader, occasional poster, mostly tired with the noisy, but not very thoughtful crowd here.

Seriously, why are the people who claim to be the most Tolerant ( with a capital "T") seem to think that they need to squash anybody who has an opinion contrary to theirs? ESR is an interesting dude with opinions. If you don't share them, come up with something better, and try and convince others of your ideas.

Python Zealot? (1)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | about 7 months ago | (#46405671)

You raved about Python in the past. Is it still your preferred language/platform for slinging code?

Microsoft & Open Source (1)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | about 7 months ago | (#46405681)

Do you think they need to embrace Open Source to survive? Will they?

Linux in General (1)

gal1264 (470552) | about 7 months ago | (#46405717)

Do you still feel that you are an accurate and complete proxy for the linux community? You stated as such about 10 years ago...

And if so why have you thought so over time? If not....what changed?

You many years ago claimed you were a proxy for the web community and I disagreed in public with the IETF. Just a curiosity.

I have changed over the years...perhaps you have grown a bit as well...

-Tom

Re:Linux in General (1)

gal1264 (470552) | about 7 months ago | (#46405723)

BTW the thread is at http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf/current/msg31751.html

Earned procreation and technology (1)

MonsterMasher (518641) | about 7 months ago | (#46407539)

I would like to know how he feels about being a male and having to 'earn' his procreation right. Especially since, if he had born a women and wanted a child - the ease of enslavement of a male (not always the father) for up to 24 years would be the only hurtle. And she Never Never Never Never a need to show even sanity - never mind the hellish torture males are required to go through today to even be considered. Could and should society do the same for women?

Anyway - it would be good to get his impression of setting up a system where biology alone does not guarantee procreation. How would he implement such a system, and handle those who refuse to follow. Also, does he feel some type of parenting or sanity testing should be standard, as well as at birth or before identification of true father, with required informing of them for adoption option, etc.

Thank you in advance for considering my questions.

Printing (1)

sproketboy (608031) | about 7 months ago | (#46408049)

Have you managed to get printing to work on Linux yet?

Error cascade? (2)

DavidHumus (725117) | about 7 months ago | (#46409251)

Your stance on AGW seems to deny the error-correcting features of the scientific method.

So which do you think is more likely: that AGW-deniers are primarily politically-motivated and don't give a crap about simple facts (like the greenhouse effect of CO2) or that the scientific method is deeply flawed?

GPLv3 (1)

relisher (2955441) | about 7 months ago | (#46413727)

I know that you do not like GPLv3 due to the fact that you stated that it "punishes" those who use it. The question being, do you think that there is a way to influence large corporations, who have no intention of being a part of the Free Software Movement, without the use of licenses such as GPLv3? Also curious as to whether you have read the comic Everybody Loves Eric Raymond

Your manifest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46416163)

I've read your manifest, "Why We Fight — An Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto", and I find it brilliant.

My question is: did you work with a real comedian on this, or did you write it yourself?

Thanks

Where are the answers? (1)

fortfive (1582005) | about 7 months ago | (#46446119)

It seems most questions were asked last Tue or Wed, and there's only, about three ESR responses I can find. Am I missing something?

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