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Bruce Perens Resigns From OSI

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the it-happens-again dept.

News 226

Bruce Perens has announced his resignation from OSI. This was submitted several times by several people. I've attached below the submission from ESR (representing OSI) and the announcement from Bruce himself. Click below to read what they each have to say. This is gonna get hairy.This is from an email Bruce sent to a lot of people

It's Time to Talk about Free Software Again

I'm Bruce Perens. You may know me as the primary author of the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source Definition. I wrote the Electric Fence malloc() debugger, and some pieces of Debian. And you may remember me for having brought the TIGER map database to free software. If you want copies of that, you can get them through Dale Scheetz .

About a year ago, I sent out a message announcing "Open Source". Eric Raymond and I founded the Open Source Initiative as a way of introducing the non-hacker world to Free Software. Well, thanks to Eric, the world noticed. And now it's time for the second stage: Now that the world is watching, it's time for us to start teaching them about Free Software. Notice, I said Free Software, _not_ Open Source.

Most hackers know that Free Software and Open Source are just two words for the same thing. Unfortunately, though, Open Source has de-emphasized the importance of the freedoms involved in Free Software. It's time for us to fix that. We must make it clear to the world that those freedoms are still important, and that software such as Linux would not be around without them.

One of the unfortunate things about Open Source is that it overshadowed the Free Software Foundation's efforts. This was never fair - although some disapprove of Richard Stallman's rhetoric and disagree with his belief that _all_ software should be free, the Open Source Definition is entirely compatible with the Free Software Foundation's goals, and a schism between the two groups should never have been allowed to develop. I objected to that schism, but was not able to get the two parties together. Another unfortunate fact is the certification mark dispute which has gone on between Software in the Public Interest and the Open Source Initiative for a whole year. That was entirely my fault.

Sadly, as I've tended toward promotion of Free Software rather than Open Source, Eric Raymond seems to be losing his free software focus. The Open Source certification mark has already been abused in ways I find unconscionable and that I will not abide. I fear that the Open Source Initiative is drifting away from the Free Sofware values with which we originally created it. It's ironic, but I've found myself again siding with Software in the Public Interest and the Free Software Foundation, much as I did in 1995. I feel that the Open Source Definition, which was copied from the Debian Free Software Guidelines, should still be our touchstone, and I'll be working to promote software that fits that definition, but independently from the Open Source Initiative.


Bruce Perens

This is the story submission from ESR

ESR writes "Today, following a recent dustup on the discussion list for the upcoming Open Source Summit in which he described Tim O'Reilly as ``one of the leading parisites (sic) of the free software community'', Bruce Perens resigned from the board of the Open Source Initiative.

Though no formal motion has yet been passed, it seems likely that OSI will shortly replace Bruce and add two more directors in an effort to broaden its base of representation in the open-source community. A shortlist of nominees had already been assembled for the two additional seats.


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Good riddence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011820)

Fanatics like Perens are doing the whole Linux movement more harm than good. No wonder Debian is such a mess (license wise).

The only one that represents the linux world to me is Linus himself. He has exhibited much more sanity and balance than the rest of the self-appointed spokespersons.

M$ will catch up ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011821)

I'm waiting for the day:

"Yeah, you get the sourcecode for the Office Suite, but as a new licensing policy we are charging $20,000 for that version. No, you can't have the source until after you buy the software. . . ."

Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011822)

I long for the Linux community of five years ago when I first installed Slackware. No one seemed to give a shit about idelogies or rhetoric. They just cared about the simple phrase: "show me the code".

Everyone go write some code or documentation and quit trying to be spokespeople for the "free software movement" or "Open Source community" or whatever else you call us.

Opensource != free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011823)

Open source may have been founded in free software but it is a different concept. One that has been taken up by large companies across the world. This is proving a boon for developers as we can step into / look at the code we are calling. This greatly speeds up development and cut down calls for help, via helpdesk, usenet or co-workers. No company is going to steal the source code of another companies product and repackage it as there own, simply because they will get sued off the planet if found out.

So freesoftware has inadvertently started a revolution in software distributing. I find it upsetting that a visionary like Bruce Perens cannot live with this. I wish him luck.


Open Source is EVIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011824)

Open Source is the BIGGEST threat to World Domination because it subverts the purpose of Free Software and takes the revolution from the hackers. Have you noticed how many Open Source compatible licenses there are??? Have you read them yourself or have you started 'trusting' that the Open Source group knows whats best. Before there was one license and it was GNU L/GPL. We didn't all like it but we all knew about it - if you were interested in Free Software you read and had an opinion on it. It may have been a bad yardsticvk (I don't think it was) but one thing was sure, we could all measure things by it. Now we have a new license for every Commercial companies that decides to jump on the bandwagon. I don't care if ESR thinks it is Open Source, I don't give a fig that RMS thinks X isn't compatible - what I do know is that if it's licenses with GPL then I KNOW about it. I *should* read every license but I don't have time (care) so instead I start trusting other people to tell me if something is FREE - soon Open Source could incorporate and I'll trust OpenSource Inc to tell me what's FREE. The Open Source concept as a marketing tool was fine, but by 'agreeing' licenses they are DILUTING Free Software. Is ESR a lawyer, I don't think so, will he be able to cope with tricky lawyers, I don't think so (my gf is one so I should know a little about how tricky they are ;-)).

There is only one Free and it is Freedom
There is only one revolution and it is GNU
And is only one Free License and is it L/GPL

a good point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011825)

i am pleased to see perens acknowledge that the primary point of it all is the software and the freedom, and that while rms might be controversial and difficult, he does have the best interest of the individual and the movement at heart. i have never gotten this feel from esr, and while he may be a good representative to business, i feel long term his attitude will do more harm than good.


Balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011826)

You know, there seems to be many views on our paradigm. Open Source, Free Software, etc. but I can't stop thinking... as we are all on the crest of this massive Information Age wave (and we are). We should set out common goals. Should all software be free? I personally don't think so. Should our society become 'transparent', I don't see how you could stop it. And what about capatilism? It seems to benefit a small portion of the population in a large way, and the scientists, techies, inventors, geeks, etc. rarely get credit. I think we should look more into what motivates us as people. I know personally I'm much more motivated to do a good job out of respect from my peers, than to do a good job out of money! I think most people are like this originally. Capatilism corrupts them though, and they no longer see the light!

This paradigm we're all toying with right now could very well lead to the eventual down fall of the capatalistic society we all live in. Yet as much as I've come to dislike it, I'm becoming a part of it, I'm becoming greedy, I need it because without it I wouldn't have high speed Inet access, wouldn't have smooth shaving cream... roads, schools, police, etc. I,... we need it almost. Or do we?

We have to map out solid goals, or fork off into seperate groups with thier own ideals (OSI, FSF, ?). And we have to hint at what the future could be. I for one know we have to fully imbrace technology, it's coming, you can never stop it (it's our nature as humans), slowing it only brings on half transparent, eleetist, capatalistic societies. Or does it? Would the slow down of faster CPU's level out the number of people who could afford the technology? does faster and faster CPU's create eleetists (if that's spelled correctly). hmmm... many questions yet to be answered... seems we need a few good leaders (beyond the current Linus, Richard, Alan, Eric et al croud) and some philosophy discussions.

This philosophy of how the Information Age should progress will be very important... do we want our wallet's crashing every time we go to the variety store because it's running buggy software? Do we want hackers smurfing the couple major backbones and taking down the planet? It's so important to analyse and ask these questions. And to ourselves, not the president of UUNET, or Microsoft, or any large company, they rarely have the better intentions of humanity in mind. More or less they have they're stock prices in mind. I really think the answer would be to crash the capatalistic system (see the movie SNEAKERS). Start from new, take parenting classes so we raise proper children who aren't abused, healthy well rounded individuals who are more happy doing work in the spirit of OSS (et al, whatever that exact spirit is) than for money. It's time to analyse... the wave will crash in time, 5, 10, 50, 100 years, maybe 500. But we've got to start now.. before it's too late, before capatilism and stock prices ruin the next age of humans. The Information Age.

I can't spell and I didn't proof read this...
Jason too lazy to login

Good riddence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011827)

without fanatics like RMS you'd be going to the local best buy and paying for tools like sed, grep. bash would cost $99.95. you could totally forget about a young finn writing a kernel because he wouldnt be able to afford the compiler to do it with.

fanatics have made free software what it is today.

Open Source is EVIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011828)

Um, before Open Source there was still the Apache Licence, the BSD licence, and other free non GPL licences. Moron.

Me, I'd rather just use commercial software.

Opensource != free software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011829)

Closed source sucks more. I as a developer am happier working with open source than closed source. Most commerical source code should be open IMO, but as 'commerical' it will not be free. You can modify it if you want, but don't post that code to usenet simply because it is not yours


Splitting the movement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011830)

Yes, what we hear now is very sad... And yes, the movement is split. Linux started as free software, and it still (mostly) is. Licenses *are* very important to us - I mean, they are fundamental to keep Linux the way it is now. I don't care if we achieve world domination, if Windows is still a success or what. I'm not a coder, but I've always disagreed in separating the fundamental pieces - source and object - because GNU and GPL must be mantained. It's very sad for me to hear all this...

Animal Farm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011831)

Get out your copy of Animal Farm. Our noble leader Napol^H^H^H^H^H ESR will continue to lead us, despite the efforts of the treacherous Snowb^H^H^H^H^H Bruce Perens. Maybe was the correct link after all.

M$ HAS licensed source... to an OS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011832)

Anybody else remember when the OS source for DOS 1.1 was available? It was available through Austin Codeworks for awhile (are they still around?).

I remember seeing it in Dr. Dobbs around the time that DOS 4.11 was released. It makes sense -- early versions of DOS were licensed to clone manufacturers, who added their own modifications to the OS (generally to fix BIOS bugs or add the nonstandard feature support that was common then).

PC-DOS, Corona-DOS, Cordata-DOS, Compaq-DOS... I think I still have most of them on 5 1/4" disks somewhere.

( BTW - talking about old Dr. Dobbs, I found an issue from early 1995, which covered the new GUI interface that the soon-to-be-released Windows 95 would have. They also covered the technical details on the new "Loadable Kernal Modules" for Linux. Sigh... I would love reporting like that again.)


Personalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011833)

Hmm let's see Unix had the 'X libs war' and now Linux had the 'Linux personalities war'. Both as damaging, both as pointless.

Brue Perens, a man whose done more to help Free Software than I ever will. And it seems almost as much to hinder it.

First there was Debian which is so far back I don't even remember what he managed to fall out about. Then he tried to set-up a Debian Killer Distribution but that didn't fly. He did manage to frag SPI by taking the Open Source mark with him - whether illegal is one matter but it certainly looks immoral (not even telling the board!). The he works fulltime to push the Open Source concept and kill off GNU/Free. Now he's decided that this is a bad thing and wants to back out.

Wherever these 'luminaries' go a committe follows - one that acts behind closed doors doing bizarre legalese things in the name of Representing Linux!!
Look at ESR's response...'a new members of the board will be added'...Oh good, thank heavens, I'm calm now, for a second there I thought we might get less hot air, no, no now we get 2x as many members leading to 4x as much pointless rubbish......well the ship must be going the right way if we're using a committee!!

Bruce, get back to what you were good at, I could never have done that memory utility. Don't join another commkitte, don't start another 'organisation' and don't come up with another initiative. Keep people like me amazed with the one ability we don't have 'great code'......after all we can all do the things above.

I dunno.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011834)

I seem to remember a big long thread on one or more of the newsgroups called "Lignux GNO!" (or something) which was the same arguments about free software. This was several years ago.

Back then the enemy to free software was Netscape, according to the FSF followers

Beardies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011835)

The trouble is: All these people are unix junkies, they all have beards, have had beards, or secretly want a beard, they call '#', dollar, or whiz, or shebang, they didn't do enough drugs at college, they can't get proper jobs, they like star trek.


Time to pick your side, and then.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011836)

This leaves me with a feeling of hope for the Open source / FREE SOFTWARE future. People are so wrapped up in "downing" microsoft, they forget to focus on the realities of this community.
Microsoft can go f*ck themselves. I don't care.
I DO care that Linux exists, that I have access to it, that I have tools with it. I care about GNU.
I don't think Stallman will be successful (too much greed in the world), but I wholeheartedly support the mission.
I applaud Bruce for taking the initiative, to being true to the game.

Alot of you people use Linux 'cause it's 'cool',
alot use it because it ain't 'm$', how many are using it because of the principle it's based on,
(both the kernel and GNU aspects?) ?

get a grip people...Linux is being exploited, and so are you.

Tony Waters

So RMS was right!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011837)

Bruce's actions prove that OpenSource is thw wrong way to go. It's Free or nothing.

Good riddence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011838)

Also without non-GNU stuff, like Netscape, and the Xfree86 project, we would not have Linux the way we have it now. Of course the FSF would rather have you forget all that, hence the whole GNU/Linux fiasco.

What is everyone's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011839)

It isn't everyone's problem. The core developers
(i.e. people that write code...) are still fairly
solidly on the side of free software. It's all
these IRC-using /.-posting
hangers-on that don't appreciate the importance
of political issues, because they haven't been
around long enough.

RMS is very well respected among most real developers. And he is certainly not comparable to Bruce; he never throws a tantrum like this.

Perens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011840)

After Linus said called people who complain about licensing "whiners", this was the first guy to whine with a lengthy editorial called "Why KDE is still a bad idea."

Dude! That poem ROCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011841)

Do you want to be attributed if I quote it?

RMS is an idealist.
RMS is righteous.
RMS is a Good Thing.

FSF was around before Perl, Apache, the WWW, and
all you young ruffians.

Stallman's GCC (for he put his money where his
mouth was and was one of the primary authors of
it) kicked ass over SunOS 4.1's compiler (which is
what I had when I started UNIX) and came with the

(BSD/Perl/Apache are all righteous too, just not *AS* righteous. ^_^ )

Dump "Free Software" already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011842)

I don't get it.

Even though most English speakers equate free with no cost more often than freedom, and the "Free Software" advocates spend more time posting "Free speech" not "Free Beer" messages than they do writing code.

Why don't they dump the "Free software" moniker and adopt something else, like "Liberated Software" that people are not going to confuse with public domain? To me, that was the beauty of "Open Source".

Face it, people equate "Free Software" with "Public Domain", and the FSF is fighting an uphill battle trying to change that preconception.

I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011843)

I don't know much about this situation, but I think that this guy is obviously a big moron. Stupid people bother me.. He should have tried to resovle his issues a little more before running away. People like him make me want to go ballistic. I think his whole point is illogical. If he wants people to respect him, and his viewpoint, he should not be so hot headed and try to resolve issues more. I think he must have taken a jar of stupid-pills.

Long live linux!

Penguin power!

Too Lazy to Spell is Too Lazy to Think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011844)

Why would you be proud of not proofreading?
The real "eleetists" would look down on the likes
of you.

What is everyone's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011845)

Huh? ESR as a right-wing fanatic? Crazed Libertarian perhaps, but not even close to a right-wing fanatic.

i guess because he wanted more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011846)

He didnt just want a revolution in the software making, but rather a revolution in software as a whole. He wanted everybody to have acess to good and free software, he wanted people without much money to be able to enter this world and not be just watching the trains passing by, he wanted to minimize the tremendous gap in the world between the ones who have computers and the ones who dont.(there are more eletricity lines in Manhatan than in the whole of Africa)
And i guess he still does all this things. Nowadays, ideals are banned. But I think ideals are the only things that keep us human and not blood-thirsty vampires.


Bruce Perens always seemed like an OK guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011847)

Considering how vocal he is (not very) Bruce Perens seems to draw an afwul lot of fire from all sorts of people. He usually seems to attract more of it (relative to how much he says pubically) than even RMS. I can being to understand where people would get off knocking RMS (although I tend to agree with him the vast majority of the time). But Bruce Perens always seemed to me to be a more palatable version of RMS -- not overtly controversial, and generally on the ball.

Now, I'm not a Debian developer, and I've never interacted directly with Bruce. (I haven't with RMS, either.) But maybe some people with more insight can explain to me (and to others) just what it is that Bruce does that makes them so upset. I'm really curious. I'd like to see specific examples of things he's done and/or said; we could all probably learn something from this.

Free / Open Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011848)

Ehh... All these guys are pretty silly.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate many of thier motives. RMS, Perens, ESR, etc., when it comes right down to it, started doing what they're doing with good intentions, for what they believe to be The Right Thing. That is laudable.

But it's still silly, and here's why. Open / Free Software is a dynamic, chaotic system. It is really much bigger than any one of us now. It has grown to be something almost organic, definitely self-perpetuating, and no one person can really steer the direction of this thing with that much influence anymore. If Linus, RPM, ESR, Cox, or any other big hacker / motivator were to leave the movement today, sure, we'd feel the slight vacuum temporarily, but this thing would still move on without them. Free Software is really and entity entirely independent of these people.

And when it comes down to it, as good as thier intentions may be, these people are human. They have egos. They have pride. They wanna take the most credit (especially RMS) for what is happening. And no one really can. As big as an impact as they may made have made, this movement is like a swarm of bees or a flock of birds - an unstoppable mass of dynamic group initiative, without any real leadership at all.

(There is a term for this lack of leadership, BTW... I wish I could remember it. I read an article once that described how ants work, that they have no authoritarian structure of any kind - just common goals and common ways of doing things. Software simulations prove that you need no real leadership at all if most parts are sufficiently well motivated (by pure self-interest, even), every part has common goals (building a big anthill, for example) and every one has a similar task (putting dirt pebbles in a pile). [I worked a job at a small restaurant once without a manager, boss, or any leadership of any kind, and it was held together by common goals and motivated self interest on part of the employees. Everyone just did what they liked, what they were good at, and what needed to be done. Laziness was simply frowned upon - not punished. We were the cleanest, most efficient, and most profitable franchise in the state for those three months...] If you have these things, you have the kind of dynamic system that applies, IMO, to Free Software. Eventually, a bunch of little anthills turn into one big anthill, with no social engineering or centralized planning of any kind. It just gets done because everyone needs it to get done. Everyone benefits, so everyone pitches in on the largest anthill around, until one anthill coalesces. There is *some* wasted labor here in abandoning smaller anthills for bigger ones [::ahem:: KDE, GNOME, GNUStep, etc.] but eventually the stongest and most useful system always survives. It's an experiment in evolutionism, pure and simple [may the best / most useful software win]. It's much better than basing software on marketing value alone, IMHO. ; )

BTW... This seemingly communist system at first glance, is in fact motivated by individual self-interest (we all need and profit from freely available information / software). Weird, eh?

Thank you RMS, ESR, Bruce, and gang. But respectfully stated, your efforts in "organizing", "structuring", "leading", "defining", and "terminologizing" the movement are not at all needed. More new code, code refinement, documentation, artwork and graphic design, proper implimentation, networking expertise, user interface interaction research and refinement, "coolness" factor, consultancy expertise, fun stuff, a large user base, filling percieved needs in the software market, solving tough problems in the software market, new concept creation, and other such things, are needed. This is a dynamic system - not a company in need of a CEO. No one gets to be the big hoss. No Steve Jobs is needed here. Sorry.

(BTW... ESR has personally [well, by email] helped me understand some concept that were at the time unclear. I thank him. His insight is a gift. And I thank RMS for his vision and his morality. If only we were all so driven by principle...)

We indeed live in exciting times!

Defender of Dynamism and Free Enterprise

Help Wanted: Free Software Optometrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011849)

If ESR "seems to be losing his free software focus", shouldn't we just send him to the free software optometrist? How much does that cost? I will gladly send a donation.

Slashdot, I make sport of you for hoisting this self-indulgent diatribe to your web site.


Religious battles are counter-productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011850)

The problem with most of the new Open Source
licenses is that they're "conditional." Somebody
with a financial interest still holds the
ultimate control over the stuff. Thus, what is
"Open Source" today might not be so--at least not
in its entirety--on another day.

The problem with GNU licenses (under which I
*presently* license any of my original work, btw)
is the "GNU Virus." A side-effect of this one
is, for example, that the company for which I
work will *not* port its Unix-based products to
GNU/Linux. Sorry. The "GNU Virus" precludes
it. End of story. (Before someone takes off
about how I'm mistaken, I suggest you *really*
*read* the GNU license. And Stallman's
discussions of it. Particularly the one with the
"readline" story in it--about how a company used
readline in an application and was subsequently
forced to open-source their entire product, or
remove it from the market, or remove readline.)
As I noted: I appreciate the aim of the GNU
licenses. But I also appreciate why a for-profit
company would be averse to allowing its products
to become "virus-infected" in this way.

So I understand and cannot argue with the
motivations behind "both types" of "Open Source"
licenses. But each of these, in their own way,
fall somewhat short of being *truly* "open", IMO,
in that they each have their hooks.

All that being said: I sincerely wish the "movers
and shakers" of the free/open software
movement(s) would stop with the squabbling
already, agree to disagree, and simply get on
with the business of improving the "product" and
public awareness of its advantages.

There are only *two* entities weakly holding back
the tide of eventual complete world domination by
that bloated, unstable, proprietary garbage out
of Redmond in any meaningful way: and those are
the open source initiatives and the products that
derive therefrom, and Sun Microsystems.

The proponents of the former ought to consider
the effect of their squabbles on its (continued)
success and market penetration. I, for one, am
becoming increasing disgusted with these
religious battles. If they keep it up, they'll
likely find developers eventually writing their
own licenses. As a consequence, these priests
and their beloved movements will become
increasingly marginalized. They ought to think
about that. They ought to think about it *real*

Big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011851)

Bruce changes allegiances more often than I change my underwear.

I'm sick of hearing about him.

Hear, hear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011852)

Nice post.

Debian and GPL forever.

Seen this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011853)

I have had several experiences back in the old days with what one might call "hippie communes". The idea was to develop a (small) society that was as close to utopia as possible, however I don't remember anyone actually using those terms.

Well, the way things inevitably went was:

First there was great enthusiasm and things got done. There was a lot of selfless volunteering. There was no real consideration of "rules" or really what we were doing.

Then things started to change. Someone got a reputation, deserved or undeserved, as being lazy, or excessively egregious, or whatever. There was a lot of talk behind peoples backs.

Then we started having "rules" or a constitution to protect everyone's various civil statuses. Then there were great debates about these rules. Just think about how our congress works. In some (many?) of these debates things were much worse than our congress.

Then disillusionment followed. People dropped out. And the society started to dissolve.

In general this evolution took many years. Sometimes more than 20 years.

A postmortem. At least one of these so-called societies is still in exsistance, however it has changed dramatically. Changed so much that I don't recognize it in anyway as its former self. The people who are there now have accepted some set of "rules" for better or worse. But most importantly, they have moved forward. I have only visited a few times, and after having gotten over how much things have changed, I came to the conclusion that things there were better, much better, than in the real world where I lived.

In "linux land" we seem to be in the phase of fighting about our "rules". But, for better or worse, we probably will adopt some set of rules and hopefully move forward. And, I think, that here in our "linux society", however things turn out, we will be better off than in the "real world" of commercial software.

So, IMHO, we are having growing pains. We should concentrate on moving forward.

Everyone needs to calm down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011854)

1) We all know how important GNU and RMS are/were to Linux.
2) We all know how important Linux is/was to GNU.
3) We all want source code to our software.

Here's how I look at it:

GNU zealots need accept victory, and at the same time accept defeat. The vision of RMS is of a utopia, and although it's a great ideal to work towards, reality is somewhere in between. You can split hairs over licenses all day long, the result is what matters. We have the source. Life is good.

More software than ever is available in source form and to that I tip my hat to RMS, Linus, the folks at Berkeley, the folks at MIT, and anyone else who has contributed his or her skills to an open source project.

I started with Linux a long time ago, and I did not know the difference between the GPL the LGPL the BSD license or whatever, I didn't give a crap. I had a system that I could tweak down to the finest detail and I was thrilled. Now we've brought this satisfaction to many, and the people responsible start to whine and complain about ideals, rather than enjoying the end result.

Call for acronym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011855)

We have IANAL for "I Am Not A Lawyer", but we need something small and usuable for "I am not a lawyer, but am willing to nitpick in an annoying matter over infintesimal differences in software licensing."

This could get used *a lot*.

But he's right - Tim O'Reilly *IS* a parasite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011856)

Running beneath the banner of Perl and selling books like nobody's business, what do they do for the open source community? The best we get out of him is a couple shots at Microsoft and the website (a bunch of links to free documentation) which is just another tool to sell O'Reilly books.

Religious battles are counter-productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011857)

Ummm.. they could have just written their own
version of readline. The author of readline
didn't want it used in non GPLed works. Said
company did it anyway. Seems like said company
is the villian here, not the GPL.

RMS rocks (and has coded far more than Linus) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011858)

RMS has produced far more free software than Linus, Alan or most of the other kernel hackers. He pretty much single-handedly wrote Emacs, he's the primary author of gcc, and the FSF maintains libc/glibc, most of the basic utilities (sed, awk, mv, and that sort of thing). The FSF made most of the 'core OS,' except for the kernel. RMS is a brilliant coder, and has been working on this for 16 years now. Right now, he's working to make Emacs into a full-fledged user-friendly word processor.

Didn't ESR's response seem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011859)

yeah, it sounded exactly like that.
if ESR could possibly deflate his ego long enough to speak english, everyone would see what he's up to.
if larry wall was the person posting that, it might be different. wall is one of the most respectful and humble people i know.

But he's right - Tim O'Reilly *IS* a parasite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011860)

So what exactly is wrong with selling books? He's a book seller thats what he does. If you expect everyone to use man pages or those awful GNU info pages then please consider that not everyone wants to go to that much effort to learn perl, or python, or whatever else O'Reilly has published.

Free Software (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011919)

Wasn't Richard Stallmans objection against "Open Source" all along that it de-emphasized the importace of freedom. I'm not sure, but I think I read something like that when the term first appeared last spring.

Unfortunately, this hardly spells the end of the "schism" Bruce writes about.

Sigh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011920)

Everything would be better off if people quieted down and wrote code. We wouldn't have nearly the penis-waving that we have today, both in terms of the politics between open source and free software as well as the growing community of Linux users who are becoming blatantly anti-"anything that isn't Linux", which certainly doesn't help the rest of us.

Sigh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2011921)

I guess my question is exactly how is Bruce fighting to keep the code free? That's not clear to me. I see where he's done alot of code (good). And I like the concept behind OSI (to help Linux become acceptable in a "suit" environment).

But overall, my impression is that he's a spoiled prima donna --not that there's anything wrong with that-- but it can cast the Linux Community(tm) in a bad light when one of their top dawgs is constantly leaving in a huff.

I'm not saying anyone 5ukZ or r00Lz -- I just wond er why we can't agree to disagree about the hot topics. If we're all so smart and geek-telligent, why can't we discuss issues like adults?

self-appointment - Critic ... (1)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011930)

no less and certainly not more!

Sad Day (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011931)

Posted by rayola:

I don't think this is a good thing. I don't like the way slashdotters compare one person to another. I just think it's a shame that Perens feels this way, and I can understand. I don't think people should put their ideology aside and it does not matter one damn bit if "Gates Wins" or whateverthehell. Come on, people, the GNU / Linux community has some really cool things about it, and those cool things are ALL because of stubborn peoples' ideologies. None of the gang are saints, we know that, but taken as a group they're some of the best people in the realm of computers, and we're lucky, and we should respect their feelings and decisions, not name-call.

Heads of state... (1)

pingouin (783) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011940)

I've said my fair share here, but it is something that should be realized. In the words of my favorite professor this semester (Yes, he is a cs prof.), "This isn't about software. We're in the entertainment business, y'all. It is all about the marketing." Get back to reality and maarket the hell out of this thing.

Fair enough, but I'd prefer that there be an OSS "marketing arm" that was closer to RMS's and Bruce's ideals than to ESR's (not that I don't appreciate the efforts of all three). "Sell" the fsck out of Free Software, but don't end up with the thing becoming unrecognizable amidst the alphabet soup of newer and newer ESR-compliant TLAs.

Disclaimer: posted via the non-Free Communicator 4.5-x86-Linux.

pingouin as Insomnia Boy, two sets nightly...


Aargh! (1)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011941)

Bruce Perens has done a lot of good work and made a lot of things happen, but while some people need to take a deep breath and count to ten, it seems that higher numbers would suit Bruce's purposes better.

I hope that everyone involved can sort out their differences and get back to the useful work they all do.

self-appointment (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011944)

It's very interesting to me how people use the term "self-appointed" to disparage those who volunteer. Is volunteerism really such a bad thing? If so, how do you think spokespersons should be appointed?

self-appointment (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011945)

That's a fair opinion. I don't yet agree, but would be willing to see a concrete proposal for an appointment process. Do you feel strongly enough about this to make it happen, or are the volunteers more motivated about this than you?

self-appointment (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011946)

That is, in fact, the logical trap that I was trying to set. You did not fall for it, but now you must admit that it's a matter of your passivity versus their volunteer efforts. I hereby claim that "self-appointed" is not a term of disparagement, but an accolade.

The credibility of free/open software movement (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011947)

I agree that Bruce has damaged is credibility with some, but he's strengthened it with others, like a few gnu freedom-purists who appreciate this gesture. Whether or not his own credibility flux extends to the credibility of the community is an open question.

We're never going to present a unified front, and I don't think that we should because doing so would necessarily entail promoting homogeneity at the expense of diversity. That would deal a more painful blow to the movement than the rant & resignation of any individual.

Religious battles are counter-productive (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011948)

That was a beautiful, well-reasoned post. Were I a moderator, I'd bump-up your score. I say this even though I don't share your views entirely.

The religious battles that we see are an integral part of the movement. If they were to disappear, it would be a symptom of collective disease: loss of passion, apathy, failure in the peer-review process (which, by the way, doesn't just apply to code but to the guiding memes as well). These battles happen in any human endeavor. The only difference is that they usually happen behind closed doors, buffered by a well-funded PR/Margeting machine.

Our battles happen in the open, but that's where they should happen. We don't need to kill the battles between ideologies. All we need to do is make sure that we're civil when we have them. That's a tall order; we just have to learn to value civility & work to achieve it.

Ideologies, Conquering the World, other cruft (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011949)

I've seen a few people say 'screw ideologies, let's get market share.' Well, screw that. I've seen a few people say, 'screw ideologies, show me the code.' Well, that's what I'm trying to push :)

My perspective is that Linux is all about ideology, and a very pragmatic, immediate ideology. The same ideology that a lot of free software authors have, although not the same one that RMS seems to support. This ideology is more about getting things done -- and getting them done well -- than anything else. Unfortunately, in a proprietary environment, you generally can't. So proprietary software has a place -- of getting things done well -- but not a place that is completely trusted.

Then there's ESR, who I have some issues with. He seems to have picked a tertiary 'measure of success' and turned it into a goal, a goal that supercedes accomplishing what it's supposed to measure (obviously, commercial support of open source). IMO, this is like re-writing a test so you know the answers; if free software works, then it will work whether we have people trying to make it work, or just people doing it.

Then there's RMS, who seems to have another plan -- the freedom of all software. While this is nice, I think it is again only part of the general Linux community -- free software is a byproduct of hacking, and necessary for hacking, but not hacking itself.

I think that these are both necessary focuses, but people will naturally fall into one camp or another (polarization happens), when really, we need to keep the reason for wanting free software -- hacking other people's code -- as well as the community from which we want free software -- fellow hackers.

I consider Linus' bent on making Linux an easily usable desktop OS as a great 'proof of concept' approach, but let's not turn proving the viability of free software into proving the lameability of free software.

What is everyone's problem? (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011950)

RMS/ESR/INSERT-THREE-INITIALS-HERE clones ready to spout scripture and summon righteous fire to scourge the earth of the unbelievers who don't actually give a shit for the politics.

Ah, so ESR and RMS agree about where free software (wait, no, open source software, wait...) should go?

I don't think so -- there's a schism, and I don't know that RMS or ESR actually represent 'old-school' hackers.

Ideologies, Conquering the World, other cruft (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011951)

Was my post selected at random for your trolling, or did you carefully read each and every one to decide what was worthy of your spite?

Perens (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011952)

Never mind that Linus himself was the first to whine -- one of the reasons Linus wrote Linux (if you believe the USENET logs) is that he had issues with the Minix license.

What is everyone's problem? (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011953)

So the 'followers' of ESR and RMS agree wrt what? Pragmatism? Or Idealism? Or are you trying to say that ESR's followers are on the same side as ESR, and RMS's on RMS's?

I don't quite follow you any more.

So? (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011954)

Yes, that was the thread in which he also bitches about Minix' license. He didn't say 'It's not GNU,' and neither did Perens. He said 'it sucks ass, I can't deal with this patch file crap [among other things, it *has* been a while]' and wrote his own system. Perens essentially pointed out that it's not very free, and is at least supporting an alternative.

I think my biggest problem with the QPL (and several other licenses) that doesn't get enough air time is the whole patch file business. It completely destroys the potential for code reuse (as does incompatible licenses, of course).

Which is why, more than a plethora of OK 'open source licenses,' we need to one or two GOOD 'free licenses' that allow as much code reuse and distribution as possible. I think that the X and GNU licenses fit here quite nicely.

Are we? or are we fighting for GPL'edness? (1)

John Allsup (987) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011955)

So far as I see it, yes the community is about
freedom. Freedom to choose, and to make decisions
about what is best for a particular situation, rather than what we are allowed do do by the license.

Part of the problem stems from the GPL being TOO
strong -- rather than having the 'You can't...'
problems of proprietary software, you've got to
the other extreme -- 'You can't...' all over again.

(M$ software typically says that you can't run
in on a non-M$ platform -- and GNU does little
different -- you can't link to a non-GNU library
unless GNU takes precidence in all licencing issues.)

While GPL is one of the thing that is designed
to ensure Freedom, it is also one of the greatest
threats to it -- you can have Freedom, so long
as its 'this type' of freedom.

(Consider the parallel with -- 'you can run any
legally purchased program, provided your OS is
windows' -- the attitude that M$ wants to promote
with windows (One this, one that, one the other))

Think about it, think some more, and when
you're done stop and think. None of the freedom
comes from blindly following ANY single book of
rules -- you HAVE to think about what you're doing, what it represents, and what are the
consequences. You HAVE to listen to others (yes,
even RMS,ESR etc.) and consider other opinions.
If you don't, then the only thing that you can
really be sure of is that you are inevitably
going to end up being wrong.

RMS, ESR, and Bruce Perens all have pointy hair (1)

Christopher Craig (1394) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011960)

While RMS, ESR, and Bruce are sitting around bickering about the definitions of terms, and whether or not all software should be free (Has anyone actually read the GNU Manifesto? There are really two options, either RMS is right and there's nothing we can do about it, eventually copyrights will go away; or RMS is wrong and there's nothing we can do about it, copyrights are here to stay), Linus, Alan Cox, and countless other developers are doing productive work to give us better software. Who's making the bigger contribution to Open Source/Free Software?

Split (1)

Fubar (1615) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011961)

I'm somewhat amazed that more of these soap operas don't happen.

With different personalities working within a hierarchy you'd think loud disagreements would happen more often.

Good riddence. (1)

Matts (1628) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011962)

Much as RMS would like you believe otherwise, we've had free software a lot longer than we've had any "Foundation" for it. It would exist anyway, and would be just as strong, if not stronger, without the FSF and all the "everything must be GPL" crap.

Hmmmm (1)

jd (1658) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011965)

Both Bruce Perens and RMS have been of enormous help to the Free Film Project, and I'd like to thank them both for that, and for any future help they give. It is extremely gratefully received.

In addition to being of enormous help to other people's projects, both of these people could write lists of their own achievements a mile long.

Whilst I don't approve of political in-fighting, I -do- think that Bruce Perens and RMS have the right idea about freedom. It's that kind of freedom that produced much of the GNU software, and it's when such freedom gets neglected that projects lag or fade away.

So what if you think that the FSF's beliefs are "extreme", "utopian" or list plain "nuts"? If you aim for the moon and miss, you'll still end up amongst the stars. If you aim for the ground, you won't miss.

Do you know what the most ironic thing of all is? That the critics of "Free Software" are so determined to slam it, yet don't allow a single word to be spoken that's contrary to their own beliefs. "Open Source" ISN'T contrary to "Free Software". It's the PEOPLE who are, which is sad because that defeats everything those same people are trying to achieve.

Why not leave the religious fanatisism to the likes of the people on the MSNBC tech board, where even the merest mention of "Open Source" or "Free Software" brings down hate, venom, McCarthy-style "Commie Witch-hunting" and various other sundry forms of verbal abuse? It IS allowed for people to behave better than a pack of rabid dogs. You don't need any special permission. Really, you don't.

Opensource != free software (1)

jd (1658) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011966)

Actually, GNU is used by NASA, the European Space Agency, CERN and nuclear research labs around the world. These don't sound that small to me.

Opensource != free software (1)

jd (1658) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011967)

Hmmmm. Let's see... You mean not a lot of new GNU software -other- than the Beowulf patches, various Linux ethernet drivers, etc, and the fairly intensive stress-testing of newer GNU software, which leads to lots of bug-reports for unusual conditions and situations.

Did you know that it's a b* nightmare to write Fortran to C++ wrappers (or vice versa), using G77 and G++, because of symbol table problems? No? Well, now you do. That's the sort of problem that NASA, ESA, CERN, etc, can track and identify, because they need and use that kind of obscure functionality. But that's just the point. They DO use obscure functionality, and so find the obscure bugs that other people are unlikely to have tested for. IMHO, that is invaluable work.

I respedtfully question them. (1)

BadlandZ (1725) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011969)

I do admit they (BP, ESR, RMS, et al) have done some great things for the software community. I wouldn't go as far as some of you saying they have done more harm than good though. I think each one has probably done more good than harm.

But, personally, I believe in KISS more than I believe in OSR, OSS, OSI, ABC, XYZ, PDQ, on and on, and on... I quote and Patrick Volkerding here with "KISS Principle, that is Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

IMHO, all these "orginizations" to try to promote one licence over another, and one principle over another are just BS. There are plenty of options out there, GNU/GPL and BSD should be the primary two considered by anyone IMHO. Either pick one of those to, and make it simple for people to know you are following a "well know licence" or write your own (ala Netscape, Java, etc.) and be know as a "more restrictive licence."

Making it more complicated than it needs to be is wasting the time of valuable minds like BP, ESR, RMS, etc... and the community might be better served by less promotion and more coding. Let the products speak for themselfs.

Trying to tweak all the "open-ness" of Licences is just going to dillute the whole issue, and people are getting sick of it. The end result is people will just care even less, and not even read the licences themselfs anymore. So, KISS and make up, all of you!

RMS, ESR, and Bruce Perens all have pointy hair (1)

Tim Moore (1808) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011970)

There are really two options, either RMS is right and there's nothing we can do about it, eventually copyrights will go away; or RMS is wrong and there's nothing we can do about it, copyrights are here to stay)

I can certainly agree with the observation that RMS is either right or wrong, but what makes you think that there is nothing we can do about it?

Linus, Alan Cox, and countless other developers are doing productive work to give us better software. Who's making the bigger contribution to Open Source/Free Software?

I hope you're not claiming that RMS hasn't produced useful software! I've found GNU tools (and especially Emacs) to be far more generally useful to me than Linux the kernel.

What is everyone's problem? (1)

dfetter (2035) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011971)

Right on the money!

Let's see...RMS writes huge chunks of Emacs, gcc, etc. ESR sells a book on Emacs. Hmmm. Who's doing the hard work and who's grabbing for credit here?

RMS may have some strongly held opinions, but his heart's in the right place and his "radical ideas" are the bulwarks of democracy and modern science.

ESR, on the other hand, proudly proclaims that he is a Libertarian.

Libertarians are right-wing fanatics because they advocate repeating the failed, brutal experiment called laissez-faire capitalism.

Slavery, child prostitution and psychotics with unlimited firepower, anybody? They're all on the Libertarian platform.

The credibility of free/open software movement (1)

drew (2081) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011972)

> Linux is playing with the big boys now
thats the problem really. if we play with the big boys by the big boys rules, we'll lose. linux, GNU and everything else has gotten as far as it has by not following the rules.
esr seems to have lost sight of this, as have many other people lately, and sold out to the idea that market share and market domination are what's important, while people who actually care about free software really could care less.


Bruce Perens = Troy McClure? (1)

asmussen (2306) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011974)

I'm Bruce Perens. You may know me as the primary author of the Debian Free Software Guidelines and the Open Source Definition. I wrote the Electric Fence malloc() debugger, and some pieces of Debian. And you may remember me for having brought the TIGER map database to free software.

I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from films such as:
"Driving Mr. T",
"Android Beach Party",
"The President's Neck is Missing!",
"Dial M for Murderousness", and
"A Fish Taco Called Juanita" (with Cheech Marin!)

For the Simpsons deprived, Troy McClure was a recurring character played by Phil Hartman on the Simpsons.

I think I'd have an easier time liking this guy if he didn't constantly sumarize his achievements for us, and tell us how great he is. As it is, who really cares what Bruce is quitting this week?

RE: Good riddence. (1)

Binary Boy (2407) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011975)

Visible advocates like him are in fact what made the FSF/OSS movements so strong (it AINT just Linux folks).. however, with the increasing media focus, and big-business involvement, we will all find, with much dismay, that the culture clash between the geeks and the suits, between prosumers and consumers, will starting hurting.

We have already seen it this week with the Windows Refund Day rallys... I dont think anyone could dispute the cause, but JESUS, we really all did fall right into their trap, though you can hardly help it going up against the richest company on the planet with ruthless edge.

The fact is, Linux is percieved as the newcomer, and while geeks may hold on forever no matter what its ultimate success, there is an important window of opportunity here during which anything canhappen.

I deeply admire Bruce Perens for all that he has given, and wish him well, and I hope this doesnt turn into a backstab fest... et tu, slash dot, et tu?

We all need to band together, maybe kick this industry in the ass a few good ones... its amazing how quickly even the computer biz can stagnate. We need to send the message to the top that elitism is over, that this really is a grassroots movement, and that, above all, this world we maintain allows for free discourse and sharing of knowledge/data.. the old ways dont apply anymore

Sad day for me :) Plus Im hallucinating from sleep-dep

If you ask me, we need one central authority to help protect us... its not Linus' job, but it should be someones. If indeed we continue to pursue the purest ideals of FSF/OSS, and open standards ingeneral, then we also must know how to protect those constructs... as we have seen with so many software patents, theres NOT a whole lot that prevents anyone from broadly claiming patent over specific features of Linux. And which one of us has the money to take Microsoft (or their ilk) to court?

Parasites (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011976)

Not all parasites are detrimental to their hosts...


WHO CARES??? (1)

burnsbert (3282) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011980)

(shrug) I couldn't care less. The important thing is that people continue to produce OSS and free software and Linux continues to improve. These organizations seem to be about 95% talk, 4% wearing cool penguin shirts, and 1% action. It's the programmers and product producers in the trenches that are doing the real work of OSS. Realeasing press releases and throwing public tantrams (and calling a book publisher a parasite) doesn't do anyone much good.

(who is planning on writing a GPL game for Linux)

Summary wrong (1)

Ray Dassen (3291) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011981)

The summary says: Bruce Perens has announced his resignation from SPI.

SPI == Software in the Public Interest [] ;
OSI == Open Source Initiative.

The title has it correct: it's his resignation from OSI.

Alphabet soup...OSI vs. SPI vs. FSF... (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011982)

As I see it, FSF is an organization devoted to the GNU project (HURD + GNU utilities), whereas SPI and OSI are both broader based, devoted more to free software in general (some more than others).

I'm not clear on the splitup which formed OSI (although note that the web page [I thought that was OSI's?] is listed as a part of SPI on SPI's homepage), but I wonder if the initial objections against SPI have been more or less resolved. It seems to me that OSI could in fact resolve its conflict with SPI by becoming part of SPI. OSI can focus on the "open source" definition and trademark, which may move into some gray areas of free software (for instance the different "open source" licenses which may or may not be considered "free software" licenses).

Rather than provide a rubber stamp for "open source", OSI should provide a resource for users to learn about the many different licenses, and their relative freedoms. Rather than have a single "open source" mark, there should be different levels of evaluation. For instance, proprietary "open source" (such as the MPL or upcoming QPL) versus non-proprietary "open source" (such as the Artistic, BSD or GPL licenses). OSI should review new licenses which wish to be considered "open source" and place them in such a category based on the terms of the license.

ESR talked about the egos of the programmers being the driving force behind the free software movement. Apparently, this is not just technical ego but political ego as well. For all the curses heaped upon Richard Stallman, he has stayed away from these battles of the bulge, content, it seems, to play the role of free software advocate (whether you agree with him or not). Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond at times seem to want to be the king of the hill, seeking glory as being the driving force behind the open source and free software movements rather than simply being a part of the movements. That's not to say they are bad people, both have done alot for the movement and both have good insight and have alot to add yet. But unfortunately, their egos seem to get in the way too often and cause these types of conflicts.

I'm curious as to Richard Stallman's take on the SPI vs. OSI conflict. I don't always agree with his opinions, but he does represent a third party, with much respect in the open source community, and is seemingly uninvolved in this battle. Has he made any past comments on SPI and/or OSI?
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

ESR On the Radio Today (1)

nexus (3576) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011983)

ESR is scheduled to appear on the Peter Weissbach [] show this afternoon, sometime between 3pm and 6pm Pacific time (sorry, I haven't heard a more exact time).

Weissbach is carried on KVI 570AM in Seattle, which is also available over the net at [] (but you have to be using Microsloth Media Player to hear it).


Can I get a witness? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011986)

Actually, I find nothing wrong with the current Digital Creations license. They took out the advertising button requirement, now it's only a request, not a requirement. They were very nice about it - their VC spent a long time on the phone with me discussing it.

Also, Troll has fixed their QPL 0.92 license so that I have no complaint with it.

However, I believe that you are complaining that these licenses are not the GPL. I think it's best for me to encourage people to use GPL/LGPL in a positive way, rather than deprecate licenses that are free software: they meet every reqirement of the DFSG/OSD even though they are not the GPL.

I've not figured out yet how to discuss the OS trademark abuse without sounding "catty". I know from previous experience on slashdot that people hate me when I sound catty. Maybe it's best if I let OSI take care of their own public image from now on, without either adding to it or subtracting from it.



The "pootpoot" version is a much better read (1)

bcboy (4794) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011992)

After seeing "pootpoot", I checked to see if it would pootify *any* page of slashdot. Apparently, it will. Go to the pootpoot page & you can find this article (look for ESR or OSI -- they seem to survive pootification).


poot Poot I SAY!!!!
by Pootpoot Poot on Pootpoot Pootpoot 18, @09:37AM
Poot Poot is poot, RMS is poot, ESR is the poot poot of all, but poot poot poot!!!!!

poot poot out the poot!!!!!!!!

Really, it's much better. :)

Can I get a witness? (1)

Johann (4817) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011993)

Can I get a witness from the congregation?

Thank God that some one besides the Free Software Foundation [] is picking up the torch to explain the (IMHO) major differences between OSI and Free Software.

I, too, thought that the OSI was a "good thing". That is until folks like Digital Creations [] are starting to twist free software in to purely a profit making endeavor. They happen to be the first blatant example, but not the last, I am afraid. (See my letter to the editor for Feb 11, 1999 issue of Linux Weekly News [] for further explaination.

I share in Bruce Parens belief that

The Open Source certification mark has already been abused in ways I find unconscionable and that I will not abide.

Bruce is correct (1)

Frostking (4850) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011994)

The opensource initive looked at the beginning to
be a great way to introduce the concepts that had made Linux into what it is to the world. But in the end it just ended up giving companies which made their own bogus "open-source" licenses an excuse. I respect Bruce for not beeing willing to endorce all these fake licenses, like the so called open source licenses of Jini or Qt.
Mr. Raymond on the other hand seems to be happy as long as he gets to read his name in the paper every day.

waaahh (1)

sbreakwater (6033) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011995)

What makes RMS, Bruce, and ER seem so whiny? Is it just me or does this kind of crap come up with them every 2 months or so?

Didn't ESR's response seem... (1)

Pyro P (7396) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011996)

...a little like ESR was grumbling "fuck you, bruce" while writing it? Paticuarly that part where they're shortly going to replace him with two people.

The Administration of OSS. (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 15 years ago | (#2011999)

This sounds more to me like a pissing contest over who gets to be famous for "founding the term". RMS had the idea first - but nobody likes him because he's a moral extremist. ESR is an affiable person, but he's seeming less and less about "hacking" and more and more about "corporitizing" hacking.

Fine. Let them have the media spotlight. Just gimme my gcc and the linux kernel, and I'll be happified.


The credibility of free/open software movement (1)

Nelson Minar (7732) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012000)

I'm very saddened to read this latest message from Bruce. He's done a lot to help the free/open software movement. But recently, he's done a lot to hurt it as well. At some point the community has to stop debating fine matters of principle and present a united front.

Linux is playing with the big boys now - the announcements of SGI and IBM this week are just the latest in the Linux snowball. In order not to get crushed, we need community leadership that is effective, consistent, and professional.

Sadly, I think Bruce's continued outbursts have really damaged his credibility, and by extension the credibility of the entire free/open software movement. If there are still serious disagreements of principle, then fine, state them and go your separate ways if necessary. But please spare us yet another political drama - it only damages us all.


Public message for Bruce (1)

Rabid Wombat (9276) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012004)

Bruce, if you're out there ( and I know you are ), could you please elaborate for the community what you meant in the following line:

"The Open Source certification mark has already been abused in ways I find unconscionable".

If the group is abusing the mark to such a degree that it became your impetus for leaving, I think there are quite a few people out there who would like to know some specifics.

BTW, hats off to you and RMS for having a ideological intrest in Free Software. We are a community that is on an exodus from propreitary software to freedom. Without sentinels such as RMS, the Debian group, and people like yourself keeping the night watch, the wolves in sheep's clothing would have devoured that freedom long ago. ( I won't name any names, but we know who they are)

Freedom v. Freedom (1)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012010)

The whole Idea of Open Source versus freedom is very important, and I think perens makes a very good point. Open source means you get to look at the source. WHOOP DE DOO! I can take my VCR apart also, but that doesnt mean Panasonic is Open Sourceing it. The great thing that GNU-ish open source allows us to do is not only look at the code, but make modifications and distribute it freely. That is one of the greatest boons of the FSF/GNU/OSS movement. Just selling the source does not count. Freedom of distribution has to go along with it.

People say that because now Linux is playing with the 'big boys', the whole game is different. I say it's not. It's still the same, and it's even more imperative that the Linux community stick to the roots that initially nourished it. I first started using Linux when I was 13, and I started using it because it was Free (as in $$$). It was a choice between a pirated version of Dos6.0/Win3.1 and Linux.

The 'big boys' are not someone you want to compromise you purient goals to. The only 3 things that companies care about is $, money, and greenbacks. Why does linux need to play with the big boys to succeed? has it needed to ever play with the 'big boys'? Was Linux created because Linus identified and acted on a need for the geek community to be linked to the yuppie (business) community? NO! The Free Software movement has not grown one inch because of so called business interests. It has grown because of the socialist-like culture of the geek community - contributing to the whole without expecting a selfish reward - a concept that his completely alien to the current System in the world. Look at it, you've got the american government handing out patents for everything under the sun. If you fart in a unique position, you can fucking go and patent it.

To conclude, Free Software means freedom in all respects, $$$ and source and distribution. Secondly, big business will eventually corrupt linux, and the whole OSS/Free software concept in general - and I believe that if this happens, linux to will become a shallow product not really worth anything, focusing more on bells and whisles to keep the sheep of the world at attention, than on good code.


Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
- L. Cohen

Explains lack of OSI Logo (1)

afniv (10789) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012011)

This might explain why ESR is so slow in getting a logo selected for OSI after canceling the logo contest some months ago.

My impression is priorities need to be re-examined. I think FSF and SPI seem the most consistent and speak for the most people.

"Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
"We could be happy if the air was as pure as the beer"

How it all started (1)

rdsmith (11517) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012012)

, freedom is what linux is about, it's what led to its technical superiority and wide recognition it's getting now. You people are losing sight of how it all started

Well, actually, it (Linux) started as a hobby. One day Linus popped into comp.os.minux and said "Hey, I've this OS I've been tinkering with and ... ". And as they say, the rest is history.

Of course, even in the early days of Linux(around version .08 or so), Linux was an elitist-snobbish group, so that hasn't really changed in the past 7 or 8 years. But this Linux is freedom bs that people have been spouting was never the intent. A sad after thought perhaps, to take a cool piece of software and turn it into a political adjenda.

Such a waste of time and energy.

Heads of state... (1)

PsychoSpunk (11534) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012013)

Some of you, rightfully so, have recognized that there are certain spokespeople for the movement. But there is no galvanizing figure. Sure, Linus is the head of state for Linux, and Stallman runs his group, while ESR provides rhetoric for his followers. But there is no galvanizing figure. bill is the galvanizing figure for m$, we all know that, we call him by name. steve is the galvanizing figure for mac, another first name. larry, the other steve, are two other names we all know, because they take it upon themselves to be known.

Who galvanizes this group? Linus doesn't want the job, and instead we have petty bickering between stalwart proponents of more or less the same ideal. Linus doesn't want the job because he has successfully figured out how to live a fulfilling life. It is important to remember that it is this community that has become over-zealous (not particularly all of us zealots) in sealing m$' doom. Face it, we're not going to nail the coffin shut. Microsoft couldn't do it to IBM, we're not going to do it to m$. But we can revolutionize the expectations of computers.

ITs expect their systems to run, and they choose the systems that will ensure that. The focus should be on the consumer, because that's what we all would like to see, right? "Linux on every desktop," sounds like the old campaign promise, "A chicken in every pot." The motivation is right, change the expectations of all users.

The fact of the matter is that I didn't choose to go to Linux because of Linus, Eric, Richard, or Bruce. These names were insignificant until only a few months ago. I chose it because I had higher expectations. The beliefs of any of those last three in the list are more on the side of the developer's own work, and not in galvanizing the ideal for using "free" software. It is always important to remember the reason why you're here, that way you don't get lost.

Why are we here? Because some Finn took an operating systems class and wanted to improve the functionality of Minix. The Andrews would not let him change it (because they had a reason for the way it was), so instead he worked on a new system based on it. The reason why we're here is because we are the people who hate to see bad code, so we give advice on how to fix it. Follow the advice of Linus and use it because you need a *nix to run on your pc, and forget the rhetoric of fighting the war. I've always found that if I concentrate on what I should be focused on, the war wins itself. Win the battle first.

Finally, I need to explain why I have used "galvanizing" so much in this reply. The process of galvanization makes your metal much stronger, it makes your sword less likely to break during the battle. With one figurehead, there is but one true ideal. Everyone is entitled to their own innovative translation of that ideal, but in the end, only the figurehead provides the true embodiment. Whether the ideal is right is best left undetermined. You can't win an argument with a zealot of either side. Stop fighting those battles, and get back to reality.

I've said my fair share here, but it is something that should be realized. In the words of my favorite professor this semester (Yes, he is a cs prof.), "This isn't about software. We're in the entertainment business, y'all. It is all about the marketing." Get back to reality and maarket the hell out of this thing.

What is everyone's problem? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012016)

I'm not really up to speed about what why everyone here is so against RMS, ESR, and all the Free Software guys... I mean I thought as a group many of us are all for their ideals!

This isnt meant to start a flame, I'd just like the current reason for all the hostility. I think im out of the loop.

Whoop dee do.... (1)

Citrix (14447) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012023)

Life goes on. The earth continues to rotate. I wouldn't loose any sleep over this.

What is everyone's problem? (1)

Raul Acevedo (15878) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012030)

If RMS isn't the embodiment of an old school hacker, then I don't know what is. I think RMS has some views that are far more extreme than many hackers, but RMS is definitely one of the remains of an era... he is certainly a lot more of an "old school" hacker than Linus, just by the fact that he's been hacking around for probably at least a decade longer than Linus.

O'Reilly? (1)

Weather (17370) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012031)

I suppose Bob Young (Redhat) is Hitler. I thought this is how OSS/FSF was supposed to work - documentation and support would put food in our mouths. Isn't Tim just supplying much needed documentation. ESR may have written some good articles, but a documentor he is not. Nor are most of the FSF/OSS crowd. I find such comments destructive and counterproductive. If Bruce did say that O'Reilly was a parasite, why did ESR feel the need to publicize it. If you are all looking to these folks for leadership, I can see why "Revenge of the Nerds" was so funny to the mainstream.

Sigh... (2)

Cyberfox (17743) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012037)

I agree.

Unfortunately, the INCREDIBLE popularity of Linux and the licensing that went along with it (that being GPL) has made it possible for people to try to carve out more than their 15 minutes of fame. I feel that Bruce Perens falls into that category, along with innumerable others.

This is *NOT* about freedom. This is NOT about the GPL vs. the QPL vs. the NPL, etc. This is about face value. Bruce Perens wants it, everyone *BUT* Linus seems to want it.

Linus kicks back with his wife and kids and seems to realize that there's more to life.

What's better, Bruce Perens *AND* ESR haven't done anything near what Linus has done to promote FREE Software. In essence the EXISTENCE of Linux has made huge numbers of developers realize that Free Software exists and is viable and valuable.

I won't say that of RMS, he's The Man. I wouldn't invite him to speak at anything CLOSE to a commercial event, but he has my respect. (I still wince whenever I read his diatribes, though, and I REFUSE to wrap my lips around that abomination 'GNU/Linux'.)

Bruce Perens reminds me of what I used to call a 'short-timer'. The programmer who wants to be a programmer for a few years, and then get into management because that's where the real power is. See how he pushes what he's 'done' in the past, to try and ingratiate himself with developers? This is a trick every new manager I've ever had has tried, 'Hey, I wrote 3D software for a while...' It's bullshit. What are you doing NOW? Playing politics is his answer...

In any case, the thing that bothers me is that he's gone to *ANOTHER* organization. I don't give a damn that he's quitting, but I DON'T WANT HIM TO PRETEND TO REPRESENT THE DEVELOPERS ON OPEN SOURCE.

I don't want ANYONE short of RMS to do that, and I don't REALLY want RMS doing it either, because he'll just turn people off. (AND he's against making the computer easy to use for non-programmers, because all he cares is about the techno-elite (which we here probably mostly belong to, but it's still stinks)). I'd say Linus, but he's too smart to want to do that. (Reminds me of election politics. You don't want anyone dumb enough to want the job doing it.)

Let's all say it together: WE DON'T NEED BRUCE PERENS OR THE OSI OR THE SPI FOR OPEN SOURCE *OR* FREE SOFTWARE TO SUCCEED! These groups should just close their doors, apologize to the people who they messed with, and get on with their own lives. Or better still, start CONTRIBUTING again. The single best argument for free software is its existence. Every minute you spend arguing for it is another minute you could have been PROVING rather than debating or puffing up your chest.

Parasites, all of them. Bloody parasites on the side of the ACTUAL programmers who are working every day to provide good software. DAMN that makes me MAD.

RMS, ESR, and Bruce Perens all have pointy hair (1)

Mr. Piccolo (18045) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012038)

"Really there is only one option, RMS is crazy, the GNU Manifesto is based on a flawed premise (that oroprietary software is bad)"

Is RMS crazy? I don't know, I've never met the man. Probably more the case that he's extremely passionate about his work.

Is the premise that proprietary software is bad really flawed?

In my experience, the (free && open) software that I've been using is at least as good as stuff I've had to pay for. Windows is just one large piece of buggy bloatware. Solaris has even less hardware support on X86 than Linux (no Glide, no BT848 TV) plus you're REQUIRED to use their $1000 compiler to develop hardware drivers! Also Slashdot has a tendancy to corrupt all the text on the desktop when used in Netscape (another bloated piece of bugware). In short, Solaris was the biggest waste of $20.50 I ever spent. Solaris for PCs and Deskops -- HA!

So, yes, I'd definitely agree that proprietary software is bad because
1. (Free && open) software tends to have less bugs (with the possible exception of the Arena browser :) )
2. If you find bugs in (free && open) software and know C (which I don't to the extent required) you can fix them yourself.

Sigh... (1)

Victor Danilchenko (18251) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012040)

'Show me the code' IS about ideology -- it is about intellectual freedom, freedom of ideas, about Free Software. The fact that you refuse to think about the meaning of 'show me the code' does not make that meaning go away.

Good riddence. (1)

Victor Danilchenko (18251) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012041)

Oh, free software has been here for as long as software existed. What FSF did is keep it alive through the late 70ies and the 80ies, when the cultural support for it dwindled and when proprietary software almost became THE software paradigm. Without FSF -- without GNU and GPL -- whole generations of hackers would have grown up without having been soaked in the idea of freedom of code. It would have been a far sadder world.

Tragic... (1)

rancor (18260) | more than 15 years ago | (#2012042)

It's a shame to see so many people take what they have for granted:

1. Linux exists because of the FSF first, OSI second.
2. The FSF exists because of RMS.

I don't believe that BP is whining; he tried to find a way to package the FSF ideals in a way that may have made those ideals more palatable to the general public. What he is discovering is that the general public wants to hoard the fruits of the movement that started with the FSF and RMS.

As for whether or not M$ and Windoze will win, they already have in a way (the zealots out there: bear with me). If you measure winning by having the biggest most profitable software company in the world, or if you measure winning by installed base, then yes, they have won. I don't believe that that has to be the end of the game. FSF and the rest of the world can exist together. The importance of Linux, or the FSF, need not be diminished because there is a big boy on the block. I don't believe that Linux or the FSF will get squashed into non-existance by anyone. I don't think we need more flames about M$'s taking over the world. Trying to put OSI and FSF (i.e. GPL) this all in perspective:

1. Non-open source is the least desirable.
2. Open source is better, but not the best.
3. FSF's GPL is best.

The order presented above is in relation to the individual's rights (freedoms) with regard to using products with the given type of license.

It is clear that BP started out at FSF's GPL level. He created OSI to promote the "acceptable" parts of the GPL, but clearly he hoped that he had enough in OSI that it would essentially be the same as GPL. Clearly he was mistaken. His letter indicates that he is retreating to the FSF GPL and is thinking of other ways to promote the GPL.

My 2 cents.
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