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RMS Weighs in on BitKeeper Debacle

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the quite-a-backhand dept.

GNU is Not Unix 1137

mshiltonj writes "You know its what we've all been waiting for: RMS weighs in on the BitKeeper debacle. An excerpt: "I want to thank Larry McVoy. He recently eliminated a major weakness of the free software community, by announcing the end of his campaign to entice free software projects to use and promote his non-free software. Soon, Linux development will no longer use this program, and no longer spread the message that non-free software is a good thing if it's convenient."

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1137 comments

A question for RMS (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340232)

Do you prefer vi or Emacs?

Re:A question for RMS (0, Troll)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340268)

"Do you prefer vi or Emacs?""

Now you're showing your ignorance... he wrote EMACS... what else would he use... durrr... ;)

Re:A question for RMS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340298)

That being the case, after seeing the emacs codebase he'd definately prefer vi. ;)

Re:A question for RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340345)

You're a funny guy

GNU/Linux? NO I choose SCO/Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340391)

As we all know, some people refer to Linux as GNU/Linux, basically because it takes both to make the operating environment.

However, since the Linux kernel contains so much stolen code from SCO (a fact already admitted), I think that it would be more appropriate to name the kernel SCO/Linux.

It also looks more professionnal.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340237)

I'm am first! Finally!

Frist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340241)

p0st! Awww.... :(

he's being quite modest about it (5, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340245)

very little of the old "I told you so"... very mature and honest.

Now let's get back to actually working on this replacement...

Re:he's being quite modest about it (-1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340338)

very little of the old "I told you so"... very mature and honest.

Honest, yes, mature, no. Saying "I told you so" certainly isn't mature and what RMS is saying is so utterly lame that I can't even understand how most people can deal with it.

Software can be distributed w/o charge but does not have to be 100% free. Why he insists that this is the case is only understandable by him and people that are just as warped as he can be.

Re:he's being quite modest about it (5, Insightful)

whoisshe (878220) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340420)

Why he insists that this is the case is only understandable by him and people that are just as warped as he can be.

they're called visionaries because they have the insight to see things the average person cannot see.

in ten years, we will all be thanking RMS for his foresight - or lamenting that too few people took him seriously enough to avert disaster...

Re:he's being quite modest about it (5, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340442)

Software can be distributed w/o charge but does not have to be 100% free. Why he insists that this is the case is only understandable by him and people that are just as warped as he can be.

Somebody here fails to understand items such as the Java trap [gnu.org] then... and why there's such a furore about the new version of OpenOffice.org having such a dependence upon non-free Java...

Re:he's being quite modest about it (5, Insightful)

Plix (204304) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340448)

Software can be distributed w/o charge but does not have to be 100% free. Why he insists that this is the case is only understandable by him and people that are just as warped as he can be.

This whole incident is why software should be 100% free. Had BitKeeper truly been opensource Tridge (or anyone, for that matter) could have simply forked it and kernel development would have continued on. All this whole incident proved is that when your development is determined by the whims of a single entity you run a very significant chance of getting burned.

Re:he's being quite modest about it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340358)

Although in this case a very strong I Told You So would be very appropriate. I do agree with his senitment regarding thanking Larry, though; and would like to add thanks to Tridge for helping free Linux as well.

Yeah (3, Insightful)

jbb999 (758019) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340247)

Yeah imagine paying for something that's convenient and useful. How evil can you get :)

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340256)

Well said, Comrade!

Re:Yeah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340281)

If you read the article you would see that it is FREE (cost) software, the problem is that it is not "free as in speech".

Re:Yeah (2, Insightful)

truesaer (135079) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340314)

If you read the article you would see that it is FREE (cost) software, the problem is that it is not "free as in speech".


And I think you've missed the point...most people don't give a shit whether it is free as in anything as long as it does what they need.

Re:Yeah (4, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340409)

"And I think you've missed the point...most people don't give a shit whether it is free as in anything as long as it does what they need."

Agreed, sadly, that this is typical human nature. It is also the precise mechanism throughout history by means of which freedom gets lost.

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340445)

Cars are both convenient and useful but arguably evil because they polute. Unfree software is like pollution.

First Rabid Marxist Free Software Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340249)

All software should be Free as in gay sex from a glory hole in the Berkley library bathroom!

The more I hear about RMS... (1, Offtopic)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340251)

...the more I like him. :)

You haven't heard enough about RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340328)

If all you hear from him is is "I'm going to weigh in on this issue and pretend I'm still relevant" rhetoric, you need to do your homework.

RMS promotes copyright. Fuck all that.

Re:The more I hear about RMS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340380)

You are utterly alone. Again.

Re:The more I hear about RMS... (2, Funny)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340386)

The more I hear FROM Stallman the more scared I am...Hacker Song [gnu.org]

Though hackers may be good with code,
they can't sing, hackers they can't sing!!!
Some sounds can make a person's head explode
Oh the pain, hackers, oh the pain.

Just a joke, RMS, no need to go GNU/Postal on me. :)

Re:The more I hear about RMS... (1, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340414)

I always hate it when people mark me as a foe and don't explain why, so I'll explain to you why I just marked you as a foe.

I'm afraid that your post smacks heavily of a "me too!" syndrome that is pervasive in the "Free Software Movement". The fact that the economy needs to run and that people should be compensated for their work seems to go right past your head. McVoy apparently did good work in both creating and marketing his product. Thus he is receiving compensation in the form of product sales. Whatever squabbles there are about a Linux version, there is nothing wrong with selling software. In fact, the sale of software is a cog that keeps our economy running.

RMS's comments are childish, and extremely self-serving. I take no issue with his goals of making all software free, as long as he's willing to write, finance, or support others in writing that software. But I do take issue with him attempting to bully others into accepting his idea of how software should be handled.

Umm... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340253)

Soon, Linux development will no longer use this program,

Doesn't he mean GNU/Linux development?

Re:Umm... (0)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340269)

That is too funny.

Re:Umm... (4, Insightful)

aaron240 (618080) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340301)

Dude, his whole point is that the KERNEL should be called Linux and a system built on it should be called GNU/Linux. So, no, it's not too funny.

Re:Umm... (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340397)

RMS making an issue out of what people call the Operating system at all is funny, an AC making a joke out of it is funny and finally, the fact that the whole issues is totally incomprehensible unless you are a ubergeek is funny.

Yeah, it's too funny.

No he doesn't (1)

sjf (3790) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340348)

I'm pretty sure he means Linux, not GNU/Linux since he uses 'Linux' to refer to the kernel alone and 'GNU/Linux' for the operating system as a whole. This contretemps is about the use of Bitkeeper for kernel development.

Mod parent up (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340307)

RMS, exposed for the idiot he is. He's all high and mighty, "You must call it GNU/Linux!", but once he's done with one crusade he forgets it to start another.

Re:Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340366)

He's talking about the kernel, dumbass. Go play on the Interstate or something.

Mod parent DOWN (2, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340374)

If either the grandparent or the parent poster had read the article, they would know why their comments are off the mark. RMS meant "Linux" in this context, as he explains right there in the article.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

Temporal (96070) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340454)

In all fairness, in this case RMS was clearly referring to development of the Linux kernel, which is not a GNU project. When he complains about calling it GNU/Linux, he is referring to a complete Linux-based operating system, including shells and command-line tools provided by GNU.

(Not that I agree with him. A complete Linux-based OS includes all sorts of critical software that is not part of Linux or GNU, such as X, Apache, Sendmail, Bind, etc., etc. Gotta stop somewhere.)

Re:Umm... (3, Insightful)

whoisshe (878220) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340337)

Doesn't he mean GNU/Linux development?

hehe, that is funny... but it should be noted that in this case RMS is actually talking specifically about linux, the kernel, and not gnu/linux, the operating system.

Re:Umm... (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340346)

RMS uses Linux to mean the kernel just not the whole OS. In this case he did mean Linux.

Re:Umm... (2, Insightful)

andyh1978 (173377) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340384)

Soon, Linux development will no longer use this program,
Doesn't he mean GNU/Linux development?
No, for once, he doesn't. None of the GNU tools are under Bitkeeper - so it's just the Linux kernel, not the operating-system-that-must-be-called-GNU/Linux-by- the -mighty-bearded-decree-of-RMS.

RMS makes this very clear, nice troll. (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340392)

BK was used for kernel development. The Linux kernel. Hence, RMS calls it "Linux", because that is its name.

In order for RMS to write "GNU/Linux" development, he would have to mean that the ENTIRE OS (meaning, kernel and all above components) used BK, which would be impossible and silly.

He also name drops GNU/Linux, mentioning that Linux has such visibility that it is often mistaken for the entire GNU/Linux OS.

Whether you agree or disagree with RMS's naming conventions, he was not in any way inconsistent here.

I disagree w/RMS... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340258)

McVoy's great triumph was the adoption of this program for Linux development. No free software project is more visible than Linux. It is the kernel of the GNU/Linux operating system, an essential component, and users often mistake it for the entire system. As McVoy surely planned, the use of his program in Linux development was powerful publicity for it.

Yeah, RMS is all about Free/Free but I see it as an important step for all software. Free stuff that isn't "totally free" is *not* wrong.

I would like to make my personal feelings known that non-totally free stuff that is later taken away because someone didn't learn "no give backs" is lame.

Yeah, RMS is right about a lot of stuff and really does have vision but I just have to disagree w/him here. Not everything has to be free.

Re:I disagree w/RMS... (4, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340334)

Yeah, RMS is right about a lot of stuff and really does have vision but I just have to disagree w/him here. Not everything has to be free.

Me too, and that's OK. I have tremendous respect for RMS, he's contributed more to the computing community as a whole than anyone else on the planet. Sure, he's a zealot, but at least he's consistent. You never get a mixed message out of RMS.

Re:I disagree w/RMS... (2, Insightful)

Keamos (857162) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340382)

I agree completely. I see Linus as a more moderate kind of person--pick the best tool for the job. Not all software that's used has to be open; sure, it would be nice, but it's just not realistic. If closed-source software (or non-free) does the job better than any open-source implementation, why the hell not use the non-free/closed-source implementation? If RMS didn't like it so much, why didn't he write a better tool for the job, or is he too much of a tool himself?

Re:I disagree w/RMS... (0, Flamebait)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340402)

PAYING for software is not wrong either. RMS belives it's WRONG for programmers to recieve money for what they do...or at least the high and mighty corporations that employ them. I am sorry. After listening to the interview the Linux Link Tech Show did with him, I like him even less then I did before. I AGREE with him, FREE/FREE is the best, but sometimes you got to pay to get some piece of software that does something mundane that FOSS developers don't want to work on. For example, print spoolers or job schedulers better than cron (there are better schedulers then cron....even open source ones). There are not that many options on either of these fronts in the FOSS area. In the non-open area, there are alot of them. Some do some pretty cool things with print, but because it's not a Desktop Environment or a COOL Windows Manager, it gets pushed to the wayside....for Linux geeks at home, cron and CUPS may be enough. In the corporate world, we need more sometimes. Sometimes noone else make something you need Open Source and you got to buy it. RMS thinks buying software is a mortal sin and I frankly do not agree.

Re:I disagree w/RMS... (3, Insightful)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340410)

Is this a troll, or should I care what your opinion is? Every time there is an RMS article there is a stream of +5 Insightful posts basically saying "I am in the Open Source crowd, not the Free Software crowd."

WE GET IT. There are two sides, it's NOT insightful.

Re:I disagree w/RMS... (5, Insightful)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340422)

Alrighty then. Consider this...

You no longer have the rights to use the software in your posession at this moment in the manner to which you wish to use it. You can only use the software in the manner to which the developers intended, and to which the licenses allow you. Oh, and the marketing folks have reserved the right to change your license at any time, which means that your right to use the software __in your posession__ can be revoked at any time. Without even notifying you.

___THIS___ is what RMS is fighting against.

Does it really take so much brain power to discern this? Do you really think that non-libre software has __your__ interests in mind when they force an 'upgrade' ?? Say, how about a new Nikon camera? Oh, wait, you can't use the white balance information unless you purchase more software from Nikon, and only from Nikon. You can't use your shiny new Photoshop application. This is not freedom. This is restriction.

RMS fights against restrictions.
He does not fight against the dollar.

Re:I disagree w/RMS... (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340453)

Tell you what, I'll take that chance thanks. Richard Stallman can go hide beneath his rock again and leave me, and those who agree with me, alone and quit trying to preserve his rights under the guise of fighting for freedom for all.

Do it again, do it (5, Insightful)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340260)

Yes, he is saying the same things as always. The same things he's been saying twenty years ago. And still, the rest of the world keeps behaving in exactly such ways that his words apply perfectly, again and again. Makes you wonder who's being more stubborn, exactly.

RMS Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340263)

RMS is a lot like William Shatner, most of the time you're ashamed for him, but before you're ashamed, you can resist the urge to cry: Go tiger go!

Huh? (2, Insightful)

Kaamoss (872616) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340267)

There's nothing wrong with non free software, so long as the cost is worth the end result. Sometimes it makes more sense to buy something because it is supported and stable and someone can be held accountable for mistakes. Don't get me wrong, open source software has it's place, but that place is not every where. For the most part Open Source means Open Sore, which is fine if you have the time/engery/resources to make it work the way it needs to. Not everything is free.

Re:Huh? (1)

Jestrzcap (46989) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340319)

But I think the point that RMS tries to get across is that you shouldnt be paying for the software, but the support and work.
e.g.
I pay you to write a piece of software to tell time. The software is released under GPL and I get what I want. If I like the work you did I might pay you to add a calander function to the clock, or, if I didnt like your work, I pay someone else to modify the program (which is possible because its open source).

Hurd (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340362)

Yeah. It's working great for Hurd, isn't it.

RMS is a fanatic. No pay, no real itch to scratch and no reason to work for it. This "community" thing is just a pipe dream.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340364)

You missed the point. RMS *specifically* says the problem has nothing to do with cost.

Ok, raise your hand if.. (1, Funny)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340270)

you've been waiting for the RMS "I told you so"?

You know you have. I just wonder what took so long, was GNU/Hurd not booting this week and he finally saw the poll on slashdot?

What cynical minds really want to know is: Did RMS have this one written a while ago and was just waiting to send it?

Trollbait of the year (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340275)

Jesus Christ!

This article must be THE TROLLBAIT OF THE YEAR.

I bet that there will be 1000+ posts of trolling and open sores zealotry.

Missing the point (2, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340279)

Soon, Linux development will no longer use this program, and no longer spread the message that non-free software is a good thing if it's convenient

Until something else comes along that suits there needs. I don't recall Linus saying, "Gee, I'll never do that again!"

OK, if you're a Stallman Myrmidon, just mod me as a troll or flamebait now.

Re-read the quote. Now try re-reading it with a cheesy Eastern-bloc accent (Boris Badenov will do in a pinch). How long before Stallman gets up on a podium and starts banging with his shoe shouting, We will bury you!"

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340400)

Even if Linus does; next time much more of the community would simply tell Linux that he can go play in his own sandbox and ignore his choice of source control system.

Quite a few people didn't play along last time. It'd be even harder for Linus to get a community to do go through that again.

Strange.. (-1, Offtopic)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340283)

An Open Source project is being killed because the highest authority in Open Source OS namely Mr. Linus, decided not to use it and now the rest of the community is cheering it. Way to go guys.

Now the corporates will sit back and think "should we use Open Source projects which might end up in a ditch or simply shell out a few bucks and go for Windows? No politics, No court cases, No hassles."

Note: Not a troll just a point to ponder over..

Re:Strange.. (0)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340354)

Your mother sucked my cock last night. It was amazing. Make sure to ask her if she accepts Visa - I don't get paid until next week.

Re:Strange.. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340378)

An Open Source project is being killed because the highest authority in Open Source OS namely Mr. Linus, decided not to use it and now the rest of the community is cheering it. Way to go guys.

WTF are you talking about? First open source (GNU) has no authority. It can't be killed either. This article is about RMS commenting on why it is good that Linus has moved away from a closed source software package he was relying upon after they arbitrarily yanked the free license they gave him over something (completely legal) that someone else was doing. So again I ask, WTF are you talking about?

Re:Strange.. (4, Informative)

panda (10044) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340423)

> An Open Source project is being killed because the highest authority in Open Source OS namely Mr. Linus, decided not to use it and now the rest of the community is cheering it. Way to go guys.

Uh-huh, right......

BitKeeper is not "open source." Nobody ever got the source outside of Larry McVoy's company. BitKeeper is proprietary software that you normally have to pay money to use. McVoy allowed "free" use for "free" software projects and Linus chose to use it for managing his end of Linux kernel development.

After Andrew Tridgell showed how you could connect to a BitKeeper repository using netcat to see what the "protocol" does, Mr. McVoy said no more "free" BitKeeper for you and went home.

No Open Source or Free Software projects were harmed in all of this, except that now Linus is going to develop his own tool for managing the kernel code instead of using something that's already available, because apparently, he's tried them all and decided that none really work for him. ;)

Re:Strange.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340427)

Uh, no open source project is being killed.

This is an example of why you need to stick with open source so you don't end up in a ditch.

It's the propriatary license that got yanked from an import customer -- in much the same way that Microsoft is screwing all the enterprises that built any critical infrastructure on VB or Windows NT.

That simply can't happen with Open Source.

Compare to: (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340288)

"I want to thank Nike. They recently eliminated a major weakness of the apparel community, by announcing the end of their campaign to use sweatshops to promote their non-free products. Soon, apparel development will no longer use this technique, and no longer spread the message that sweatshops are a good thing if they're convenient."
In other words, how in the world has this eliminated anything??

Obligatory South Park quote (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340289)

"Well, I don't want to sound like a dickhole, but I told you so." - Mr. Garrison

So is he saying... (1)

carou (88501) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340291)

"no longer spread the message that non-free software is a good thing if it's convenient"

So if a task needs doing, and GPL software can't yet do it well - RMS would rather that people ignored that task and pretend it didn't need doing, than to do the task with the best available tools?

Re:So is he saying... (4, Insightful)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340355)

So if a task needs doing, and GPL software can't yet do it well - RMS would rather that people ignored that task and pretend it didn't need doing, than to do the task with the best available tools?

No, the priorities are different. For a long shot, he'd consider it more important to create a free tool to do the task well, than to just do it with a non-free tool. It's just that, to him, freedom is more important than anything else. So, it's very natural and consistent that he'd rather first write the free tool and then do the task, instead of the other way round (and probably never get around to writing that free tool, anyway).

Re:So is he saying... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340375)

So if a task needs doing, and GPL software can't yet do it well - RMS would rather that people ignored that task and pretend it didn't need doing, than to do the task with the best available tools?
No. RMS thinks that if there's a job that GPL software isn't doing well, then we should pitch in and help out, so that it will do that job well in the future. See it is not that complicated.

Re:So is he saying... (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340428)

So if a task needs doing, and GPL software can't yet do it well - RMS would rather that people ignored that task and pretend it didn't need doing, than to do the task with the best available tools?

What silliness. Besides, our graphic arts department is switching away from photoshop to GIMP as we speak, based on this new revelation by RMS.

Why (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340293)

Why do all people in software seem to fall into one of two sides?

"Open source is best, paying for software is dumb and evil!"

"Open source is for idiots, you'll live with your mothers till they die then you're on the street. Make money or get out"

Whatever happened to "every hole has a peice to fit it, some peices require different tasks to get them. Some require money, others require some code". It's no wonder MS is calling people communists, it's exactly the same pathetic ideals which no one wishs to adapt to the world.

Re:Why (5, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340415)

Whatever happened to "every hole has a peice to fit it, some peices require different tasks to get them. Some require money, others require some code"

There's tons of people with that attitude, it's just that they're the ones who don't feel a need to scream about it.

Re:Why (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340425)

Why do all people in software seem to fall into one of two sides?

It's not just software. Most people find raving ideologues more compelling than compromising centerists. See here [cnn.com] or here [vatican.va] for example.

I say this as one of the wishy-washy compromising centerists ... as I believe it gets more accomplished in the long run.

Question about free software: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340297)


If I buy Mac mini this friday, will I get Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger for free?

Stallman and martyrdom (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340318)

"I said so" (in a Comic Book Guy voice). Come on!

There must be a way to entice a fanatic like this to die for his cause. There must be. At least give him a wedgie.

Quote (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340324)

Quote that describes RMS best:

"RMS is a madman, but fortunatly he's our madman".

The fortune cookie version of this post... (5, Funny)

barfy (256323) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340327)

RMS is a lot funnier if you put "Bitch!" at the end of his quote...

BK was and option, not a requirement (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340343)

And actually it has helped the kernel developers to make the kernel better, so in fact it has been a good thing, I don't agree at all that non-free software is always bad, it can help...

Did anyone expect him NOT to say anything? (-1, Troll)

Trespass (225077) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340349)

I could take a dump in the morning and RMS would bitch if my toilet couldn't run Linux.

ToiletLinux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340440)

I know there's a "core dump" joke in here somewhere.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.. (3, Interesting)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340361)

Richard Stallman is a nut who would kill the entire software industry if he had his way.

If all software was "free" according to Stallman's definition, there would be no incentive for students to enter into the software industry (we're already seeing this in the US). That will lead to a lack of skilled programmers, and eventual stagnation and death of the entire software industry (including "free" software).

Re:I've said it before, and I'll say it again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340449)

Are you actually serious?
lol

Re:I've said it before, and I'll say it again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340459)

Ok, if all is not free you have two choices: 1) you buy it or 2) you develop an equivalent software. Either way, you invest ressources in something other than solving a new problem. Stallman's argument is that it's counter-productive.

If all is free, your barrier-to-entry is lower for whatever you wish to do, you're investment goes fully towards solving problems. Sure, solving problems is difficult and qualified workers for these kind of jobs are few and far between. How is this bad again?

Stallman is a whackjob (-1, Troll)

selectspec (74651) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340365)

Who gives a &%@$! what Stallman says. He's a total whackjob. Check out his politics [stallman.org] if you don't believe me.

Re:Stallman is a whackjob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340434)

He needs a haircut too. And take a bath. Fucking hippie.

Backhand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340396)

from the quite-a-backhand dept.

Hey you linux kernel bitches, who is your GNU/Pimp now?

A little story about convience and free software (1, Offtopic)

filterchild (834960) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340405)

I've been working with Linux for about 2 years now. I've also been trying to master music production for about the same amount of time.
My music software of choice was Beast/BSE [gtk.org], which is a modular softsynth/sequencer program. At first, I kept giving up. I just couldn't make the sounds that "everyone else" was using. After a while, I understood enough to make those sounds, but I had spend so much time making my own sounds that I didn't want to use "everyone's" sounds.

The moral is: Free Software has a huge learning curve in some cases, and I was tempted to give up very often, but in the end, I believe that the Free Software gave me more power than a non-Free equivalent.

I hate RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12340406)

I hate RMS.

That's why I bought a Mac with OS X. It's a delight to use, I get the benefits of a CLI with a fabulous GUI and it JUST WORKS. Why the fuck should I care if I can see the source or not?

How's Hurd coming along, you raving lunatic?

Uh - spreading a message? (5, Interesting)

starseeker (141897) | more than 8 years ago | (#12340450)

My guess would be their message will be exactly the same (or Linus's will be, given he controls the project). Bitkeeper nonwithstanding, their argument will still be use the best tool for the job. They might be more inclined to think about the potential costs of non-Free software, but their overall philosophy is unlikely to make a significant change.

It's sad, but most people nowadays (including me, for that matter) will take the practical way over the idealistic way. RMS gets pissed (if I read this right) because people by and large steadfastly refuse to be idealists. I would be curious to ask him what his take would be on someone who thinks it is idealistic to promote capitalism and the economy (and hence a better standard of living, at least in their minds) by refusing to give anything away free. My guess is he would say they are dead wrong, tragically wrong, or even criminally wrong, but I'll bet he would find that person less exasperating on some level because they were acting on principle rather than expedience.

I don't say I agree with RMS - in fact in general I tend to be rather pragmatic about this sort of thing. But my pragmatic thinking basically boil down to:

1) We live in a highly litigious society
2) I have a finite amount of money
3) Commercial software is expensive for my income
4) Most of my software use is not the kind of use where the software Must Work. A few bugs or missing features aren't the end of the world.
5) Should I happen to create something with software I want to sell commercially (let's say a book) I don't want to have to worry about Microsoft coming after me for improper licensing and demanding a chunk of royalties or something equally fun.
6) Any kind of legal action, even that with little to no merit, is enough to cause major headaches.
7) Hence, in balance, there is no reason for me to either pay $$$ for commercial software or pirate it when there are workable, free alternatives.

This has some exceptions - I use Acrobat Reader for example, which is only free as in beer but allows me to fill out tax forms. But in general I prefer tools with licenses that cost no money, demand no information, don't expire, and at least in theory allow me and/or anyone to fix them when they break. That's what meets my needs.

Maybe, in some sense, it could be argued that ideals ARE practical, because the long term consequences of going without them don't tend to be good.
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