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Will Stallman Kill the "Linux Revolution?"

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the penguin-vs-penguin dept.

741

frdmfghtr writes "The October 30 issue of Forbes Magazine has an article speculating that Richard Stallman's efforts to rewrite the GPL could threaten to 'tear it apart.' The article describes how the GPLv3 is expected to be incompatible with the GPLv2, causing trouble for Linux vendors such as Novell and Red Hat. The article wraps it up: 'And a big loser, eventually, could be Stallman himself. If he relents now, he likely would be branded a sellout by his hard-core followers, who might abandon him. If he stands his ground, customers and tech firms may suffer for a few years but ultimately could find a way to work around him. Either way, Stallman risks becoming irrelevant, a strange footnote in the history of computing: a radical hacker who went on a kamikaze mission against his own program and went down in flames, albeit after causing great turmoil for the people around him.'"

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What a load of sensationalist FUD! (5, Informative)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540662)

Linux is going to stick with GPLv2 regardless of what the FSF does with GPLv3. That has little to do with Linus disliking GPLv3, and much do to with not being able to track down all the contributors and get them to agree to a license change. GPLv3 is not going to cause any trouble for Linux vendors. It's certainly not going to "kill the Linux Revolution". There is nothing in GPLv2 or GPLv3 that prevents a Linux distribution from containing various programs under various licenses, just as Linux distributions today contain code under GPLv2, BSD, MIT, and other licenses. And GPLv3 doesn't make Stallman himself any more or less relevant that he's been in the past. The only point of bone-headed sensationalist reporting like this is to try to sell more copies of the magazine. Next month they'll tell us the GPLv3 will contribute to global warming, and the following month that it will promote slavery.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540694)

Next month they'll tell us the GPLv3 will contribute to global warming

You mean, because you cannot pirate a GPL3ed work, and we need pirates to prevent global warming?

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (4, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541126)

This is Forbes magazine.

The consequence of Richards vision is plenty for everyone and no capacity for hoarding, depriving, controlling and trading.

You think global warming holds a candle to something like this? He's a dangerous athiest among the flock.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1, Funny)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541136)

we need pirates to prevent global warming?

Yes we do [venganza.org]

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540700)

The quote for today "The disks are getting full; purge a file today."

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (5, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540710)

Exactly. Personally I think that Stallman is a visionary and Linus is too pragmatist in a sense, as Stallman clearly wants to avoid the DRM/"Trusted computing" trap with GPLv3 and Linus can't see medium/longterm about this. Also, he doesn't seem to be really understanding the v3, since he claimed things like digitally signed repositories like apt-get would be not allowed with v3, while Stallman clearly established that it's not the case.

I think Linus is a good coder and project manager, but we shouldn't expect him to "show the way" in issues of principle/vision. He's an engineer, not a "freedom fighter".

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (5, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540840)

Also, he doesn't seem to be really understanding the v3, since he claimed things like digitally signed repositories like apt-get would be not allowed with v3, while Stallman clearly established that it's not the case.
Unfortunately, Stallman only gets a say in the legalese as it's generated - he doesn't get a say in how the legal language of the GPLv3 is interpreted after it's finished. If attorneys say that this is a concern, then Linus has to worry about it - no matter what Stallman says.

Or do you seriously believe that Linus hasn't consulted with attorneys on this?

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541084)

Or do you seriously believe that Linus hasn't consulted with attorneys on this?

I wouldn't be at all surprised. Considering how he's managed the Linux trademark, and the general lack of understanding of the GPL he's publicly displayed, I'd almost be surprised if he even knows any IP lawyers. In contrast, RMS has had Even Moglen [wikipedia.org] on board from day one.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541070)

RMS isn't specifically against DRM in so much as he's against the tivovization. That is, using GPL software, but not allowing it to run modified on the hardware.

Sure he's against DRM, but he's more against stoping hackers :-)

Tom

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1, Insightful)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540768)

How is that different than the never-ending FUD generated by the anti-Microsoft (and anti-everything) camp day in and day out? LXer, Slashdot and just about every two-bit blog and "open source news" site in the planet are guilty of doing the same. It's not Forbes, but it's no different.

The author is obviously going for the "zOMFG FORBE$ Is TEH ZUXX0rZ KILL KILL KILL" crowd, and judging from the comments already in the Forbes site he has another hit in his hands. I don't know about that apocryphal story about Stallman plucking his hair to put it in his soup... but hey, that's what unfunny pictures of Bill Gates as a borg and stupid "monkey boy" comments will get you. You reap what you sow. Hell, the "St. IGNUCious" picture is real enough. Maybe he should refrain from doing that sort of thing to begin with. Like it or not he's the one of the official "spokesmen".

Having said that, and I'm sure this will be dismissed on sight anyway, I couldn't find a single misrepresentation of the situation in the article - everything it claims about Stallman and the GPL process seems to be correct. There is a problem here with the whole GPLv3 - though it remains to be seen how critical it is.

Of course to the very people who personify the "jihadist" term used in ther article all this is a non-issue and Forbes is in the employ of "Micro$oft" anyway. At least Slashdot will rake in a few dollars on a Sunday with all the ad impressions this one is going to get.

Insulting, inflammatory, & funny (4, Insightful)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540972)

There were a few inaccuracies right off the bat. For example, Stallman may have issues with the state of copyright law, but he's not against copyright per se. Indeed, the GPL is based on copyright law. Lyon also confuses free as in beer with free as in freedom.


But the main point is essentially correct: Stallman is trying to aggressively expand his "freedom empire" with the GPL 3, and it could just bite him on the ass.

The article also insulting, inflammatory, and funny. Gotta love a good dustup.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (4, Insightful)

Ether (4235) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540810)

Yes, it is largely fud w/r/t to the kernel; but there is the issue of the rest of the toolchain (gcc, binutils, etc.) that the GNU foundation owns the copyright on, in addition to the large body of code licensed "GPL v2 or Later." Sure, the commercial vendors could fork or use the BSD tools, but then you have two different branches: the commercial branch, and the branch with code that the community chooses to license under GPL3. If the final GPL3 contains terms that would make impossible to provide to enterprise users, then some vendors could not provide that.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (2, Informative)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540836)

but there is the issue of the rest of the toolchain (gcc, binutils, etc.)
So what if the next release of GCC or Binutils is under the GPLv3? That won't prevent Red Hat (or anyone else) from including it in a Linux distribution, or from using it to compile the binaries for that distribution.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540876)

No but it stops you contributing under GPL2. If you have a GPL2 application and someome commits a *single* item of GPL3 code to one of your dependent libraries your choice is to change to GPL3 or stop using that library.

For some of us that's a major concern. I've read enough about GPL3 to say in my own projects no GPL3 licensed code will be accepted (and have already premtively removed the 'or later' from all code I own).

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (2, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540910)

No but it stops you contributing under GPL2. If you have a GPL2 application and someome commits a *single* item of GPL3 code to one of your dependent libraries your choice is to change to GPL3 or stop using that library.
I don't follow. If I'm maintaining or distributing a library that is covered by GPLv2, no one is forcing me to accept a contribution that is under the GPLv3.

I've never included the "or any later version" clause in my GPL notices, but I will probably switch to GPLv3 once it is finalized.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540968)

If you're using a dependent library written by someone else and they are forced to GPL3 by using GPL3 contributions you're stuffed. If you see some opensource code that someone has written and want to use it if it's GPL3 you're stuffed.

Basically it's a complete mess.

Some of the GPL3 provisions are pretty nasty (like having to make it so your program spits out the source, and not being able to use encryption) so I'm not intending to use it in any projects now or in the future... OTOH I've been transitioning to LGPL for most stuff anyway...

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (3, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540984)

It's not libraries that you distribute he's talking about, it's libraries that you USE in your code, but someone else maintains.

Example: You make application A. To work, it needs libraries Z, Y, and X. All of these are GPL v2, but library Y is 'or any later version.' Person P makes a contribution to library Y under GPLv3. Y is now GPLv3. If you wish to use the latest version of library Y, you must now license your application A under the GPLv3.

If the libraries were under the LGPL, you wouldn't have to use GPLv3 as your license, but your application still has to follow ALL of the LGPLv3 stipulations for use, because of that library, if you want to use the latest version.

FSF less relevant than the projects it spawned? (3, Insightful)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540816)

I heard that GPLv3 kills puppies. Just what I heard. Seriously, if you're the FSF and you have a stated agenda that you would like to promote, wouldn't it be in your interest to tailor your fast and furious new license to complement the efforts of developers working on the most significant, most widely-used existing projects? I don't mean to downplay Stallman's or FSF's historical importance, but the future of free software is not with those players. It is with Linux, and Firefox, and so on--the software projects that Stallman and a ton of other people helped make possible.

Adoption of free software by non-nerds does not happen because of a Stallman speech about the software industry's problems, or because of GPLv3. Rather, it's the result of something as unassuming as a web browser that is more resilient to viruses and spyware than IE, and that provides a better browsing experience. That's really all that people care about.

I am not personally a fan of Stallman's--I think he's made his share of missteps that have hindered the free software movement. But overall, the net good that he and FSF have accomplished has already outweighed the bad. We have seen the open source movement burgeon and grow well beyond the ability of any one entity to kill it, hinder it, or even significantly influence it.

Does that mean we should dismiss GPLv3 as moot? No. Even if GPLv3 is 10 or even 20 years away from widespread adoption, or is just dismissed altogether as "aspirational", at least it's still out there. Out there to be used or out there to be used as a model for public licensing agreements yet to be drafted. There is no downside.

Re:FSF less relevant than the projects it spawned? (5, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540970)

Adoption of free software by non-nerds does not happen because of a Stallman speech about the software industry's problems, or because of GPLv3. Rather, it's the result of something as unassuming as a web browser that is more resilient to viruses and spyware than IE, and that provides a better browsing experience. That's really all that people care about.

Recent Free Software gains in India were due to Stallman visiting and making a speech. He promised the locals freedom to adapt the code to their needs, and to be free of licensing free imposed by Western companies. Maybe in the United States all people care about is a better browser, but Stallman's globetrotting shows that a lot of people in disadvantaged places see value in the philosophy, not just the features.

Re:FSF less relevant than the projects it spawned? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540998)

Err, that should read: free of licensing fees.

Re:FSF less relevant than the projects it spawned? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541002)

to adapt the code to their needs,


Those don't sound like ordinary users to me. They sound like people who have the expertise to actually change the software they use. The poster's comment about Mozilla FireFox is still perfectly valid. Stop trying to turn this into an anti-US thing.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540834)

Agreed. It's not like GPLv3 forces everyone to upgrade from v2. Hell, if there are problems with v2 that aren't being changed by Stallman, I'm sure someone else could come up with a better license anyway and the standard will change. But I don't even see that being a problem.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540918)

Yes it does. It's built into the license.

Once a single line of GPL3 code is used in a project the entire project must go to GPL3 or it can't use that code. That's deliberately splitting the opensource world.

So you have a choice. Stick with GPL2 and stop using any code that goes to GPL3, or jump to GPL3 and stop anyone still on GPL2 from using your code. Or go BSD and ignore all that mess.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541000)

Typical article from Daniel Lyons. This person will look for anything he can find (or make up) to use against the Linux/OSS community.
This is just one more example.

Not only that but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541012)

Anything currently licensed under any GPl, BSD, Apache license is still licensed. There is no mechanism to revoke a license.

If developers want to license their new stuff under the new license, so be it. My guess is that those who care enough will fork off. We have something like the same situation right now. There are distributions that are extremely 'pure' and those that are more 'practical'. I agree that the problem is not so serious that it will cause the death of Linux or open source.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1)

PixelCat (58491) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541050)

And there ya have it. This is pointless, since if Linux is gonna stick with GPLv2, as it is perfectly able to, GPLv3 is utterly moot--in fact, GPLv3 could be taken directly from the Microsoft Windows EULA and it still wouldn't matter to Linux, because there's no reason software has to "upgrade" it's copyright/left.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541098)

There is nothing in GPLv2 or GPLv3 that prevents a Linux distribution from containing various programs under various licenses, just as Linux distributions today contain code under GPLv2, BSD, MIT, and other licenses.
One thing to remember is that of those licenses, GPL is the only one that causes trouble. The rest have virtually no restrictions. Now, there are other copyleft licenses, but many of them are essentially GPL clones.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (3, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541142)

I think the real point is if GPL2 and GPL3 are incompatible with each other, and a whole bunch of open source projects move to GPL3, that's going to cause huge issues for distro makers. So you'll end up with a world where almost every open source project has two different forks, one for GPL2 and one for GPL3, each of which is maintained separately from the other.

I'm not saying that will happen. But to dismiss this article as if there was no relevance isn't helping anything. There is a real potential issue here.

As for Stallman becoming irrelevant, my personal opinion would be "thank God!" The sooner that wacko retires to Argentina or somewhere, the sooner people can start treating the open source community with a little bit of respect and dignity. And maybe they can get a spokesman who doesn't have a hissy-fit every time someone asks him to wear a namebadge at a conference.

Re:What a load of sensationalist FUD! (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541160)

I was going to say What a load of horseshit!, but I guess your title is close enough.

Carry on.

Forbes Schmorbes. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540684)

Forbes is porn for rich people. They're best known for their Pro SCO Group stance.

No more so than the MPL (4, Funny)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540686)

It would be nice to have everything under compatible licenses, but it would also be nice to have all DRM proponents sent to PMITA prison.

No, linux will kill itself (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540696)

Linux needs to get its act together

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

PS eric your calculator emulators are breaching copyright law. I hope HP sues you into the ground.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (2, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540734)

Anonymous Coward wrote:
PS eric your calculator emulators are breaching copyright law. I hope HP sues you into the ground.
You are presumably referring to Nonpareil [brouhaha.com] . Please explain to me what copyrights I am infringing. I've researched this fairly carefully and do not believe that I'm infringing any copyrights, at least in the U.S. But if I'm mistaken, I'd like to know the details. Feel free to email me; my email address is not hard to find.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540828)

He's either lying or trolling; emulators are perfectly legal. You'd have to actually be using code from HP to be violating copyright.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (2, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540882)

I am using code from HP in Nonpareil. It is code that was in the public domain. I have copyrighted the derived work.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540964)

Sorry, I should have said "unless you're using copyrighted code without permission". My point was that emulators don't violate copyright, which is what the original poster seemed to be saying.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (1)

MadEE (784327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541018)

Just because HP doesn't seem to want to defend the copyright doesn't mean the files are in the public domain.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (2, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541044)

No, but the fact that they were published with no copyright notice back when that was a legal requirement in the US does mean that they are now in the public domain.

Mod down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540736)

I'm tired of this idiot copy/pasting this same comment into every linux discussion.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540746)

Oh lawd I smell delicious copypasta.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540826)

Linux needs to get its act together Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.
In serverland, and even for development desktops, it has a higher deployment than that. It's completely inappropriate to pitch at a home user, indeed, but then an OS whose main feature is that you are free to edit its source code isn't primarily a home user proposition!

Windows is *NOT* user-friendly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540842)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Windows is utterly user-hostile, and that didn't seem to harm its takeup.

The only reason why Windows is ubiquitous and Linux is not, is that Windows comes pre-installed on PCs and Linux doesn't.

PC buyers were never offered a choice of operating systems, and they didn't make Windows the most common one because of its excellence: there was no option, and now it's just simply ubiquitous, despite being utter crap.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540996)

The 1990s called, they want their FUD back. Yes, we use apt-get because we want to but graphical installers have been around for ages now.

I don't see anyone that's claimed getting software that isn't packaged for the distro being easy. In fact, I don't think installing the software is all that difficult on either. Doing an upgrade of every application on the other hand... show me Windows do that, no instead I got 50 "auto-update" apps that all want to punch my firewall and make management annoying. And installing Linux is much easier if all the hardware is supported - no, you might not install Windows but more often than not users will need to have it reinstalled. Plus, the average install for the average poweruser goes like this:

Linux:
1. apt-get install [foo] (or click-equivalent, but I can't paste images in a comment)

Windows:
1. Find warez download (time consuming)
2. Download warez (crappy, unreliable P2P)
3. Install warez (pray you're not hosed)
4. Find crack (pray IE doesn't get hosed)
5. Install crack (pray you're not hosed)

There's a lot more of the "little things" that annoy me - for example, I recently installed azeureus on top of whatever dependencies debian gave me - turns out it was running on kaffe VM. The very nice thing about that, was that when checking files kaffe would spike to 100% CPU use and stay there using maybe 100x times as long, while sun's java would do it quite quickly at 5% CPU. Try swapping JVM, that's not very easy. Most people wouldn't have a clue or understand how the app depends on java anyway. That's probably the closest thing I've had to an install issue in ages.

Re:No, linux will kill itself (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541064)

No offense, but you just illustrated what the original poster was mocking by padding your list of Windows steps to make it look worse, when in reality, your average install on Windows is:

Windows
1.) Insert CD. Setup automatically begins.

And the fact remains that a lot of Linux packages require more manual configuration than their Windows counterparts.

What about the old license (1)

gnool (1005253) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540702)

Couldn't companies just continue using GPL 2 or use a different license completely?

Howto Upgrade (0, Offtopic)

mistralol (987952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540728)


s/`cat GPLv2`/`cat GPLv3`/

There's always BSD. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540756)

Many of us have already moved away from Linux to BSD. Besides the many technical advantages of FreeBSD, the portability benefits of NetBSD, the extreme security of OpenBSD, and the massive scalability of DragonFly BSD, we don't have to deal with unreasonable licensing nonsense.

If somebody wants to take BSD code, modify it and not release those changes, then so be it. It doesn't hurt the rest of us, as we still have FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and DragonFly BSD to use. Beyond that, such use may make somebody else better off. Thus, there's a net benefit overall. We lose nothing, yet others gain.

And I'd be very happy if Microsoft were to use more BSD code in their products. Doing so would result in a vast increase in the quality of their codebase. That, in turn, will result in fewer infected Windows systems that send terabytes of spam to my mail servers. The less spam my servers have to filter, the more money I save in bandwidth and processing costs. I may even be able to reduce the number of mail servers I have.

Re:There's always BSD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540870)

Many of us have already moved away from Linux to BSD.

Funny definition of "many".

Re:There's always BSD. (0, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540916)

The BSD lets you do what you want, while the GPL license defines Stallman's personal definition of "free" and then imposes it on you, which isn't freedom at all. People want to impose their ideologies on other people and call it free.

Re:There's always BSD. (4, Insightful)

AdamKG (1004604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541048)

But see, that's my definition of Free as well, which is why I will use the GPL if/when I write any non-trivial software.

And yes, in a way I'm imposing it on others. I don't want anyone to use my code to sue someone for copyright infringement, ever, when all they did was tinkering. The BSD license allows this kind of litigation nonsense by allowing restrictive copyrighting of derivative works. The GPL does not, and therefore conforms to my definition of Freedom.

Re:There's always BSD. (5, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541164)

It is ironic that you are forcing your personal definition of "free" upon me.

Are you joking? (-1, Flamebait)

Lost+Found (844289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540936)

FreeBSD oopses when you 'hotplug' USB devices at the wrong time and thrashes your data if you lose power at the wrong time (oh, that's right, use SCSI), one of NetBSD's founders just came out and said the project is doomed, DragonflyBSD is an effort at a massive rewrite in early stages (certainly unsafe for production) and OpenBSD is driven by a raving loonie.

By contrast, Linux has /real/ technical advantages, is more portable than NetBSD, performs better cross-spectrum than any of the BSDs, and it's all in one convenient package with tons of corporate backing!

Anyone who moves from a superior solution to an inferior one over a pointless licensing debate is nuts.

Re:Are you joking? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540950)

Fag.

Re:Are you joking? (1, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541088)

Uh, most of the longest running servers online are running...BSD. Linux 2.6 has been a mish-mash of new code that should have been in a development line of kernels, and there have been prominent developers coming out and describing a spiraling trend of instability because of the new development model. It was even posted on Slashdot. Funny that you disregard that but selectively remember everyone else's FUD.

As for FreeBSD oopsing when you hotplug, never had it happen.

Re:Are you joking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541110)

That "loonie" is doing his job by making sure that no exploitable code (blobs) are running at ring0. It's true the man isn't tactful, but he does do what needs to be done and for that I respect him. BTW, he's also a damn good engineer. The NetBSD folks lost one of their best assets when they kicked him out. But interpersonal relationships are a bitch.

Re:There's always BSD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541042)

Realistically speaking, BSD is dead. Outside the hobbyist/zealots who profess the BSD creed, there is no buzz. In terms of software, again nothing. No commercial support. No enterprise applications. Zilch. BSD means hobby time.

The best BSD has to offer are flakey ersatz ports of Linux software. BSD -- been there, done that; it's dead.

Deal with it. It's time for you to grow up, and move on.

He's a bit crazy, but visionaries always are (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540758)

A bit of MIT/LCS lore here.

RMS used to live on the 7th floor of LCS. That's where he used to have his office before he resigned in protest over the commercialization of something or another. But they let him keep his office, and he lives there, because he refuses to have an apartment. (Given the rent rates in Cambridge, the assholeness of most landlords, I don't blame him. Rather than live in my office, I chose to move to Texas, and the change in rent rates and lack of state income tax resulted in an immediate %25 pay raise. RMS doesn't have that option because we have the death penalty for people like him down here.)

Anyway, RMS has or had a number or geek chick groupies. I wouldn't call any of the ones I've seen "hot", really -- well except for this one little psycho jewish undergrad from NYC. He would sleep with them on the sofa in his office. That's why he got kicked out off floor 7, and down to the 3 floor, is that the cleaning staff complained about pulling used condoms out from behind the sofas. No joke. You can use this information for trolling if you wish, but it's all true.

RMS has a phobia of water that prevents him from showering. This is part of this post I know from first hand experience, because I myself have observed him taking a sponge bath in the 3d floor mens room in LCS. Apparently once he had a girlfriend who he was totally in love with, and she convinced him to take one shower a week. It was a traumatic experience for him each time.

RMS also has a phobia of spider plants. When RMS starts bothering a grad student and going to his office and talking to him constantly and getting him to spend all his time writing free software, the grad student will complain to someone on the floor, and they'll let them in on the secrete -- get a spider plant in your office. The next time RMS drops by, his eyes will bulge a little and he'll say " Umm. . . I wanted to talk to you about hacking some elisp code . . . why don't you stop by my office sometime ?" and make a hasty exit.

One of his more nasty habits is picking huge flakes of dandruff out of his hair while talking to you. At least he doesn't eat them, like some people I know.

Now, I know everyone loves to make fun of RMS, and I'm feeding that a bit here, so I'd just like to say that I think he really is a genius, on the order of Socrates (another filthy slob who couldn't keep a normal living arrangement, and lived in a barrel) or Ghandi or Ezekiel. Everything he has ever said to me, while sounding naive and idealistic and stupid at the time, turned out to later be correct.

The only thing I fear in his philosophy is his interest in reducing population growth. Everyone else I know of who was obsessed with that "problem" turned out to have facist or totolitarian tendencies, and I think that the problem will solve itself as more and more of the world moves into a middle class type existence.

But on everything else, bitter experiences have taught me he is right. I will not use any non-GPLd or lGPLd software, and I look forward to being able to buy only "open" hardware. I would like to see software patents completely eliminated, and with the development of digitial communication, I see no reason why shouldn't simply repeal all of Title 17 and do away with all copyrights. They just aren't needed. I expect to spend much of my life being paid to write software, and I just don't see copyrights has helping me in anyway.

I just want to say one thing: Mr. Richard Stallman is full of angst and passion and venom. In the text that follows, when I quote from Stallman, I will use the word "excrement" in place of another word which is now apparently permitted in general circulation publications and which I have edited out. Although the proper definition of "photodisintegration" is hotly disputed, he is locked into his present course of destruction. He does not have the interest or the will to change his fundamentally lubricious obiter dicta. Think of all the lives that could be saved if we would just comment on a phenomenon that has and will continue to regulate immoralism. This raises another important point: If you think that Stallman's ramblings can give us deeper insights into the nature of reality, then you're suffering from very serious nearsightedness. You're focusing too much on what Stallman wants you to see and failing to observe many other things of much greater importance, such as that if you spot a bumper sticker that reads, "Each of us should realize after a moment's thought that it is my contention that he has completely stepped off the deep end," you're probably looking at my car. To cap that off, he focuses on feelings rather than facts. Sure, Stallman attempts to twist and distort facts to justify his feelings but that just goes to show that he says that he needs a little more time to clean up his act. As far as I'm concerned, his time has run out. Stallman's adulators believe that Stallman knows 100% of everything 100% of the time. It should not be surprising that they believe this, however. As we all know, minds that have been so maimed that they believe that it is not only acceptable, but indeed desirable, to clear forests, strip the topsoil, and turn a natural paradise into a dust bowl through a self-induced drought can believe anything, especially if it's false.

If the human race is to survive on this planet, we will have to listen to others. We must also assert with all the sincerity of informed experience and the desperate desire to see our beloved country survive that the unalterable law of biology has a corollary that is generally overlooked. Specifically, Stallman attracts worthless, brown-nosing bottom-feeders to his club by telling them that cannibalism, wife-swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior. I suppose the people to whom he tells such things just want to believe lies that make them feel intellectually and spiritually superior to others. Whether or not that's the case, there is a simple answer to the question of what to do about Stallman's activities. The difficult part is in implementing the answer. The answer is that we must make this world a better place in which to live. Never before have I encountered more bloatedly self-important prose than that which Stallman produces.

Stallman obviously didn't have to pass an intelligence test to get to where he is today, because his knowledge of how things work is completely off the mark. First of all, he extricates himself from difficulty by intrigue, by chicanery, by dissimulation, by trimming, by an untruth, by an injustice. Should someone think that I am saying too much, I am not saying too much, but much too little. For cheeky loud-types serve as the priests in his cult of randy, raucous corporatism. These "priests" spend their days basking in Stallman's reflected glory, pausing only when Stallman instructs them to infiltrate and then dominate and control the mass media. What could be more stuck-up? Fortunately for us, the key to the answer is obvious: In public, he vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, he never fails to toy with our opinions. That's all for this letter. For those that don't like my views, get over it. I suspect that I have as much a right to my views, and to express them, as anyone else. So when I say that Mr. Richard Stallman's sophistries are mired in contumelious, craven recidivism, you can agree with me or not. That's all there is to it.

what a difference a decade makes (5, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540766)

GPL 1 and 2 were developed far from the public eye. V3 is being debated and written under intense scrutiny. It would be hard to avoid the controversy being generated now.

The Linux kernel may not switch, but that will not doom V3, nor will it doom the FSF or Stallman. There is much that has happened since V2, and the attempts to address things like DRM and patents have and will continue to shed light on the ugly underbelly of modern software licensing. This, I think, is good.

"Free software" means something different now. It's not just being able to tweak a text editing program, or encourage community development and review. It's about who will control the millions of PCs in the world. The more that Microsoft and the RIAA/MPAA continue to try to lock down the PC, turning it into nothing more than a delivery system for DRMed content, the more relevant the FSF becomes.

Re:what a difference a decade makes (3, Informative)

jmv (93421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540838)

The Linux kernel may not switch, but that will not doom V3, nor will it doom the FSF or Stallman.

That's not the issue. The problem is that it's becoming likely that GPLv3 will split FOSS software in two, with half the people going with GPLv2-only and the other half going with GPLv3-or-later. This means no possible exchange of code between the two pools and possibly lots of forks, especially for libraries. I hope the worst case scenario doesn't happen, but GPLv3 has potential for doing much more damage than any gain it can provide (even it you think it's good in itself). As far as I'm concerned all the (L)GPL software I write will be GPLv2-or-later, making GPLv3 useless, but mitigating the incompatibility problem.

Gee, I wonder why RMS wouldn't answer this hack (5, Insightful)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540784)

A cantankerous and finger-wagging freewheeler, Stallman won't comment on any of this because he was upset by a previous story written by this writer.
Right, because all this writer does is spout vitriol and spread fear, uncertainty and doubt all in an apparent attempt to garner page views. It's no wonder RMS doesn't have time to respond to such a writer. [In fact, I've discovered that I don't have time to finish reading this article either.] One wonders why McVoy even bothered to respond.

Re:Gee, I wonder why RMS wouldn't answer this hack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540800)

One wonders why McVoy even bothered to respond.

... Because he got dissed by the kernel devs?

Re:Gee, I wonder why RMS wouldn't answer this hack (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540934)

The standard, robotic Slashdot response--use the old "FUD" canard and dismiss all the points the article raises without addressing any of them.

Mod parent post down please -- FUD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541016)

Mod parent post down please -- FUD.

Re:Gee, I wonder why RMS wouldn't answer this hack (3, Insightful)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541100)

dismiss all the points the article raises without addressing any of them
Do actually do that, I'd have to find the points first, which would require wading through way too much irrelevant character assassination and blind assertion to be worth my time. If you say there are real points worth discussing hidden there, I'll take your word for it; but don't expect me to do the writer's job for them.

Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (2, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540792)

I don't mean this as flamebait but isn't RMS irrelevant already? Back when it needed a knowledgable geek champion who understood the situation at the time, RMS was great.

Since that time it appears that the real world operates on a different set of rules than RMS's "Free no matter what" and reality be damned.

Forgive me for not being so knowledgable but it does seem like RMS's ego is now driving the train.

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (5, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540898)

No. RMS's philosophy has been the same since before the modern OSS movement began. He was considered irrelevant back then, until the rise of free software success stories like GCC, Linux, Apache, etc. showed that his philosophy can produce great software while still granting end-users all the freedoms he talks about.

Now that we already have those pieces of software, some folks are ready to call him irrelevant again... but he isn't. He's looking out for those of us who value free software for more than just the fact that it costs $0 and anyone can contribute. I don't want to live in a world where companies like TiVo (although I love their DVRs) can use technological loopholes to build on the community's work while denying their end-users the ability to build on and tinker with the products they paid for. The open-source nature of Linux doesn't count for jack if your computer will only allow you to boot the signed copy of Linux that came preinstalled, and/or signed Linux upgrade CDs that you buy in a box at the store, does it?

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541124)

Providing source code for free projects is hardly exclusively "his philosophy," and Apache doesn't even use the GPL.

Stallman isn't looking out for people when he dictates how they are supposed to refer to Linux or what they're allowed to do with code they write. Instead, he's defining a personal view of "freedom" and enforcing it on others, when my definition of freedom is more along the lines of the BSD license. I've always found him quite self-aggrandizing and a little weird.

Stahlman & GNU (-1, Flamebait)

JediLuke (57867) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540802)

He like starts foaming the mouth when he talks about GNU being a recursive acronym. if i ever met the guy i'd be hesitant to mention the HURD project in fears he might pee on the floor over excitement.

Plus he's a zealot. Zealots don't help the appearance of the overall movement because they cannot see anything else besides their own narrow view. He pretty much things anyone who does't use linux ("ITS GNU/LINUX!", Stahlman foams) is a retard. Not arguing, but why should anyone try to listen to anyone who is so arrogant and fervently devoted to doing things the hard way.

Re:Stahlman & GNU (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541150)

And you know these details about Richard Stallman's personality traits based on first-hand observations?

Forbes? On Open Source? Ha! (2, Insightful)

claykarmel (78187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540806)

After reading Forbes articles on SCO, it's clear that they aren't neutral. They are trying to influence their readers rather than report to them.

They are lobbyists.

We should just ignore them.

Re:Forbes? On Open Source? Ha! (0, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541138)

As opposed to Slashdot, which never tries to influence its readers, ever. By the way, the iPod is lame and has less space than a nomad, people who "steal" GPL code are "thieves," and it's not theft to pirate music and not pay artists because the RIAA are bad guys who dare to protect their own copyrights using the legal system (The horror! The outrage!).

Footnote? (4, Interesting)

Nijika (525558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540808)

Say what you will about Richard Stallman, footnote he will never be. That's like saying the Wright brothers are a footnote in aviation.

And as far as any possible splinter goes, this will separate the wheat from the chaff in both directions. It may be painful, but good will come of it.

Re:Footnote? (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540958)

Indeed, he will be in the top 5 footnotes in the Bibliography. Wish I was a footnote in THAT book.

Re:Footnote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541162)

"Say what you will about Richard Stallman, footnote he will never be. That's like saying the Wright brothers are a footnote in aviation."

Stallman is less of a Wright Brother and more of a Howard Hughes. Numerous early successes with a career punctuated by a drawn-out, expensive embarassment (HURD). Also his growing egotism and insanity, and - I assume - jars of fingernail clippings. Pretty much the only angle he doesn't have covered is the billionaire playboy thing.

Not the first time: GFDL incompatible with GPL (3, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540850)

This has happened before. A while back I tried without success to convince Richard Stallman that continuing to promote a license (the GNU Free Documentation License or GFDL)
        http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html [gnu.org]
which was incompatible with the GPL was a bad thing. :-)
See for example some reasons at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentatio n_License [wikipedia.org]
    http://home.twcny.rr.com/nerode/neroden/fdl.html [rr.com]
My particular interest was to use information from the GFDL-licensed Wikipedia in GPL programs. I'd go further and question the very reasons the GFDL was created in the first place -- just to make dead tree book publishers' lives easier? Where is the emphasis on freedom there?

I think it is easy for any technologist to underestimate community issues and then to see a license as a program for individual behavior instead of a constitution for a community. The GPL works. It has problems, sure, but it works well enough as a constitution for cooperation. More variants of licenses mainly just make more problems IMHO.

And this changes things how? (2, Insightful)

bartron (772079) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540864)

People are free to use whatever license they want beit it V1,2 or 3 or even BSD or some other closed licence even. The only issue will be where software is written under V3 and someone else would prefer it to be under V2....

guess what....that's te beauty of open source...if you don't like something you get to make your own.

No-one is holding a gun to you head to use this license if you don't like it...and if it is really as bad as people say then it will find little use anyway.

Re:And this changes things how? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541014)

OK so you're writing a GPLv2 app. One of your dependent libraries accepts a contribution from a GPLv3 source - making it GPLv3 automatically. Your code is GPLv2 only (no 'or later' clause) and therefore can no longer use that library - and you can't track down all the contributors to change the license.

What do you do? Write your own? Fork the GPLv2 app?

Either of those would work.. but it's a travesty that so much duplication will be forced.

Re:And this changes things how? (1)

bartron (772079) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541128)

Exactly....so the outcome will be

a) there is nothing to worry about and GPLv3 will be used without concern
b) GPLv3 won't be used and people will stick with GPLv2
c) there will be multiple versions of libraries due to the issues with version conflicts.

Re:And this changes things how? (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541188)

What is a "GPLv3 source"?

If someone sends a patch to the maintainer of the dependeny library, the maintainer will ask them to license it under the project's licensing terms (GPL v2 or later) or he will reject the patch. I don't think any important libraries will suddenly switch to GPLv3 overnight.

Stallman: intellectual lightweight? (0, Flamebait)

meburke (736645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540896)

The article, while biased, does get something right: Stallman IS a loose cannon, more interested in fanaticism and self-agrandizement than progress. A pox on all the developers who signed over their rights to this clown. A despot touting populism is still a despot.

If Stallman wsn't such an intellectual lightweight, he could resolve the conflicts between concerned entities.

He's got a funny beard, he must be wrong! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540902)

It seems to me that it would be very difficult indeed to get all the contributers to Linux to go along with a license change/upgrade. And even then, you could fork from the last version... unless there's a provision in the GPL that would enforce the new license retroactively. Even if that's the case, I think it would cause so much acrimony among so many developers that it won't happen.

On the other hand, Stallman has a long history of being proven right. The general form this takes is that Stallman predicts that "If you give up the right to X, you will be screwed over by somebody who does Y." And then, inevitably, it happens. It bothers me that just because Stallman is committed to his ideals, people treat him like a joke, despite the fact that he's done us a hell of a lot of good.

The point is that there will always be what in game theory is known as habitual defectors, people who will take advantage of anything that the think helps them out, no matter what the cost to others. If you want to evaluate the risks of giving up rights to somebody, you have to assume the worst. The GPL has been remarkably successful at protecting us from these people. I don't how Linux could have had nearly the success it has with, say, a BSD license. There's nothing in Linux that BSD hasn't done, or couldn't have done.

Now, there are times when another license could make more sense. For example, one problem in the industry now is that FAT32 is the standard filesystem for removable devices such as USB flash devices. This is because it's the least common denominator, and until recently MS was willing to look the other way. But it's a bad filesystem, and now MS has been making noises about cracking down on it. What are the alternatives? Well, a GPL'd filesystem would probably not get a lot of support here, and licenses on things like ZFS are even more restrictive (plus it's rather new, and probably overkill). It seems like the BSD license would be the natural choice. UFS, maybe?

Re:He's got a funny beard, he must be wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16541216)

On the other hand, Stallman has a long history of being proven right.

Hahaha. HURD, anyone? Stallman has also said a lot of crazy things that have never come true. It's not exactly revolutionary to rant about proprietary companies.

I don't how Linux could have had nearly the success it has with, say, a BSD license.

Honestly, I really don't think there would have been any difference in its success whatsoever.

By the way, it's GNU/Linux, remember?! Stallman would flame you for not speaking the way he wants you to speak. Enjoy that freedom, brother...it's what we get for putting a zealot in charge.

Oh Well! (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540926)

Richard Stallman's radicalism will be his undoing. This means great things for the BSD camp. Anyhow, the BSDs are superior to Linux in every way, shape, and form.

Is Forbes Credible? (5, Informative)

femto (459605) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540932)

I find it hard to take Frobes seriously when they start out by misrepresenting the postion of the person they are talking about (Stallman).

"Richard M. Stallman is a 53-year-old anticorporate crusader who has argued for 20 years that most software should be free of charge. He and a band of anarchist acolytes long have waged war on the commercial software industry, dubbing tech giants "evil" and "enemies of freedom" because they rake in sales and enforce patents and copyrights--when he argues they should be giving it all away."

  • Stallman does not argue that "most software should be free of charge". The GPL, which he wrote, specifically says one is allowed to charge for GPLd software.
  • Stallman doesn't argue that "they should be giving it all away." He does argue that they shouldn't have a monopoly, which is very different to "giving it all away".

Long Live RMS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540952)

The only thing the empty suits at Forbes give a shit about is money. RMS has other objectives which very much do conflict with the aspirations of these opportunistic vultures, so of course they're going to cry about it. None of this changes the fact that RMS was the fulcrum that turned the technology industry completely sideways to the direction it was headed. Attempting to marginalize RMS as a future footnote says a lot more about Fortune's petulance than it does about RMS.

The next version of the GPL fills a niche that many feel needs to be filled. Copyright law entitles people to license their work however they see fit. Some people, such as myself, will very much see fit to license the code they write under the GPLv3. I could expound on the reasons I feel this is important, but quite frankly, those points have already been driven home ad infinitum, so I'm not going to waste my time. As always, if you don't like it, DON'T USE IT. That's your perogative. My perogative is to license my code however I damn well please.

Making opportunistic vultures who turn to rags like Forbes for wisdom unhappy is what RMS is all about. So in that respect, I would say the tone of this article brands RMS a smashing success. Long Live RMS!

No wonder, it's a Dan Lyons article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540954)

C'mon, people! This is a Dan Lyons article. He's been writing anti-Linux FUD for years. Groklaw and /. have eviscerated this guy's credibility on this subject repeatedly (do a search, you'll see). Quoting him on this subject is like asking Bill Gates if he thinks Linux is going to beat Windows in the marketplace: you know the answer before you ask the question.

Problems.. (4, Interesting)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540960)

Here's part of the problem:

Stallman doesn't believe in compromising his ideals. His life's work is Free Software.

We can call him a weirdo, mad, an ass, but without his conviction we would all be locked into proprietary products. Unlike some things that happened because the world was ready for it (cell phones, computers), I don't believe that Free Software would exist if not for Stallman. That is, without him, I don't think another person would have dedicated his/her life to the cause.

Corporations don't compromise. Look at Microsoft's business tactics that were either outright illegal or bordering on the illegal. If they had their way we would not be allowed to write our own software, not be allowed to trade software with the original authors, not be allowed to listen to our own music. And this nightmare world is happening.

Sure, there has to be regulations, but not those imposed by corporations. Look at the radio broadcast spectrum, the automobile industry, etc.. for parallels.

So here is Richard Stallman. He's probably closer to the end of his years than to the beginning. His life's work is almost happening but Linux, for good or bad, is not at all what he envisioned. He's trying to fix it while he can. If I were in his position, I'd probably do the same thing (if only to be an ornery bastard).

Stallman is not compromising, but neither is Microsoft.

Who cares? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16540962)

I care less about what RMS does. As an upcoming developer, if I am not happy with RMS' new GPL version, I simply continue to use version 2, which I am very happy about. That's the beauty of the GPL v.2. Am I wrong on this?

Remember, Forbes is a business pub, not technical (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540966)

Forbes has had a chequered history at best when it comes to the computer industry,
not to mention Linux. However, there is a small grain of truth in their basic
premise, and in many ways, the Linux community continually shoots itself in the foot.

I've heard from various application writers who say they haven't got a clue when it
comes to "porting" to Linux, because there are so many variations in APIs (from their
standpoint) between the various distributions. I've been running SuSE for years, yet
I can't seem to install gnucash without getting into dependency hell where I seem to
need one more RPM after another ad nauseum/infinitum. I have a copy of gimp from a site
in Germany that's now out of date, but I can't do an 'rpm -e' on it without disrupting
the (circular) dependencies on a bunch of libraries that came with it, so it can't be
removed (or updated) without incredible frustration. I can't get an RPM of the latest
version of gimp because no one (particularly SuSE) can be bothered to package it up
to make it quickly, easily and *RELIABLY* installable *AND* removeable. And, other
distros don't seem to be any better - Debian is a nightmare to get WINE for. I can sort
of understand that they don't want to support a rapidly moving target, but it's not going
to settle down unless folks can install it, test it, report bugs on it, and try to fix it.

The politics around some of the apps are at the very least childish, and at worst, are
preventing me from doing what I'd really like to do. I'm just a hobbyist - i.e., my system
is NOT business-critical in the literal sense, but I really don't want to run Windows, and
haven't for a long time. But, when my dual Athlon 1800+ with 2GB of memory crashes gimp
repeatedly because I want to simply edit a picture, there's a major problem. Debian just
re-did all their CD writer software because of a pissing contest with the developer of the
package that I still use under SuSE 10.0. WHY ARE WE CONTINUING TO HAVE THESE SORTS OF PROBLEMS??

Yeah, I can sort of understand Linus' angst over GPLv3. No, I really don't care for some of
Stallman's antics. But those issues are the tip of the iceberg, and that iceberg is starting
to drift back towards the Pole whence it came, and seems to be freezing up and getting larger
as we speak. If we indeed are going to be serious about being a business solution that users
are willing to bet their business on (never mind how much they're paying for a distro or for
support), then we need to clean up our act NOW.

Forbes was a big supporter of a mouse that would dutifully spy on your system and tell its
boss what web sites you visited. I'm very disappointed that Steve let this happen in the
first place, and it saddens me that they're still very technically naive in many ways. But
it's going to be damned tough to straighten them out when our own Linux story is such a mess.

Glad I only GPLv2 my code 8 years ago. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540986)

As an open-source developer for 8 years building web and desktop apps, I am disgusted with GPLv3.
I am glad I never trusted the GPL to remain the meaning I intended for my creation and remove the upgrade clause making my code GPLv2 only.
The thought kept crossing my mind... what if someone like Microsoft created the official GPLv3 or v4 years from now.
My future open-source apps will probably be a modified FreeBSD or MIT style license.

Maureen O'Gara - Dan Lyons in drag (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16540992)

Lyons is just raking for hits and /. delivers. This is such a number on Stallman I'm amazed that Forbes printed this muck. But it is even stranger that it gets on /. without any mention of the personal attack that this represents. It very much reminds me of the attack on PJ at Groklaw by Maureen O'Gara. This falls so far below a standard of journalism you would expect from a business journal. It seems very desperate. It also looks like free software really does scare the sh*t out of someone. The message is clear, sell your shares in IBM, HP, Novell, Redhat NOW and buy M$.

GPLv4 should forbid *.* (2, Interesting)

paulpach (798828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541036)

Following the logic from FSF, if you use the software to kill someone, that person will no longer be free to run the software (he is dead ).

Therefore, military use limits the freedom of potential users and is not in the spirit of the GPL.
It should also restrict use in prisons for the same reason.
It should forbid its use in ROM because the user can not replace the software.
It should forbid locking down the software with a phisical lock.
It should forbid farting near the equipment since noone will be able to get close to replace the software.

Jeez - if he'd just finish HURD... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541062)

... then GNU can kick the Linux kernel to the curb.

The public domain ... (2, Insightful)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541068)

I find it funny how companies struggle to make money by constantly trying to shift what should be in the unrestricted public domain to be something that is not. Companies deserve to protection when using public domained source and information ... they should be simply focused on quality of service delivery. If they become protectionist because they cannot provide a quality service/product ... then they deserve to collapse ... a new business model will arise from their ashes ...

Remember (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541120)

This is the same Forbes that called all the tech jobs going overseas in the late 90's "pruning the dead wood." And treated SCO like their case actually had merit.

Stallman is too early to the party. (1)

Dissman (997434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541122)

Honestly, I kinda think this is like the crusade for Network Neutrality... Just as the advocates of Network Neutrality areStallman and his ilk are too early to garner enough support to put it over the top.

Until the average person is feeling the squeeze from DRM (Which is starting... I'm having average people approaching me on it.), or having problems with using Vonage over their AT&T DSL connect... there is unlikely to be concensus to do something drastic like this.

Where's the fact-checking? (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541186)

The free Linux operating system set off one of the biggest revolutions in the history of computing when it leapt from the fingertips of a Finnish college kid named Linus Torvalds 15 years ago. Linux now drives $15 billion in annual sales of hardware, software and services, and this wondrous bit of code has been tweaked by thousands of independent programmers to run the world's most powerful supercomputers, the latest cell phones and TiVo video recorders and other gadgets. But while Torvalds has been enshrined as the Linux movement's creator, a lesser-known programmer--infamously more obstinate and far more eccentric than Torvalds--wields a startling amount of control as this revolution's resident enforcer. Richard M. Stallman is a 53-year-old anticorporate crusader who has argued for 20 years that most software should be free of charge. He and a band of anarchist acolytes long have waged war on the commercial software industry, dubbing tech giants "evil" and "enemies of freedom" because they rake in sales and enforce patents and copyrights--when he argues they should be giving it all away.
Stallman and his allies hacked away for nearly a decade but couldn't get GNU to work. In 1991 Torvalds, then an unknown college kid in Finland, produced in six months what Stallman's team had failed to build in years--a working "kernel" for an operating system. Torvalds posted this tiny 230-kilobyte file containing 10,000 lines of code to a public server, dubbing it "Linux" and inviting anyone to use it.
If not for the fact that people are going to take this seriously, it would be absolutely hillarious...

Ain't no way Stallman will relent. (0, Flamebait)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541192)

He's got to be hardcore and stick it to the man, like his hero Hugo Chavez.

Author is no stranger to GNU/Linux FUD. (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541200)

Seems Daniel Lyons [thejemreport.com] makes his living attacking Linux and GNU/FSF and others in the FOSS community. From the article:

You've probably seen his name mentioned on Slashdot and Groklaw, and if you regularly read Linux-related news, you've probably read some of his articles and shook your head in disbelief. Forbes writer and fiction author Daniel Lyons' articles regularly target Linux, free software, and companies that support Linux.

Moderators, please do not mod this post. I'm not doing it for the points.

At first I saw, "Will STUNTMAN... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16541202)

kill the 'Linux Revolution'?"

Then I thought, "That would be one very CUNNING STUNT man..."

(please refrain from Spoonerism...hehhe)
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