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When Stallman is Attacked

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the problem-with-zealots dept.

562

writes "Linux Tech Daily has an editorial slamming a recent Forbes.com attack piece on Richard Stallman and GPLv3. Loved or hated, do you agree with the author that the piece is FUD and completely unprofessional? Love him or hate him, is this unfair treatment of rms? Does he leave himself open to these kinds of attacks with his behavior?" The problem with the editorial of course is that many of the points made in the original Forbes piece are completely valid and true. So basically you get to choose between the linux zealot, and a writer who is obviously fairly hostile towards Stallman's ideas.

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You don't have to choose... (5, Insightful)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595832)

You could be like me and think they are both loud mouthed baffoons.

Re:You don't have to choose... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596168)

But does the other guy have a long beard?

Cause some chicks dig that.

+1 Beard for the win

Another interview (3, Funny)

Enoch Lockwood (889602) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596324)

Trollaxor: Hey, RMS, what the fuck is up? I'm glad I got the opportunity to perform this interview with you. [coughs]

RMS: Hello, Mr. Trollaxor. I'm glad I got the opportunity to speak to another individual, interested in Free Software, that will eventually reach millions with the message I wish to express in this interview.

Trollaxor: Yeah, whatever. Let's get this over with. Firstly, let's talk about the origins of GNU. We all know it's Not UNIX. But where, exactly, did it come from? What was your prime inspiration for such a fine, grand, practical idea?

RMS: I'm glad you asked that.

Trollaxor: I'm not.

RMS: Ah [laughs]. You have a unique sense of humor, comrade Trollaxor!

Trollaxor: I know. And don't call me comrade. Or your friend, ally, brother, homey... I don't even like you. Now answer the question.

RMS: Ah, [laughs] yes. GNU. Well, after reading the works of Marx and Lenin, and having attended MIT and created several programs (GCC among them, of course) to which the source code was freely (as in speech, and beer) available, I began to see a certain communal effort begin to take shape among the software developers in the labs where I worked. However, the administration at MIT improperly thought that, since my works were created at MIT, they, and their source, belonged to MIT. This was in conflict with my embryonic philosphy--

Trollaxor: Hey, could you just cut your ideological bullshit and get to the part where you were taking a dump and farted out the GNU/Free Software concept as we know it today?

RMS: Ah, I don't think I know what you're referring to, Mr. Trollaxor. And I certainly don't remember any toilet episodes being involved with the creation of GNU or Free Software.

Trollaxor: Oh really? It's hard for me to imagine a toilet not having been involved in the creation of Free Software. No, I'm talking about how one day you were sitting in a stall at MIT's grand restroom facilities, peeped thru the glory hole bored in the stall wall to look for customers, and saw a man's ass tatooed with a bull or yak or something?

RMS: WHAT!?

Trollaxor: Okay, okay, okay. Let's move on. How about your musical talents? From graphics posted at your homepage, it looks like you're fairly proficient on the flute. How's you obtain that talent?

RMS: That's rather simple: just a lot of practice and determination. The instruments you've seen me playing on my website are plan-pipes, actually, and not flutes. I began taking lessons from my father while him and I were still talking. I can play the flute, however, and--

Trollaxor: Skin-flute.

RMS: Excuse me?

Trollaxor: You heard me. Skin-flute. You play the skin-flute. That's why you're so good on those porn-pipes or whatever the Hell you called them. You are a skin-flute virtuoso and can play them like nobody's business. "Master skin-flutist RMS." Skin-flute.

RMS: Ah, I think this interview's getting a little off-track from its focus of Free Software and the GNU philosphy.

Trollaxor: Of course it is. And why the fuck do you begin every sentence with "ah?" Anyway, I'll indulge you. New question. What's all this I hear about you dropping acid like there's not tomorrow?

RMS: Hey, look, I'm willing to spend my time discussing and even debating about the GNU concept and Free Software. I'm a very busy man--

Trollaxor: No you're not.

RMS: I'm a very busy man and I simply cannot tolerate spending my valuable time digressing onto useless topics, much less helping you slander my good name--

Trollaxor: Shut up.

RMS: I believe we're talking at cross-purposes here and I wish to terminate this interview now.

Trollaxor: I believe your style is cross-dressing and I wish to inform you've been trolled. Do you know what a DGH is?

RMS: What? Excuse me? I said I wanted to stop this interview now!

Trollaxor: A DGH is a Dirty GNU Hippie. You're a DGH. You're a pinko Commy too. Learn to bath, shave, and wipe your ass properly, and we in the Ministry of Love will welcome you with open arms. Good day, Corporal Crapola of the GNU Commando!

Re:Another interview (2, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596834)

I found this amusing.

Re:You don't have to choose... (1, Informative)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596766)

"baffoon" - is that a buffoonish baboon?

Re:You don't have to choose... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596778)

You could be like me and think they are both loud mouthed baffoons.
At least they have spellcheck.

True of false? (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595864)

Did forbes report facts, or make stuff up?

He does not deserve the treatment Forbes gave him. Quotes include:
"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"
"He and a band of anarchist acolytes long have waged war on the commercial software industry"
"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."
"in some ways he is downright bizarre. He is corpulent and slovenly, with long, scraggly hair, strands of which he has been known to pluck out and toss into a bowl of soup he is eating."
"Stallman engages in what he calls "rhinophytophilia"-"nasal sex" (also his term) with flowers"
"His site also boasts a recording of him singing-a capella and badly-his own anthem to free software."
"He hasn't hacked much new code in a decade or more."
"Stallman labors mightily to control how others think, speak and act, arguing, in Orwellian doublespeak, that his rules are necessary for people to be "free.""
"Long ago Stallman was a gifted programmer."
"Most major tech vendors declined comment rather than risk tangling with Stallman's enforcers, such as his sidekick and attorney, Columbia Law School professor Eben Moglen."

I think I still have an Eben Moglen LP (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595956)

"such as his sidekick and attorney, Columbia Law School professor Eben Moglen."

Didn't Eben record that song "Aeiou sometimes y" in the early 1980's? Way cool!

Re:True of false? (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596072)

"He hasn't hacked much new code in a decade or more."
This, at least, represents a questionable assertion.
A glance at http://news.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel [gmane.org] indicates that the gentleman stays fully engaged in emacs development, though one could contend that he does more managing than hacking, I suppose.
One could probably derive a text metric based on the number of gratuitous negative adjectives used in a piece against a target.
Past a certain limit, the author is wasting the reader's time.
This Forbes author broad-jumped past that limit, and deserves to be ignored.

Re:True of false? (1, Troll)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596086)

As far as I can tell, all the statements about Stallman's appalling personal habits are true. Eben Moglen, as quoted in Sam Williams' Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Free: "...and of course, Richard is plucking the knots from his hair and dropping them in the soup and behaving in his usual way. Anybody listening in on our conversation would have thought we were crazy."

And that oft-repeted anecdote about Stallman sponge-bathing in MIT bathrooms—not mentioned in the Forbes article, but a common troll here on Slashdot? I've got a couple trustworthy friends, MIT alums, who claim to have witnessed this particular hygienic eccentricity years before Slashdot even existed.

I'm willing to believe it, too. At Columbia, I used to see (and smell) Eben Moglen on campus every now and again, and he's as dirty a hippie as they come. Of course I mean that endearingly.

Re:True of false? (1)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596532)

Besides, what busy geek hasn't had to make do with a sink at one time or another because they were too dedicated to the experiment/simulation/code they were working on to go home and take a proper shower?

Re:True or false? (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596682)

I have a friend who tells me he met Stallman at a convention once. Afterward, he remarked to a friend he was with about Stallman's case of con-grunge, and his friend said, "Oh, no, that's the way he always is."

Of course, someone's personal habits don't necessarily have much to do with the quality of the code he writes or the viewpoint he espouses--but they sure don't help when it comes to politics and personal image.

Sidekick (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596104)

Does he get a cape, and ride in the sidecar of the GNUcycle?

Re:True of false? (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596194)

I got the same feeling from reading the article that I did when I watched a couple of episodes of the O'Reilly Factor. Someone with only a vague idea of an issue attacks an expert, and instead of actually debating the issue they launch a tirade of personal attacks and accusations, most of which are based on out-of-context quotes.

The "rhinophytophilia" term is a joke that should have been terribly obvious. He's SMELLING FLOWERS. The attacks on his personal habits don't even make sense. An aging programmer is overweight? THE HORROR. He sings karaoke? SOMEBOY STOP HIM! And how would the writer know how much Stallman codes, does he watch him through a window at night?

Re:True of false? (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596410)

But it's not all false! Especially:

"Stallman labors mightily to control how others think, speak and act, arguing, in Orwellian doublespeak, that his rules are necessary for people to be "free.""

And no, I haven't read the article. I've been reading on the GPLv3 and I don't like it. I think that RMS has done a lot for us, but he might do even more if he were more palatable to the mainstream. I don't think that's sufficient reason to ask or expect him to change - it's his life, after all - but it still is a valid point. If his real purpose is to provide freedom to others, then I think he should act like it.

But seriously, that line pasted above is an excellent summary of what I don't like about him. He seems to think that his way is the only way. I don't know if GPLv3 is going to die or not but I do know that the GPLv3 will cause irreparable harm to the open source community and it already has caused enormous harm to the reputations of RMS and GNU. The clause in GPLv2 about applying any future version of the license to the code can be revealed for what it is: an attempt for stallman to retain personal power over the future of FOSS development. And the simple fact is that many have long complained that the GPL is less free than the BSD license (or similar) due to its viral nature, it is undeniable that not allowing the use of GPL in DRM is less free. You cannot create freedom for users by taking away freedom from programmers.

On the rare occasion that I wrote anything worth releasing I used to use the BSD license. Today, I use the GPLv2. Anything released by me in the future will carry a modified GPLv2 that does not permit the use of any future version of the GPL simply because this is a deliberate railroading of the purpose of the GPL. What's next, the no-military-use clause? Because the GPLv3 is so different it will make many more licenses incompatible with the GPL, thus further forcing a rift in the "programming community" (whatever that really means.)

I'm not saying RMS' heart isn't in the right place, it's the location of his head I'm concerned with.

Re:True of false? (5, Insightful)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596602)

Ok, explain me: How does DRM allow the user more freedom?

Re:True of false? (1)

CETS (573881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596782)

It's not about DRM, it's about NOT having the FREEDOM to use GPL in DRM media if I were (and I'm not) so inclined to do so.

Re:True of false? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596786)

In what way is that RMS wanting to control how I think, speak and act ?

Re:True of false? (1)

kohaku (797652) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596850)

He seems to think that his way is the only way.

Ooh, Larry Wall [wall.org] wouldn't be happy about that at all!

Re:True of false? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596442)

Stallman labors mightily to control how others think, speak and act, arguing, in Orwellian doublespeak, that his rules are necessary for people to be "free."

That one, at least, is hard to challenge credibly. As H. L. Mencken once remarked, "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." I don't see why Stallman is different to anyone else in this regard.

Re:True of false? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596444)

They forgot to mention that he's notorious for refusing to stop unwanted advances towards women at parties and conventions. There's a partiular way he paws at them that's particularly creepy.

Re:True of false? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596592)

He also eats babies, kicks puppies, molests toddlers, and spies for the Russians.

Re:True of false? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596780)

because ad hominem attacks are always cool

Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (3, Interesting)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595878)

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.

None of this diminishes RMS' contribution but some may think his time as a cult of personality is over.

Yeah,..mod me down now.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596246)

WTF is with all the fluff? I see a lot of words but you haven't said anything. You make a lot of criticisms but you give nothing to back them up, not even reasons for the criticisms. You should be modded down.

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

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596252)

Yeah,..mod me down now.

Oh, you're such the rebel!

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596258)

Honestly, I think RMS's ego has always been driving his train. It's just that for a time, it was convenient. I think it ceased to be convenient around the time that the term Open Source started to gain on Free Software.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596418)

RMS is the one popular software figure that I think needs more ego. He's bold, he has strong opinions and he defends them and challenges people but it's pure conviction with RMS and not enough ego.

Contrast that to some of the new schoolers, like DHH, DHH is all ego. He's a FUD slinger just like a big corporation. Don't get me wrong, I love rails and I desparately try to respect the guy but he's a caustic personality and believes his own bullshit and loves his little cult of hero worship unlike just about any other coder I've seen.

Look at anyone from Sun. The ego is disgusting. Oracle? hahaha. ESR? hahaha.

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

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596378)

Sometimes ideas on the extreme need to heard to put things in perspective. Without a loud voice yelling, "All information needs to be free!" maybe no one would be working hard to make just some information free.

It's a little like having libertarians running for office. They remind us that the Republican suggestion of small government still means huge government.

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596688)

On the contrary, having people yell "All information needs to be free!" hurts those who are working to make some information free, because the public then associates making any information free with the yelling kook. Maybe--just maybe--people can grow up and pass along ideas without shrieking absolutes?

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596584)

Irrelevant to whom? You paint Stallman as if he were only an asset to open source
advocacy. To me Stallman is another Chomsky. He might not be intelligent or even right
but by god the man has the balls to say it like it is and point out the obvious
directions we are heading in. In a world of weak, spineless, cowardly appeasers and
appologists that is a heroic quality on its own.

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596604)

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.

Actually, I think Stallman's changed more than the notion of free software. He's gone from "Source code should be free to anyone" to "Source code should be free to anyone who agrees with my politics." Right now, "politics" means DRM. But once that can of worms opens, it might be tough to close.

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

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596650)

I hear that regularly, and every time it sounds like the old "Nobody needs more than X amount of memory" line.

RMS started his crusade because he had a comercial product with broken code. The company would not fix the code, and the company had taken actions that would prevent Stallman from fixing the code himself.

The GPL was designed to allow developers to create code that would not be used in a manner that prevented people from making their own repairs. Yes, some companies have found ways to get around that purpose without violating the letter of the license. Ok, Stallman didn't just scream and yell about these companies intentionally trying to get around the license they agreed to. No, he went out and started making a newer revised version of his license that closed the holes that the license crackers found.

No, RMS is no less relevent today than he was when the GPL 1 was first written. Do you think that any closed source company thought that the GPL would even be a ping on the radar? Yes, RMS might be odd, but in this age of always trying to find a middle ground, there is an obvious need for an extreamist on the side of right, because without people like him, the middle ground would be closed everything.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596680)

I seem to remember reading this post before.

Re:Isn't RMS irrelevant already? (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596702)

I don't understand your logic.

If "the real world operates on a different set of rules than RMS's 'Free no matter what'", then why was RMS *ever* relevant? In the 1980s, when RMS was first developing the GPL and the GNU tools, was reality different? How could he have ever had any impact if he was totally out of touch with how reality?

Did Stallman's contribution *change* the reality since the 1980s? If so, are you suggesting that the man whose *ideas* changed reality would have nothing more to say about the situation today, and should just sit down and shut up? He once changed reality, but somehow since then he became out of touch?

That's GNU/Linux to you! (2, Insightful)

McFly777 (23881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595900)

The main article post says:
So basically you get to choose between the linux zealot, and a writer who is obviously fairly hostile towards Stallman's ideas.
Which is an interesting typo, considering that Stallman has nothing to do with Linux, and that the article is about GPLv3, which Linus has said Linux will have nothing to do with.

Re:That's GNU/Linux to you! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596052)

and the zealot is the admin of a site called 'Linux Tech Daily'

What typo are you talking about again?...

Re:That's GNU/Linux to you! (1)

wredge (712589) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596560)

That is what I kept thinking. What does RMS have to do with the license attached to any particular linux distro? The author is clearly obfuscating the issue. The editorial is definitely just a piece of FUD.

Re:That's GNU/Linux to you! (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596664)

Exactly. This is just the darkside attacking freedom by attacking rms.

Articles like this will probably backfire by actually getting more
readers to understand what the GPL is really all about - your freedom.

Re:That's GNU/Linux to you! (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596738)

Stallman has nothing to do with Linux? Last I checked, Linux took the role of the HURD and uses GNU tools. Linus declaring that he won't use GPL3 is information that has to do with Stallman, isn't it?

Irrelevant (0, Flamebait)

robpoe (578975) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595904)

Stallman might have been able to put into words what others wanted ... in the 1990's.

This is 2006.

I think Stallman is proving himself more and more irrelevant as time goes by.

I think overall, he is actually now hurting the revolution he started.

Re:Irrelevant (2, Funny)

numbsafari (139135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596170)

Actually, he's been HURDing it for YEARS!

Haha... hoohooo.... woah... sorry... bad joke...

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596652)

I think overall, he is actually now hurting the revolution he started.

Which revolution? Open Source or Free Software. Try not to get them confused.

Metadebate (4, Insightful)

xymog (59935) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595930)

I know this is Slashdot, but do we really need a thread engaging in metadebate about an article? Why not spend time discussing and proving (or refuting) the points made in TFA. Even if TFA is using ad hominem attacks, just point them out and move on -- we really don't need "talk radio" on Slashdot, getting all frothed up about who is the bigger doo-doo head.

Re:Metadebate (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596164)

Oh yeah! You're the bigger doo-doo head!

Re:Metadebate (2, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596348)

I know this is Slashdot, but do we really need a thread engaging in metadebate about an article?


I'd like to metadebate your comment, Digg style:

lmao omg lol you r such a L3w53r !!!

Of course Daniel Lyons is spreading FUD (4, Informative)

br00tus (528477) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595938)

The Forbes piece is written by Daniel Lyons. Lyons bashes Stallman, GPL, Linux, free software, open source etc. every chance he gets. He has been writing FUD for years. Just do a Google search for Daniel Lyons [google.com] and you can read people's thoughts on this. He came to the article with an axe to grind.

Re:Of course Daniel Lyons is spreading FUD (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596516)

The google search points to a lot of articles by known Linux 'zealots' bashing Daniel Lyon's opinions.

To put this from a Wikipedia perspective, I don't think this counts as a neutral point-of-view resource.

Re:Of course Daniel Lyons is spreading FUD (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596750)

I did a google search for Daniel Lyons and the very first result was Is Daniel Lyons a loser? [thejemreport.com]

Re:Of course Daniel Lyons is spreading FUD (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596798)

Ye olde Slashdot canard: Anything you disagree with is "FUD."

Care to show a few examples Taco? (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595964)

The problem with the editorial of course is that many of the points made in the original Forbes piece are completely valid and true.
Seriously, since you're editorializing aswell, which part of the Forbes article is correct about RMS? As I seem to recall I haven't found such part in that article, where the author would be right. The whole thing came off as something written by an ignorant uninformed person.

Re:Care to show a few examples Taco? (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596356)

There were "valid and true points", but they were the ones that were utterly irrelevant (eg, "Stallman is hairy" and "Stallman tries to sing and can't").

The author managed to give off more of a "crazy guy yelling about God-knows-what" impression than Stallman ever has, to my knowledge.

love him hate him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595978)

Love him or hate him, did that post contain the love-him-hate-him phrase too many times?

Something missing from the headline? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595992)

I think the word "bears" belongs there somewhere.

Forbes? (2, Insightful)

wobblie (191824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596010)

Anyone who believes anything written in Forbes is either an elitist or some sort of incredible moron.

Richard Stallman disagress with random Forbes magazine pundit. What a revelation.

Stallman is not the most socially gifted, err, person. However, he is correct in his views on software and society. Moreover, he is absolutely correct to take the issue as seriously as he does.

Re:Forbes? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596838)

Anyone who believes anything written in Forbes is either an elitist or some sort of incredible moron.

Such open-minded commentary that doesn't rely on absolutes to dismiss opinion it doesn't like! Mod it up!

Attacking Stallman (3, Insightful)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596014)

For some reason many geeks like to attack what other geeks find popular to stand out and appear "different" or "superior". For example, in discussions of Linux one geek will stand out and write something anti-Linux (maybe pro-BSD) and get modded +5 Insightful. Same with anti-Apple, pro-Microsoft etc. However once in a while this gets completely un-productive. For example, when a girl starts posting naked pictures of herself on a message board. Reasonable persons write nice comments. Then comes the geek and writes "damn you're ugly". Thank you fucking much for spoiling it for everybody. Now no girl will post naked pictures of themselves. It's the same thing with attacking RMS. He is working for us, and you better damn appreciate it. Attacking RMS is like telling a girl she's ugly when she posts naked pictures of herself on a message board. Completely unproductive.

...

Oh damn, I put "naked" and "RMS" in the same sentence.

Re:Attacking Stallman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596212)

It's the same thing with attacking RMS. He is working for us, and you better damn appreciate it.

If RMS is working for us, can I hire someone else. The man is not doing us any favors. He actually is as bad as those geeks from forums you mention. The only difference is he is being heard by more people, and he goes after "bigger" issues...

Re:Attacking Stallman (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596306)

Attacking RMS is like telling a girl she's ugly when she posts naked pictures of herself on a message board. Completely unproductive.
Beauty is a subjective thing.
Attacks on Stallman are not.
They are either arguably true or false.

I tend to question the kind of mindset that would produce an analogy suggesting that the truth is unproductive.

The truth is only unproductive (for objective things) when people's emotions get in the way of their ability to reason.

Overstatement vs. Zelotry (5, Insightful)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596020)

A few points:

  1. The language of the Forbes piece is indeed injudicious. Anytime you see someone pile on adjectives like this, you're looking at either a bad writer, or someone with an axe to grind.
  2. That said, Pope Stallman is indeed an unyielding zelot when it comes to The One and True GPL Path, and many of the points the Forbes article rasies are valid.
  3. As usual, the counter-attack against the article displays the usual marks of Stallmanist zelotry whne it comes to Attacks on the Glorious Leader.
  4. However, the whole Forbes article, as well as Stallman's defenders, are irrelevant, since Linus has stated that he isn't going to place Linux under GPL, and few outside Stallman's hardcore Free Software Acolytes are going to use GPL3 as it stands now.

Crow T. Trollbot

Numbering scheme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596144)

IIRC, we are supposed to number our points "0, 1, 2, 3", not "1, 2, 3, 4".

Trash bin of history (0, Flamebait)

Visceral Monkey (583103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596036)

He's irrelevant and has been for quite a while now. The entire thing has evolved beyond him now and he's desperate to force the open source movement to go in the direction he wants. Only it won't, nor should it. He gives open source a very bad name, is an embarrassment and is the poster boy for all that's wrong with open source in general.

Re:Trash bin of history (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596318)

Open sores and free software are two very different things. There would be no open sores without free software, try to read a little history maybe.

    PenGun
  Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

Slanted article (4, Insightful)

opieum (979858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596064)

By reading the article you can tell there is an obvious dislike for RMS there. When is the last time you saw someone from Forbes saying this about anyone else? IMO they basically made him out to be "hippie scum". Any person not knowing who he is will get that impression of the article. I think it is poor journalism on Forbes part. IMO there certainly were some valid points in terms of his actions but commenting on appearance and eating habits is just a low blow. Eccentricities aside he has done a great deal for the free software movement. It shows that forbes (or at least the article author) is more intrested in judging on the GQ level of a person rather than IQ. If I were a reporter in this case I would certainly refrain from personal eccentricities and focus on the accomplishments and proffessional failings of that person. This person injected way too much personal opinion into the article. Recently I am no big fan of RMS becuase of the GPLv3 DRM issues but he has done alot and is doing alot outside of that and should at least be recoginized for those things.

problems with zealots? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596094)

Terrans should use firebats, or marines inside bunkers. Zerg should just use mass zerglings. And of course, any air unit, since zealots can't attack them.

Red Dot (1)

Slagged (985600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596842)

Is that a red dot next to you?

What's he supposed to say? (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596106)

from TFFA: "Stallman won't comment on any of this because he was upset by a previous story written by this writer"

Sounds like quasi-journalistic sour grapes to me. Interesting that Forbes chose to publish what amounts to little more than a long digg comment. The editors must owe Lyons ('article' writer) a favor. At any rate, what's a cantankerous, finger-wagging, freewheeling, corpulent, slovenly, scraggly-haired, hair-in-his-soup, bizzare, bad-singing, orwellian doubletalking, robe-wearing, animal-jumping, rock-abusing, carot-eating, bovine-spotting, air-breathing, water-drinking, land-crawling, soap-in-his-eyes-blinking, wax-in-his-ears, book-reading, greasy good-for-nothing to say about such allegations?

If you piss off the press, you pay a price (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596454)

I deal with the technical press frequently. The golden rule is never piss somebody off. Stallman did and he's paying the price. Actions often have consequences.

Is the story slanted? Definitely.

Is it factual? I don't know about how much code rms has written recently, but other than that, it sure looks factual to me.

Re:If you piss off the press, you pay a price (2, Interesting)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596638)

I can see your point, and no doubt rms probably rubbed the guy the wrong way at some point. Even so, for Forbes to publish an article that basically calls someone a fat booger-picking asshole can't exactly polish their image as a publication of journalistic integrity. Even a lay-person can't help but get that impression from ingesting the string of third-grader descriptives found in the article. I would have thought that at least an editor would know what ad hominem is.

Thoughts on Stallman (2, Insightful)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596108)

To me, his vision is too much of a good thing. When I saw his interview on "Revolution OS", I was shocked by his analogy about software sharing and freedom compared with what children are taught in elementary school regarding bringing snacks into the classroom. We are not ten anymore! Almost everything taught at that age is meant to build conformity, complacency, and fear of authority. While I agree that sharing ideas is a good thing, he slams everyone that doesn't feel as he does. At the same time, he wants to be sure that GNU is recognized for being responsible for Linux and free software in general, much like Al Gore wants to claim resposibility for building the Internet.

In a nutshell: RMS is a sharp guy, but probably not someone you would want to be around for long. He has no delivery tact for his opinions, and is as close-minded to outside influence as any religious zealot.

Logical Fallacies R Us. (5, Insightful)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596110)

"""So basically you get to choose between the linux zealot, and a writer who is obviously fairly hostile towards Stallman's ideas.""""

Logical Fallacy: Drawing the Line, also called False Dilemma.

Is it too much to ask that the *editors* refrain from using these?

Co-founder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596120)

From the article:

He co-founded the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

I always thought of him as the sole founder of GNU and the FSF. Assuming I was wrong and this article has got it right, does anyone know who the other co-founders were?

Re:Co-founder? (3, Funny)

TheGreek (2403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596704)

I always thought of him as the sole founder of GNU and the FSF. Assuming I was wrong and this article has got it right, does anyone know who the other co-founders were?
The family of sparrows nesting in his beard.

Stallman Helped Free Software. Hurts It. (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596176)

I don't think anyone can argue that Stallman hasn't helped free software in the past. In fact, the Forbes article goes into detail about what he's done for linux. The thing is, that was then and this is now. His tactics and outspoken ideology are giving free software a bad name these days. Look at the progress Firefox, mySQL, etc have made in getting their software used by the masses and accepted by managerial types. The way to advance a free software culture isn't to rant about minute details (GNU/Linux)... it's to put out great software and market it like businesses do.

If you're trying to get people to adopt free software in their company or home, and you had to choose Stallman or Mårten Mickos (the mySQL CEO that recently did a Slashdot interview), which would you choose? Which would be more likely to convince people that free software is the way to go?

Re:Stallman Helped Free Software. Hurts It. (1)

tddoog (900095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596506)

If you're trying to get people to adopt free software in their company or home, and you had to choose Stallman or Mårten Mickos (the mySQL CEO that recently did a Slashdot interview), which would you choose? Which would be more likely to convince people that free software is the way to go?

It depends on who you are trying to convince. Are you trying to convince someone who cares more about freedom than money? Then, Maybe Stallman is your guy.

Re:Stallman Helped Free Software. Hurts It. (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596724)

I care more about freedom than money, but Stallman might actually convince me to NOT use free software. Slashdot types like to talk about the overzealous Christian conservatives, but many of you fail to realize that that's the same way most of the world sees any type of zealot. Stallman IS a free software zealot, which makes the majority of people feel uncomfortable, which in turn hurts his cause.

Masses respond to marketing. Most individuals respond to logic. Most people avoid zealots. That's the way it is.

Re:Stallman Helped Free Software. Hurts It. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596792)

not sure why there's any hate for stallman.

you have the choice to release your software under whatever license you choose to. if you don't like a given license, then don't use it. in which case stallman has no bearing into your existence at all.

if you didn't write it, then you have no place questioning the means with which that which you're leeching off of was given to you. in which case your opinion of stallman isn't relevent.

I'm not a fan (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596224)

of RMS nowadays due to his increasingly extreme views. However, when it comes to choosing between what he says and the utterances of that well known purveyor of utter shite Daniel Lyons on _any_ topic, I'll choose Stallman every time.

I frequently disagree with Richard Stallman (5, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596244)

... when it comes to how he chooses to preserve the fruits of the revolution he created, but this is a hit-piece. It is possible to respect the man and disagree with his methods.

There *are* problems with GPLv3, in my opinion, and it's possible that GPLv3 contradicts some of Richard Stallman's "freedom of use" ideology [eviscerati.org] , but there's no way it is going to "endanger Linux" because -- and I'm not entirely sure why the press doesn't get this -- GPL V3 DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY REPLACE GPL V2. This isn't a EULA, it can't be udpated and replaced at any time at the whim of Richard Stallman, the license you get when you get free software is the license you get, and that's that. If the person who created the software decides that the next version will be GPLv3, you are free to fork the old one and develop it yourself.

Honestly, 90% of the media who covers the technology beat are the biggest pack of crybabies in the world. I'm pretty sure the reason so many of them hate Free Software is because they like being in a position where companies give them comp versions of software to play with. In the free software world, that's the only kind of software there is.

Re:I frequently disagree with Richard Stallman (2, Insightful)

joshdick (619079) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596394)

"you are free to fork the old one and develop it yourself."

That's easy for you to say. But now imagine you are running a publicly traded company like Red Hat and you're forced by Stallman to fork every single GNU program included in your distribution. And now imagine the FOSS movement without the backing of corporations like Red Hat and IBM.

Stallman is hurting his own movement.

Why would Red Hat fork Red Hat? (3, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596676)

Linux can't be distributed under anything other than the modified GPL license that it is distributed under. Red Hat is a Linux distribution. I may not fully understand what you're saying, but I don't see Red Hat forking its own distribution any time soon (though you might argue that Fedora is such a fork.)

The only legitimate "end run" around the GPL -- the only one that I know of, anyway -- is to customize it and not distribute it. This is what companies like Google and Amazon do. In that case, they have already forked Linux, and any further development (in order to get their special pieces to do what they want) is their responsibility to begin with.

Re:I frequently disagree with Richard Stallman (2, Informative)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596824)

They do fork over every single GNU program included in their distribution already. You seem to be very confused about how commercial companies in the free software space operate. A request of that nature by Richard Stallman or anyone else would be to point at the .torrent file for the source CDs. It's all there.

That's how Mandrake/Mandriva got their start. They grabbed all of RedHat's source CDs, and re-branded it as their own after making some changes they considered usability improvements.

I think you're so mired in thinking one way about how software can be sold that you can't see the reality that's right in front of your eyes.

Re:I frequently disagree with Richard Stallman (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596618)

I'm pretty sure the reason so many of them hate Free Software is because they like being in a position where companies give them comp versions of software to play with. In the free software world, that's the only kind of software there is.

I would guess then they would be singing the virtues of FOSS/OSS then eh? They are getting to eat their cake and so is everyone else. Genius!

I think what they object to (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596728)

is that everyone else gets to eat the cake.

Balkanization? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596276)

Still trying to figure out why, if a GPL2-licensed kernel can coexist with GPL2 utilities, LGPL libraries, BSD-licensed apps, GPL2-licensed apps, and proprietary apps, somehow a GPL2-licensed kernel can't coexist with GPL3-licensed utilities.

Forbes inaccuracies (5, Insightful)

crush (19364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596296)

The Linux Tech Daily editorial makes good points. If fails to mention one of the startling inaccuracies in the Forbes piece: namely that they claim that RMS argues they should be giving it all away. This is one of the oldest slurs in the book (it has to be deliberate at this stage so I won't dignify it by calling it a mistake). There's nothing to stop you making money selling Free Software, you just can't stop people reading, modifying, distributing and selling the code you sold to them. They don't HAVE to do any of the above but they can if they want.

What a garbage Forbes article. It reads like a piece written for a red-top tabloid.

As regards the characterization of RMS as "extremist", I agree with him and thus see him as reasonable and everyone else as clinging onto their own unreasonable extremism, especially those people that run around trying to convert people to being a Moderate.

He's either right or wrong. Stop putting silly monkey labels on people and deal with the issues: does the ability of manufacturers to sell hardware with non-modifiable (GPL'ed) software on them defeat the intention of the GPL? If so then if you don't like GPL3 how do you propose to stop this? If you don't object then why are you using Free or OpenSource software at all? Go use VxWorks, QNX or WinCE.

making people move from Linux` (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596338)

Ok,

With his ranting and extreme views on Software he is making me really think twice about linux. Everyday BSD looks more attractive.

I think more corporate people will start to shy away from linux because of RMS and all of the crazy licensing issues.

BTW At this point I find OSX a better system than linux. BSD has a license I agree with and will develop for it(give back to the source base.

GPL 3 will really put a stop to a lot of linux migrations, unless it is toned down.

Forbes and Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596358)

Most of the sane here know that Forbes and Lyons are servants of Microsoft. The question I have is why is /. adding to the FUD yet again? I have had enough of it.

The point has been missed... (2, Insightful)

St.Anne (651391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596382)

The forbes article was a hack piece. Unfree NVIDIA driver blobs in linux, DRM nobody asked for in both major OSs, consumer "fair use" being reduced at every turn.. I'll take an ugly, uncompromising freedom fighter over corperate fascism any day.
Linus is free to release his kernel under any terms he sees fit to, but the GNU folks are also not compelled to "port" to Linux .

Zealots! (4, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596414)

Ya know, those people who thought the earth wasn't the center of the universe when everyone else clearly knew it was. they were Zealouts.

And those people who believed that religion and government should be chosen by individuals and not kings, they were zealots also.

And those people who wanted to kill slavery and the US plantation system and go up against the big business plantations, they were also zealots.

And those black people who wanted to use the same bathrooms, and sit at the front of the bus. They were zealots too.

Well FUCK. The copyright cartell trys to treat information exactly like it's a property right when it's clearly not, and then force massive government regulations down our throat to fence off every bit of it, and then those of us who try to secure our right to share information freely in the information age - we're called the zealots? God fuckin dammit ... what's it gonna take. From the very first day we have been "warned" that our zealot IP attitude is going to ruin Linux and open source, well more bullshit. One of these days they're going to realise that they need us more than we need them, and that they're the followers while people like RMS are the leaders.

Re:Zealots! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596622)

You're one of those assholes who can't possibly imagine someone with an opinion different than yours, aincha?

Don't bother answering -- everyone already knows.

Re:Zealots! (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596694)

We'll see when RH topples under Oracle's new strategy. What will happen when RH's employees need places to work? Well, Oracle will be looking for developers who know RH! Then not only do they not need us, they employee us and we become part of the borg. How 'bout that?!

As much as I hate it, Ellison has a good plan here.

Crit Bug: cake.eat() - foods.count.minus(1) !!!!! (2, Insightful)

tillerman35 (763054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596452)

Oh No!!!! Big companies want to have their cake and eat it too. Well too bad for them. The Whinery tour is over. Either honor the license or don't use the software. Nobody cares which choice you make. It's a choice. As far as I know, RMS isn't going into corporations with a bazooka and forcing anyone to use GPL'd software. There's always MS Vista and expensive proprietary OS's out there. Apparently, it's perfectly OK to say "If you don't like the DRM don't buy the music," but somehow "If you don't like the GPL(v whatever) don't download the distro" is evil. Maybe it's because the latter is a perceived obstacle to profiting from the generousity of others???

The GPL is allowing Oracle to kill Red Hat (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596502)

Stallman, can you give them funding?

Rosebud.... (4, Insightful)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596536)

I've watched Stallman in several interviews (techtv, etc.), read his stuff, etc. From my novice pov, most notably, I remember his presence in Revolution OS. Torvalds had just finished speaking, was remaining on stage, and Stallman gets up to give a rambling "talk" about open sournce. The gist of what Stallman was trying to say, to me, was, "I made open source! Not Linus! It was mine! I wanted herd to be the kernel! Rosebud!..."

While he rambled, Torvalds played with his kids who had ran up on-stage. While having fun as a father in front of all, in seeming bliss with his children, Stallman continued to ramble in an obvious, "me! me!"

I can empathize with Stallman. I work in a large corporation and have had ideas, projects, code stolen by others, presented as theirs and/or subtley been pushed aside by someone with an agenda I didn't see coming, or wasn't prepared for. But you have to learn to adapt, give, agree, comply and, yes, work with others.

Stallman strikes me as a very bright, visionary guy who simply doesn't play well with others....

Torvalds handles the whole affair with poise....

Perhaps the best description of Stallman now is the man of yesterday wondering about, rambling "rosebud...."

Misread headline: When Stallman attacks? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596642)

Anyone else misread the headline? I expected the article to be another instance where he was lambasting a company for misusing GPL code.

I don't understand the hostility (5, Insightful)

Darren Hiebert (626456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596666)

I really don't understand the hostility and vilification directed toward Stallman. He is simply a man with ideals who tries to persuade others of the merit of his ideas (something we all do). I have read many of his articles and interviews and he speaks only with calm deliberation and conviction. He goes further than most of us in "living the life", so to speak, by offering freely his work and time to the cause he espouses, which has benefitted us all tremendously. One can take or leave what he offers. Nothing Stallman has done has ever harmed anyone or deprived them of anything they might otherwise enjoy. There are numerous other individuals who have tried to destroy, undermine, or deprive us of things we enjoy, but towards whom no one directs similar hostility and vilification.

Next on the GPL channel.. (2, Funny)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16596762)

When Stallman's ATTACK!

Bad boy, bad boy, whatchoo gonna do when they come for GNU?

(cups hand to ear and hears a Gomer Pyle voice "You're gonna burn in hell for that one!")

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596802)

Forbes, a publishing house pandering to the monied elite, criticizes someone whose ideology is the polar opposite compared to that of their own and that of their readers. And this is interesting somehow? It's as if an organization representing the interests of the 2.5% wealthiest and mightiest of the population were to criticize anarchist ideas. Oh, wait.

It is interesting though that Americans seem to believe that there is some kind of neutrality in the media. Even when we're talking of someone as entrenched within the current power elite (and the wannabe elite, hi!) as Forbes.

Bono invests in Forbes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16596854)

That alone is enough for anybody with a loose grasp on reality to completely dismiss Forbes.
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