Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Look Back At 10 Years of OSI

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the against-crises-of-succession dept.

Software 73

blackbearnh notes that this week marks the 10th anniversary of the Open Source Initiative. He points us to O'Reilly's ONLamp site, where Federico Biancuzzi (who frequently interviews notables in the Open Source community for O'Reilly) has a collection of interviews with some of the founders of the OSI, including Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond. "Eric Raymond: There is a pattern that one sees over and over again in failed political and religious reform movements. A charismatic founder launches the movement, attracts followers, and enjoys significant successes; then he dies or leaves or attempts to name a successor, and the movement disintegrates rapidly. One of the classic, much-studied cases is that of John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community, 1848-1881. It was especially clear in that case that its succession crisis and eventual collapse was due to over-reliance on Noyes's personal leadership. At the time I co-founded OSI in 1998 I judged that FSF would very likely undergo a similar crackup if it lost RMS, and was determined to avoid that if possible for OSI."

cancel ×

73 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hey I thought OSI was surely around 10 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398240)

Re:Hey I thought OSI was surely around 10 years (2, Informative)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400950)

I, too, thought "10 years of OSI? What? The OSI model has been around for much longer than that!"

Lo the surprise.

Re:Hey I thought OSI was surely around 10 years (2, Informative)

aywwts4 (610966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401554)

I love open source very much, but Open Source Initiative... Get a different acronym or don't abreviate, I don't know many techs that wont get confused or not think about the OSI model when they hear OSI.

Perhaps since 'free' is number 1 of your definition of open source, perhaps the 'FOSI'

Re:Hey I thought OSI was surely around 10 years (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406670)

Get a different acronym or don't abreviate

It was the Slashdot title that abbreviated, not them. A quick glance at their website suggests that they name themselves as "Open Source Initiative", and only then use the abbreviation when the context is clear. There must be countless organisations that have abbreviations in common with other things.

Any confusion here is due to the Slashdot article title, but is it asking too much to expect people to RTFS? Would you complain at Slashdot articles on PCs, asking why they're talking about political correctness?

the FSF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398272)

did go through a crackup, that is, RMS was found to be batshit crazy!

Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (4, Insightful)

kneecap (4947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398314)

Isn't OSI, the network layer model everyone had too learn in their networking class?

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (1)

Mandovert (1140887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398428)

There is no such thing as OSI model. There are tubes. Only tubes.

Re:Open Systems International? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398542)

No, they're a electric utility EMS/SCADA Vendor... http://www.osii.com/ [osii.com]

If you're REALLY in to marketdroid speak, please note all of their Open-ness products and applications. They're just budding with open goodness.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (2, Informative)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398674)

Physical, Data link, Network, Transport, Session, Presentation, Application.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (5, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398772)

Someone I know went for a job interview with (I think) Vodafone. Their open-plan office was set out according to the OSI model -- physical layer people at the end, application people at the other end, and everyone in order in between!

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399730)

That would make sense - the function calls in each layer are only suppposed to talk to the layers directly above and below.

You can tell when you are in a network protocol department when there are posters of the protocol layers all over the place, RFC's pinned to the walls and somebody has written APSTNDP along the side of a door.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (1)

MstrBlstr (137888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408000)

Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away
Much easier to remember that way.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (3, Funny)

justinlindh (1016121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399274)

You've got this all wrong. The OSI is basically an offshoot of the FSF as created by RMS, FFS. OSI and FSF did pull together in support of GNU against SCO. OTOH, the OSI you mention was created by ISO along with ITU-T, included FTAM and CNLP, and pissed off the IETF and TCP/IP replaced it (though SONET still uses TARP (which uses IS-IS and CNLP)).

I'm glad we had this talk.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (2, Funny)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400138)

I haven't seen that many TLAs in ALT.

Bingo! (1)

Traf-O-Data-Hater (858971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401890)

Yep you have described it exactly - Open Systems Interconnection, facetiously used as a way of padding out courses on Networking.

Although curiously in my case, many years ago I did actually meet the elusive and shy beast when I worked on an comprehensive email suite that used X.400 transport and X.500 Directory Services. We were up against competition like CC:Mail and I thought we had a good product. Sadly it died a whimpering death when the top marketroids decided not to push it out to the customers.

Never really thought that the acronym would be good enough to hijack for another unrelated mantra though..

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403530)

I must admit that a discussion of the OSI network model seen as a "political or religious movement" intrigued me (yes, I also had the christmas tree book in networking class), until I realized they were talking about the open source initiative.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (1)

angus_rg (1063280) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405428)

Had to learn? If people had to learn it, 90% of my arguments over the last decade would not have happened.

Re:Open Systems Interconnection? 7 Layer model? (2, Interesting)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405596)

Isn't OSI, the network layer model everyone had too learn in their networking class?
I prefer the TCP model.

OSI == Irrelevant (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398504)

The only way these charlatans manage to survive is to continually attempt to get media coverage implying they are relevant.

The OSI is like those shysters who sell people deeds to plots of land on the Moon - their only worth is proportional to how dumb and gullible you are.

Source code licenses are nothing more than tools. Each license should fit the particulars of that developer or company's needs or plans for their work. Trying to hijack that process to further your own nutty ideological goals is pathetic.

Re:OSI == Irrelevant (1)

NotZed (19455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399304)

This is right on the money...

The only way these charlatans manage to survive is to continually attempt to get media coverage implying they are relevant.

The OSI is like those shysters who sell people deeds to plots of land on the Moon - their only worth is proportional to how dumb and gullible you are.

Source code licenses are nothing more than tools. Each license should fit the particulars of that developer or company's needs or plans for their work. Trying to hijack that process to further your own nutty ideological goals is pathetic.

Re:OSI == Irrelevant (1)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399428)

That and the fact Eric Raymond is one of the best trolls ever.

Re:OSI == Irrelevant (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408602)

I don't think it is entirely irrelevant, but it is moving in that direction, unfortunately.

The big issue is that some people involved in OSI on the board or otherwise have strange notions* about the scope of authority that the organization has. These strange notions are at odds with official OSI documents, and see to be the cause of a lot of unpleasantness on the lists.

*Michael Tiemann, unfortunately counts among these, as does Rick Moen and Russ Nelson. They suggest that the OSI has the moral and legal authority to tell everyone else what the descriptive term "open source" means and tell people to stop using it. This is at odds with the OSI certification mark documentation which specifically states that the term "open source" is not something they can legally protect. THis is particularly baffling in Tiemann's case since giving OSI such trademark rights would seem to undercut a number of Red Hat trademarks....

The real problem however is that the people who are bent on this sort of thing cause a great deal of unpleasantness on the lists (more than even the few anti-FOSS people like Daniel "GPL violates the Sherman Act" Wallace). THis is a large part of the reason why I no longer participate in OSI mailing lists or with the organization in any way (the OSI lists are the most unpleasant, unhelpful lists that I have ever participated in). Instead, I hope to form yet another parallel organization devoted to the advancement of Free and Open Source software, documentation, and content. It would probably be a small organization whose real job is outreach. Alternatively, perhaps Software in the Public Interest could take up some of that role....

So I guess the question is, do people think that an "Institute for the Advancement of Open Source" would be a helpful organization?

Irony? (4, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398538)

At the time I co-founded OSI in 1998 I judged that FSF would very likely undergo a similar crackup if it lost RMS, and was determined to avoid that if possible for OSI.
How ironic that the person who said this is no longer associated with the OSI.

Re:Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398590)

How ironic that the person who said this is no longer associated with the OSI.
well at least he showed that the OSI won't collapse if one of its leaders leaves...

Re:Irony? (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398676)

I find it more ironic that he feared the failure of FSF if it lost its greatest liability. As much as I can see RMS's points, and as much as I know that he's a decent programmer, he's gone out of his way to look like he's a crackpot. If RMS had been my first introduction to free software, I would have run the other way.

Re:Irony? (1, Troll)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400682)

How is that a troll? RMS may have some good ideas, and without him the FSF wouldn't exist. You could also argue that he's been a major driving force behind "free" software. But the way he presents himself is likely to make a lot of people think he's a looney. I saw him giving a presentation in Melbourne where he held an old twelve-inch hard disk platter above his head as a halo and declared that he was "Saint iGNUtius of the Divine Church of EMACS". That kind of thing makes him a liability. Geeks might think it's funny, but if someone who didn't know about the FSF and RMS walked in, they'd just think, "Who is this tosser?"

Oh come on (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401980)

I have seen Richard do the St. iGNUtius thing many times, whenever we're both on the speaking program of a conference. It's always very clear that the audience realizes it's a joke. There's nobody in the audience not getting it and going Doh! I'm scared by this guy even if they've never seen him before.

I don't know if you are that humor-impaired, but I think you're wrong to expect that other folks would be.

Bruce

Re:Oh come on (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402060)

I know it's a joke, but IMHO it's a very lame joke. It was the kind of thing I was expecting from him, though. In fact, the humour comes almost entirely from the fact that it's RMS doing it, and we it's the kind of thing we'd expect from him. But I'm a geek; I'm reading Slashdot after all. I wouldn't expect a person who isn't a geek or involved in the "free" software scene to appreciate the humour at all. In fact, I would say that people who think it's very funny are the ones that are "humour-impaired".

Re:Oh come on (3, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402098)

It generally seems to be a point of relaxation in his speech: Richard lays down a pretty heavy political message, and then he gets to the point where he shows that he doesn't take himself so seriously that he can't put on a funny outfit and make some jokes. Not taking yourself too seriously is generally appreciated in a leader.

Re:Oh come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22402386)

What do you expect from a man who considers recursive acronyms the pinnacle of comedy?

Re:Oh come on (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402374)

I am sure you read the legendary Forbes article:
http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2006/1030/104_print.html [forbes.com]

To my generation (early 20s) RMS comes across as an egotistical control freak. I grew up with free software (largely thanks to him, I'm sure), but I don't know of any actual contributions he has made to free software in recent history. Instead, he ridicules people who don't associate his name with their own open source software (GNU/Linux is a joke), and acts like a fool because he thinks he can ride on the success of something neat that he did in the 70s (long before I was born). It makes all advocates of free software look bad, which is something I have personally had to deal with on many occasions.

On the other hand, Linus has some personality issues, and has made many decisions that I do not necessarily agree with, but he has earned a great deal of my respect. This is because he is in the trenches every day, and is actually working to make the world a better place, not just traveling the world and acting goofy.

I do not publish code under the GPL. The main reason for this is because I feel it is a scam designed to ensure the grand legacy of RMS. Viral free licenses may have been useful in the late 80s, but they are just a hindrance these days. I publish under licenses which grant more freedoms than the GPL, and because of this, I cannot integrate GPL code into my own.

He also shows no understanding of modern technologies. TPM and trusted computing in general have the potential to be our greatest defense against these malware spewing record companies. Anyone with sense can see that DRM is a lost cause, and the fact that these companies are investing so much money in TC technologies is epic humor.

In the end, information will be free. It will not, however, happen by force, and the creation of more copyrights. It will happen when corporations see the benefits of having large communities around their code, instead of attempting to bottle feed code to their customers. I fear that soon, all the legacy GPL code will need to be re-written as open source license incompatibilities become more and more of a problem.

I also have a HUGE problem with the way RMS and ESR try to tell me what is and is not a "hacker" when they themselves could probably not code themselves out of a paper bag on a modern system. That is a whole different rant though :-)

Troll alert (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403714)

My audience is very adamant that I not feed the trolls, and thus I will leave this piece to steam on the grass by itself.

Re:Troll alert (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404064)

Haha, probably for the better :-) There is not really much in my post that can really be replied to. Anyway, I have the upper hand here since I knew all your views pretty well to begin with.

I'm sure you hear this stuff all the time, but I just wanted to re enforce that there are sane people out there who fight for free software, and disagree with the methods of RMS. Thanks for reading :-)

Re:Troll alert (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404586)

Haha, probably for the better :-) There is not really much in my post that can really be replied to. Anyway, I have the upper hand here since I knew all your views pretty well to begin with.
Yeah, a link to goatse.cx would probably have been more informative. You post such a link. You propagate such vitriolic shit. Certainly don't expect a detailed response. And that's coming from someone who mostly agrees with you about Eric Raymond's beliefs, so if you've lost people like me -- someone who thinks a lot like you -- just think of the guys that don't share your opinion to begin with.

Re:Oh come on (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409046)

Unlike bperens, I don't mind responding to trolls when appropriate. However, I do concurr with his opinion as to the general nature of your post.

Be that as it may, I *do* agree with you on your assessment of RMS as an egotistical control freak. For people who think I am just being harsh, please consider:
1) Go and *read* the discussions between RMS and the participants on debian-legal relating to whether the FSF GFDL is Free enough for Debian.
2) Read Thomas Bushnell's resignation letter from the HURD project (he claims he was asked to resign because of his stance on the GFDL not being Free).

Additionally I have a number of concerns about the trends towards more heavy-handed control and get the sense that the FSF sees "Freedom" in "War-on-Terror" sacrifice-to-preserve terms in the development of the AGPL, and the GPL/AGPL v3 (these licenses are all far less Free than the GPL v2 is).

For people like myself who actually value software freedom, I cannot accept the leadership of someone who:
1) Equates free speech with free software and then asks volunteers to resign for criticizing the GFDL as not being Free enough (especially when the issue is one of forced speach in GNU technical documentation). We are back to egotistical control freak here....
2) Suggests that licenses must be convertable to the GPL v3 in order to be compatible (both RMS and Eben Moglen have stated this, but other SFLC people have said that this is not a requirement).

BTW, 99% of the code I produce is under the GPL v2. I have no problem with using a good license for the right things. But I think the trends in the development of later licenses are dangerous trends to the very ideas of software freedom and therefore I believe that RMS does *not* hold the principle of freedom up to any objective standard worth holding. If RMS's grand legacy were to be the GPL v2 (only) I could live with that. The GFDL and later GPL versions however, are not with preserving.

Re:Oh come on (1)

opus (543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22417816)

I do not publish code under the GPL.

So you're commenting as an outsider then. You don't pick someone else's leader.

information will be free... when corporations... RMS can't code...

Oh, to be 20 years old with no accomplishments again.

Re:Oh come on (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402388)

To quote my wife (who's not involved in the programming or political scene):

He definitely doesn't look like someone who should be influential in any sane community
As embarrassed as she is by the fact that she actually said "community", the fact remains that he doesn't have a clean, respectable appearance. He's a smart man with a lot of good ideas (many I don't agree with, but good nonetheless). In a perfect world he'd be judged by these things, but instead he's being judged by the fact that he looks like he's going to ask you for spare change. Add to this the fact that he says that all software should be free, and it becomes a very tough sell.

More troll alert (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403728)

Same troll as before, different ID. Note how the times co-incide on each of them.

Re:Oh come on (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409208)

Sure that may be a troll, but I want to add some legitimate discourse here before that is lost :-)

I think that we as a community need to be very careful as to the sort of credit we give RMS. Legitimately he has:
1) Started the dialog about software freedom as analogous to free speach. He hasn't upheld very high standards of either (sacking Thomas Bushnell from HURD because he objected to the forced advocacy provisions in GNU documentation is a good example) but he has started the discussion and we would not be here having this conversation if it wasn't for that.
2) The GPL v2 does provide a nice soft entry for community-oriented development for businesses. It is a generally good software license from my perspective as a FOSS developer. He deserves some credit for this.

Here is to hoping that RMS's legacy is limited to the above two points, and that the GNU UnFree Documentation License, the GNU General Public License v3, and all versions of the Aferro General Public License die painful deaths.

snap social judgment (2, Insightful)

epine (68316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402448)

Geeks might think it's funny, but if someone who didn't know about the FSF and RMS walked in, they'd just think, "Who is this tosser?"
I was thinking about this aspect of human nature at my favorite coffee shop yesterday. The curious aspect of this is our ingrained tendency to admire (or mentally confer social status toward) the kind of person who takes one look at something like this, and makes the snap "loser" judgment. There is in practice no social approbation for the fact that this snap social judgment might be wrong, or that making this snap social judgment is a talentless act (the average nine year old does it six times before recess).

The tried and true human strategy is this: if you haven't got a clue, enforce conformity. That never gets you into any significant trouble.

This is a lesson we learn somewhere in our preschool / elementary school years, and then in puberty the lesson is reinforced with a pile driver of social derision.

There was a new girl who showed up in my grade six year. She had been in an accident with some boiling water. Her entire lower face below the nose was hideously disfigured. This was back in the era of the Jackson Five. Back then, you couldn't alter your hideous disfigurement with a new one. By that age I had spent some time in a children's hospital, down the hall from the burn unit. I wasn't inclined to laugh. Nor was the rest of my class for the first two months: they were too freaked out by the red and pink planetscape of moonbuggy skin folds. The girl was in heaven. Within a few weeks, she had convinced herself this school was different.

Not for long. Soon the pre-adolescent piranhas gathered their nerve. The burned girl made the rest of us uncomfortable, she deserved to suffer. Not only was she taunted, but anyone who spoke a nice word to her risked incarceration in their hallway locker.

These are the same people who grew up to become the adults who make these snap judgments about RMS's peculiarities.

So there I am in back in grade six, horrified by my membership in the human race. Not a good omen for my own future popularity, either. I was developing the illness known as "writer".

I don't have much respect for the kind of social security one obtains by having an unfailing instinct for whom to ridicule next. That's my choice, I know the world will never conform. What shocks me is the implicit justification of this behaviour when people put forward assertions that RMS's kooky behaviour is a liability. If I were RMS, I wouldn't have much use for these people of low investment and lightning derision, either.

What would actually happen if we rounded all these people up and blasted them into space on Arc B? How would human civilization fail if deprived of lightening derision? What essential element of human social cohesion would immediately fail us?

I have a suspicion it's a self-populating niche. Remove the worst offenders, those who remain will quickly spill into the vacant niche. Maybe we're *all* wired for asshole ascendency, and at any given time, those of us deprived of the social advantage of asshole in residence make chicken salad out of chicken shit proclaiming our virtuous forbearance. It's not as if you can read the lkml and not detect the agents of conformity bridling to assume power. The more extreme a group of non-conformists styles themselves, the more debate rages over their code of conduct.

I think because the harsh lessons on conformity are first learned at the elementary school age, the lessons enter the mind as inviolate rules of the universe. We acquire these lessons before we acquire the capacity to reflect upon them.

Here's a piece that ran at aldaily recently: What the New Atheists Don't See [city-journal.org] . I have no idea if this article is any good, I just looked long enough to see that it mentions all the neo-atheist books that have been in the news lately. Children acquire religion around the same age they acquire snap loserhood judgment making; both get rooted in the inaccessible foundation of adult personality.

The other meme I was thinking about yesterday is the meme where if someone points out that an open source project is less than perfect, the righteous shout back "grab the source code, fix it yourself". There's an extremely dim view of suitability to task hidden in that response. The person offering the observations might have exactly the insight required to put forward those comments, but not the expertise to wade into the code base and profound changes; or might have the expertise, but already be fully engaged with other more important open source initiatives. It's a bad decision to spread oneself too thin. Except among open-sourcers, who are apparently immune.

There's a premise in the retort "grab the source and start hacking" that there is zero social cost in entering into an open source project. By contrast, I was reading a screed by Linus the other day where he talks about how the obstacles in pushing patches into the Linux kernel weeds out the lazy. Linus fails to differentiate initiative from obstinacy. The trait required to become a kernel insider is obstinacy. For some reason, the kernel culture has decided that is the essential characteristic to weed out the effective from the ineffective. Writing a good chunk of code is not enough to cross the threshold. Linus enjoys his pretense that this is a character hurdle, not a social hurdle. It plays better against the school yard premise than anyone can pick up any open source project and hack any feature their heart desires.

Concerning ESR, if you Google "ESR tirade" Google returns every story I know about the man. One night I read a lot of content from his web site. Several hours worth. I came away that ESR is the human incarnation of "one step forward, one step backward". His every accomplishment is matched by an equal anti-accomplishment. The suppressed frustration from within the Fedora team was palpable in the discussion that followed the ESR tirade. Guys were silently repeating to themselves "don't bait the troll" fifty times an hour. You could hear it in their tone. Nothing said by ESR was news to the Fedora team. If there was a fault on the Fedora side, it was not speaking directly enough to their user community "we know this sucks, but the tactical reality is that the infrastructure issues will keep us busy for another two or three releases, and only then can we unveil the new world in all its glory". But what politician wants to campaign on the platform "it will still suck for a long time". How will that play prior to the launch of Arc B?

Yesterday evening, I was refreshing my memory on the 1993 Canadian Federal election, where Kim Campbell [wikipedia.org] reduced the majority Conservative party to two seats.

However, Campbell's initial popularity soon declined due to public-relations mistakes committed after the writ was dropped. When she was running for the party leadership, Campbell's frank honesty was seen as an important asset and a sharp contrast from Mulroney's highly polished style. However, that backfired when she told reporters at a Rideau Hall event that it was unlikely that the deficit or unemployment would be much reduced before the "end of the century". During the election campaign, she stated that discussing a complete overhaul of Canada's social policies in all their complexities could not be done in just 47 days (the time allotted to an election campaign). However, a reporter truncated this comment to "an election is no time to discuss serious issues."
That's practical a case study in what fact-of-the-matter honesty is worth presented bluntly to the unwashed masses.

How naive can ESR actually be on this score? I don't think he's naive; I think from time to time his inner drama-queen asserts control. The rest of his time he spends figuring out how to spin this as sober deliberation.

Most of these nasty realities are enforced by our snap loserhood judgment making. Yet we direct surprisingly little anger as a society against those who engage in this. That is the question that most puzzles me.

Geeks might think it's funny, but if someone who didn't know about the FSF and RMS walked in, they'd just think, "Who is this tosser?"
Ah yes, the usual sentiment. Zero approbation for the tosser decider.

Re:Irony? (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398912)

That's not irony, that's revisionist history. ESR's always talked big, and even when he shoots himself in the foot, he finds a way to spin it in his favor.

Re:Irony? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409824)

Not only his favor, he we also find a way to have that support the right to carry firearms. In the purely hypothetical case of this leading to ESR shooting himself in the foot, I actually might agree.

Re:Irony? (1, Flamebait)

rebootconrad (836537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399056)

I don't think it counts as irony when the statement is the actual point of the story, i.e., that had OSI been like FSF and dependent on a single person, his leaving would have disintegrated it. Nice whoring though :)

Re:Irony? (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400196)

It's an overstatement to say he's no longer associated with OSI. He's listed on their site as an advisor and board observer.

Re:Irony? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400850)

That's my bad. I was just going by my interpretation of Wikipedia's ESR article [wikipedia.org] . I apologize for not fact-checking.

Re:Irony? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400450)

Oh no! He's not with those guys [geekz.co.uk] anymore?

Re:Irony? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22400488)

The little retard fancies himself as contemporary with RMS, even referring to himself in the same MIT lore parlance. What a fucking joke. RMS changed the world, but the cripple can barely change his underpants.

Re:Irony? (1)

yankpop (931224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401068)

That's not irony. I think you missed his point. RMS remains a charismatic figurehead of an important organisation, and ESR is not. Lest we think this is due to any failing on the part of ESR, he informs us that he chose to remain out of the spotlight, in order to serve the greater good. Opinions will differ as to whether this is more self-serving revisionism, or if he really did exercise that kind of foresight.

yp

Wait a minute... (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401954)

So, what do you think would happen to FSF if RMS died? FSF has a full time director, a (small) board of directors, Eben Moglen as general counsel, some good leaders on the periphery like Brad Kuhn and Daniel Ravicher. We'd be sad, but it wouldn't end FSF.

FSF without RMS (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403622)

I'd imagine FSF without RMS would be like FSF Europe. I know nothing about FSF Europe apart from the fact that it exists, despite being a FSF associate member and European.

To me, RMS is the FSF.

Re:FSF without RMS (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22403988)

I'd imagine FSF without RMS would be like FSF Europe. I know nothing about FSF Europe apart from the fact that it exists, despite being a FSF associate member and European.

To me, RMS is the FSF.
That's exactly my fear.
I am a member of the Fellowship of the FSFE and get their bi-annual letter and all of their press-releases, but that isn't really much.

RMS is a great leader, but he really shines as a spokesperson: he is easily recognized and creates awareness. No matter who you speak to: they all have an opinion about him.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

yankpop (931224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405102)

We'd be sad, but it wouldn't end FSF.

Agreed. All I'm saying is that ESR's version of the story seems to suggest that the only reason he's not as highly regarded as RMS is because he chose not to be, and not because he isn't really bringing anything to the table.

RMS continues to present a considered, consistent and insightful perspective on issues related to Free Software. You may or may not agree with what he says, but he says it well and is a good spokesperson for the FSF. On the other hand, while ESR occasionally has an interesting observation, he seems to be primarily interested in singing his own praises. I think that's why he's not taken as seriously as RMS -- not because his insightful analysis of political movements in the 1800s informed his decision to deliberately removed himself from the public spotlight. That's a self-serving crock.

yp.

Re:Irony? (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402998)

Lest we think this is due to any failing on the part of ESR, he informs us that he chose to remain out of the spotlight, in order to serve the greater good.

Imagine if he'd actually sought the spotlight.

Oneida Community. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22398820)

Oneida Community [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia refrence.

It's not off topic, it's referenced in the summary.

ESR, master of puppets (2, Insightful)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22398916)

I read that article a couple days ago. I like how ESR kinda makes himself out to be some sort of puppetmaster, pulling strings and performing delicate feats of social engineering to singlehandedly bring about the current state of affairs.

Re:ESR, master of puppets (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400074)

Yes, the guy is a weirdo.. but so are a lot of people I respect. He rubbed me the wrong way about a decade ago and I wrote the guy off, but after reading this [catb.org] I came to see that I was just being too damn harsh. Which led me to write this [insomnia.org] . I try to be more tolerate these days, but I tell ya, posting on Slashdot really doesn't help in that department.

Of course it was doomed to failure. (3, Funny)

Blaede (266638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399072)

Once Steve Austin and Oscar Goldman left the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), it was all downhill from there. Shit, even the Bionic Dog would have been a better leader than the current hacks running this death ship.

You can type more than that for your subject. (1)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399294)

Surely if there was demand for the Hurd, it would be available now. With a port of Duke Neukem Forever.

Subtle menace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22399334)

Isn't this story sort of a "life threating" menace, like we are used to have in this mass media world nowadays?

Ah!, nothing new!

we get that in our soup every time if we reveal against the evil empire.

Watch out the chopper!

Actually (1)

prevajanje (1228134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22399918)

my interest got more piqued on this Oneida Community,....

Raymond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22400882)

He makes it sound like some sort of cult...

All hail the mighty RMS with his almighty GNU power! Hail GNU! GREP GREP GREP!

ESR and political crap reduction (4, Interesting)

yankpop (931224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22400994)

I'm glad that ESR sees at least one of his goals as being to reduce the amount of political crap flying around in the community

After he'd already equated Free Software with moralizing and conducting ideological warfare, you could be forgiven for thinking he was more interested in spreading bullshit that containing it.

yp.

OSI == Irrelevant (1)

KingKaneOfNod (583208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401258)

He thinks the OSI has been successful? The lack of comments to this story alone shows just how irrelevant OSI is today. Although let's be honest; all Eric Raymond ever cared about was money [slashdot.org] , the OSI was just a means of accomplishing that goal.

Re:OSI == Irrelevant (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22401874)

all Eric Raymond ever cared about was money

and guns

Re:OSI == Irrelevant (1)

KingKaneOfNod (583208) | more than 6 years ago | (#22412536)

all Eric Raymond ever cared about was money

and guns

True that - and the thought of that guy with a gun is the only reason I'd ever need to support gun control.

Re:OSI == Irrelevant (2, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22413024)

I used to care what people said in slashdot comments. Now, what isn't trolling is just plain stupid.

smug alert (1)

fightmaster (691358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402194)

One of the classic, much-studied cases is that of John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community, 1848-1881.

Ah... yes. The ol' Noyes/Oneida example from the shopworn canon of 19th-century personality cult case-studies. Is it even necessary to reference this classic, much-studied case by name? Is its relevance not simply assumed by all whenever the discussion turns to leadership and succession? Excuse me a moment [puff] [puff] while I take a drag [puff] [puff] off my calabash pipe and then savor the heady aroma of my own flatulence.

Cults go on if they own real estate (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402430)

Look at Scientology. Hubbard is dead, but the organization keeps rolling on. It might be around in a century, positioned somewhat like Christian Science. Even the Rosicrucians [rosicrucian.org] keep plugging along.

It helps if the cult owns real estate. Christian Science, the Rosicrucians, and Scientology all invested heavily in prime real estate during the founder's lifetime. (When in San Jose, visit Rosicrucian Park, a city block of pseudo-Egyptian buildings surrounded by a residential neighborhood.)

The FSF needs a building.

Re:Cults go on if they own real estate (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402462)

invest in *.

The FSF isn't a money making machine.. so there isn't much chance of that.

The SFLC [softwarefreedom.org] on the other hand...

Re:Cults go on if they own real estate (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22404830)

Hubbard's death had little impact upon the "Church" because, by the end of his life, Hubbard wasn't really running the show anymore. If what I've read is to be believed, Hubbard was a drug addled fool sailing about aimlessly, while the more lucid, higher standing members of the "religion" kept the ball rolling (and the money rolling in).

In other words, Hubbard had a successor, whether he liked it (or was even aware of it) or not.

/me claps his hands, laughs like a maniac, and makes a strange pshewwwwww sound [gawker.com] .

Portnoy? (1)

Fortimir (787419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22402736)

Am I the only one who said "Wait a minute, that band hasn't been around 10 years?" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_(band) [wikipedia.org]

OSI? Give me a break. (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408798)

I ranted about this last week, and while some thought it was interesting some thought I was trolling.

The "Open Source Movement" or "Open Source Initiative" as, I guess they like to call themselves are just harming the free software movement.

First, I have to vent this: OSI is the Open Systems Interconnection, or basis for the OSI Model. Do the "Open Source" guys have to add confusion to this as well?

I'm going to say this again, but I will preface it with I believe that their intentions are probably sincere, but I think that the "Open Source Movement," can we call them OSM? Three letter acronym collision is getting bad, and, well, OSI is an important one, is flawed and attempts to conflate and confuse, either intentionally or unintentionally, "Open Source" with "Free Software." Bruce Perens does this all the time, claiming how close they are.

Free Software is a movement in which you have the freedom to know what is happening on your property, you have the ability to change it, share your changes, and know that no one else can build on your shared work without also sharing.

"Open Source" make no guarantees, attempts no increase of freedom, does nothing for you the user (or developer). It is merely an attempt to make "source code" openly published which is such a minor point of "free software" that it barely has any correlation.

The only benefit of the "Open Source Movement" is the debatable "cathedral vs bazaar" principle, as regurgitated by ESR. As anyone who has worked writing software as well as participating in "open source" projects will tell you, there's a lot less order in the cathedral than ESR imagines, and there's a lot more order in the bazaar than ESR implies. Software development is software development. Linux kernel development as well as most big open source projects aren't all that different than any other software product. Software developers, back me up on this!

"Open Source" conveys no advantage without the freedoms defined in the "Free Software" movement. Even Bruce Perens admits that freedom isn't the prime motivating force. Their sales pitch is that they can't argue the freedom aspect and make a convert. Well, perhaps that is true, but to what end?

"Open Source" without the freedom guarantees is dangerous. On a minor scale, your work that you contribute may be used in a way that is counter to your motivation: one word: kerberos. On a MAJOR risk scale, merely looking at source code to which you do not have freedom can cause you to become "contaminated" and unable to legitimately contribute to free software or worse yet, work professionally. See history of the P.C. BIOS which was "Open Source" but not free. Years ago I was turned down for a job at Phoenix because I had read the IBM BIOS source code.

People who disregard the "freedoms" of the free software for "practical reasons" are making a mistake.

Yes, I agree that the free software movement has to be a little more cooperative with "non-free" software, but as it stands now, there is no philosophical or legal reason why commercial applications can not run on Linux. We just need to codify the methodology in the license that encourages vendors. That is a far cry from abandoning the principles of "free software" as the "Open Source" movement is too do, it is merely the acknowledgment that vendors need the freedom to create their products as they see fit and as long as their freedom does not diminish ours.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>