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GNU is Not Unix

Journal MercuryWings's Journal: Richard M. Stallman

Today I decided I would write a journal entry.

I had thought of a number of different topics to write, but there seems to be one in particular that I seemed to get off my chest. However since it seems be be taboo to say anything bad about Richard Stallman, it'll just have to be between you and me, my trusty journal. (And yes, those that see it 8)

For those techno-voyeurs out there who like to read these journals, I'll give a quick intro to who Richard Stallman is. Long story short, he's the feller who started the Free Software Foundation. The FSF has had a large role in sparking the current popularity of the open source movement. That's the reader's digest version, and probably doesn't adequately explain even the smallest part of it, but it'll do for my purposes.


Is it just me, or has RMS (Richard M. Stallman) gotten a little too arrogant and a little too fanatical lately? Based on his interviews, speeches, etc., I keep being left with the impression that he wants all corporate software companies to give away their software for free, all software of all types to be open source and everything to be under the 'protective' wing of the GNU God, aka RMS. Don't get me wrong - he's contributed in a very positive way to open source and Free (as in speech) software. But his fanatacism lately has been leaking out, and it's not leaving me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

What the heck does he think he's doing?

I'm a big support of open source software, and a huge fan of the GNU system. It's worked wonders in providing a genuine alternative to the big greedy companies that would rather squeeze a person of every cent than create genuinely competitive, innovative software. But for all the benefits of open source software, there's no profit in it. At least not in the software itself. There's plenty of profits in the support of said software, and of the services a company can offer using such software, but - the software itself is by nature no commodity. For many companies that think of software as a 'product', this makes them cautious, suspicious and leery.

In other words...they're nervous enough about open source without then putting in their face a fanatic whose antics boil down to 'be open-source, or be evil scum-sucking corporate pigs'. Nice sales pitch, RMS. Not only scare them away with such attitude, but make sure they'll never want to touch anything open-source because of the sour tastes in their mouths.

As much as it's easy to hate big corporations (and trust me, I do it too), this type of attitude by RMS hurts not only the big companies, but the little guy too. We all need to make a living, and not all of us are entrepeneurs, so....we need to be able to work for a corporation. If there's no software corporations that are making money, then there's no place for us starving techies to work. I can't contribute my skills and work to the open source community if I'm too busy trying to find my next meal.

RMS, if you're reading this - it's time you moderated your rhetoric, and start working on convincing companies that they will benefit from open-source, not just berate them for being evil and greedy b*****ds. It's hurting the image of all things open-source, and it's not helping the cause - if anything, it's chipping away at the progress that's already been made.

Enough ranting for one day. I hope you'll keep this to yourself, trusty journal - I'd hate to see something like this get out. *grin*

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Richard M. Stallman

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The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein