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GNU is Not Unix Announcements

RMS & FSF Directors To Meet With FSF Members 241

Free Software Foundation writes "Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, Bradley Kuhn, and the rest of the FSF leadership are hosting a rare FSF members meeting in Cambridge, MA on March 27, where they will tackle topics including, 'The Dangers of Software Patents', SCO, 'Free Software in a Global Economy', and 'The State of the Foundation'. FSF members will have ample opportunity to gripe, praise, dialog, network, and eat."
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RMS & FSF Directors To Meet With FSF Members

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:31PM (#8502784)
    FSF members will have ample opportunity to gripe, praise, dialog, network, and eat.'

    funny, there's no mention of showering....

    ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:34PM (#8502830)
      funny, there's no mention of showering....

      Like so much else in the OSS world, the toolset exists and is freely avaiulable, but no one has ever gotten around to the documentation for it. As a result, nobody knows if it is available, how to do it, or even why they would want to do it.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:58PM (#8503107)
        The problem is that nobody informed them about the concept of Open Showers, where everybody gets to pitch in and clean each other. With more sets of eyes finding all the dirt, it's a lot cleaner than a Closed Shower with only one person.
      • Like so much else in the OSS world, the toolset exists and is freely avaiulable, but no one has ever gotten around to the documentation for it. As a result, nobody knows if it is available, how to do it, or even why they would want to do it.

        You mean like GNU/Sex?

        • You mean like GNU/Sex?

          So now there's an gnuse.cx as well as goatse.cx?
      • oh, come off it, all you need to do is an apt-get and Mandrake 10 has it bundled as a default.
    • "they will tackle topics including, 'The Dangers of Software Patents', SCO, 'Free Software in a Global Economy', and 'The State of the Foundation'"

      I would add financial concerns to the list of topics to be discussed.

    • funny, there's no mention of showering....

      i feel compelled to point out that, in my experience, RMS may be unkempt, but he is clean and odor-free... :-)

  • xfree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:32PM (#8502788) Journal
    i hope the xfree team goes there and talks the license issue with them
    • Re:xfree (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe the xfree team doesn't want their software to be "Free, as in herpes"?
    • Re:xfree (Score:2, Informative)

      by Brandybuck ( 704397 )
      It's a members only meeting. XFree86 is not a member of the Free Software Foundation (otherwise known as GNU).
      • Re:xfree (Score:3, Informative)

        It's a members only meeting. XFree86 is not a member of the Free Software Foundation (otherwise known as GNU).

        It's for Associate Members [fsf.org] - anyone that pays their $120 per year membership fee. Developers or counsel for xfree86 may be associate members of FSF. (it's $60/year for students)

        (also, (and I thought everyone knew this) FSF was set up to provide organisational and legal infrastructure for the free software community. In doing so, they are the prime sponsors of the GNU project. FSF and GNU we
    • Am I the only one who thinks, instead of getting together to discuss "legal issues" and "licenses," maybe people should be getting together to, I don't know, discuss furthering the Linux desktop movement through some sort of unification effort?

      This SCO thing will blow over. The real world expects results, not some licensing meeting between old UNIX hackers. I'd rather they be drawing up designs for an innovative desktop.
      • I was at the last meeting and it was very interesting. Eben Moglen gave a talk about what's happening to the GPLv3 and how it is handled. David Turner talked about enforcing the GPL. The board of directors took audience questions, and most of the FSF employees gave short talks about what they're working on.

        The FSF staff are so busy that they rarely have time to publicise the work they are doing - so this was a great opertunity to find out what's inside the greatest black box in the free software world :
  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:32PM (#8502791) Journal
    Something about this post makes a Phish song play in my head, with alternate lyrics.

    Give the director a pocket protector. a license dissector, a FUD-rat deflector, a source code convector, a lawsuit reflector, a picture of Hector (Ruiz?) .. any Phish-heads wanna help me out with the rest, here?


    I think the song "Cavern" could be thoroughly rewritten to be about the FSF. Don't know if it should be, but it could be.
  • Folks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nepheles ( 642829 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:33PM (#8502805) Homepage
    Get out and support your GNU Organisation if you're anywhere around! Networking in reality still means a lot more than its virtual counterpart.
  • Hopefully, there's a barber [linuxfrench.net] nearby.
  • by Metallic Matty ( 579124 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:34PM (#8502833)
    FSF members will have ample opportunity to ... eat.

    Free food? Shit, where do I sign up?
  • Free Software in a Global Economy

    This is a funny topic. A bit like "cycling download L.A." sort of funny topic...
  • by AstrumPreliator ( 708436 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:36PM (#8502855)
    ... that title has enough acronyms. Perhaps it should be "RMS & FSF Directors TMW FSF Members".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:37PM (#8502859)
    Darl McBride won't be there, so don't bother bringing your guns.
  • by Ironclad2 ( 697456 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:37PM (#8502867)
    Anyone know if these things are good places to pick up chicks? "Hey babe. You say you support open source? Mind if I take a peek at your code?"
  • by bangular ( 736791 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:38PM (#8502878)
    I think the most important matter would be discussing what the GPL is actually compatable with. There have been so many accusations lately of incompatablity (some of which conflict with that the GPL actually states) it's getting a bit out of hand.
    • well with apache and the new xfree86 4.4 license, it seems things are starting to 'decentralize' from GPL,

      ie, other parties are not saying "how do i make this license compatible with the GPL" but rather making their own terms that they think is most suitable, regardless of the GPL (whether or not the terms are good/bad or for personal benefit is another issue)
    • by Homology ( 639438 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:47PM (#8502985)
      I think the most important matter would be discussing what the GPL is actually compatable with. There have been so many accusations lately of incompatablity (some of which conflict with that the GPL actually states) it's getting a bit out of hand.

      Perhaps Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD summs up the sentiment best in his response to new Xfree86 license [neohapsis.com]:

      It seems like every 8 years or so we have to go through some period where someone tries to take free software and makes it less free because they don't feel they are getting enough credit.
    • From a legal standpoint, it doesn't matter what RMS thinks is or is not compatible with the GPL. A court would decide that.

      On the other hand, if he's giving a philosphical answer, that would probably be of interest to true believers.
  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:38PM (#8502882)
    I'l be there with my MS Tablet PC ready to take notes!

  • finances? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coneasfast ( 690509 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:40PM (#8502897)
    anyone know the status of the FSF finances? it would be interesting to know.

    the last i heard they had $750,000 in the account which is not too bad for a company that relies on external funding.
    • As a federal non-profit, the FSF is required to file IRS form 990. This and other information is available at guidestar [guidestar.org]. It used to be free, but unfortunately now you have to pay for it.

      It is probably worth asking the FSF to publish it themselves.

  • uh, rare? (Score:2, Insightful)

    don't these things happen yearly? (according to the website, they do)
  • by barneyfoo ( 80862 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:44PM (#8502944)
    RMS will go down in history as the visionary that made free software and open systems the prevailing technological force for the rest of the century. This is assuming that corperate influences can be subdued long enough to continue the huge momentum we've acheived over the past decade or two.

    I'm inclined to predict at 10:1 odds against that RMS will go down as the most influential person of the next century, kind of in the same way as gutenberg is known now. He wasn't known at all really when he was alive, but the study of history set him in his proper place.
    • Well, since you will be long gone, when and IF that happens, why not raise the odds to 100:1, what you gotta lose any way ?
    • Nonsense. "Free" software is fine for simple systems and copying existing systems but lack the ability to be truly innovative. As the need complexity of systems increase, the free software copies will fall further behind their counterparts. The simple reason is that the number of people with the experience to create and maintain these complex systems will decrease. Unless the economics of free software change, you will be unable to attract many experienced professionals. Many OSS systems now are created in
      • The need for complexity in software is directly related to the need to support past versions of said software. Think microsoft's massive heap of code. The beauty of free software is that no one really likes the complexity involved in projects after a while and the community lets them die (good thing).

        If by innovation you mean cool buttons and color schemes then, yeah, proprietary model might be mroe innovative, but only because they're selling to the lowest common denominator. The internet was built on ope
    • RMS will go down in history as the visionary that made free software and open systems the prevailing technological force for the rest of the century.... I'm inclined to predict... that RMS will go down as the most influential person of the next century, kind of in the same way as gutenberg is known now. He wasn't known at all really when he was alive, but the study of history set him in his proper place.

      well said. that echoes the thoughts of my optimistic side, but my pessimistic side keeps whispering in

  • FSF & RMS about SCO and GPL ... LOL WTF
  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:50PM (#8503007)
    We know the following:

    1.) The meeting will not be for real
    2.) If it was for real, it will have 90 percent lawyers
    3.) All members attending will be automatically sued by SCO after the meeting
  • I know I saw this and was reminded to join... and perhaps I will now... nothing like argueing with RMS as an incentive to join :)
  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @04:58PM (#8503105) Journal
    I'm beginning to wonder if SCO's second biggest negative impact (after the FUD it spreads) is all the time it is taking away from folks that would otherwise be having fun making open source software better.

    I can't even begin to imagine how many man-hours have been blown obsessing about, discussing, worrying, or protesting SCO's latest actions. It really is appalling.

    Furthermore, it doesn't seem like there's much point in "fighting" SCO any more. There isn't anyone in the tech community that takes them seriously. They are going to run out of money unless they get more cash influxes. It seems really unlikely that they will ever win even a minor lawsuit, much less something that will impact Linux. To the best of my knowledge, they aren't doing much to prevent Linux adoption -- there were a lot of journalists talking about how SCO might have a chance a couple of months ago, but it seems like everyone is pretty negative now (though I haven't read pure business publications for a while, so I might just be out-of-touch here).

    Is there really any point to dealing with SCO any longer? It just wastes our time, and frankly, if I'm going to waste an hour of my life, I'd rather do it playing a video game or modeling something or writing software or cooking something than agonizing over SCO.

    Unlike most Slashdot topics, SCO usually doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the table. A SCO article doesn't let me know about new LED displays that haven't existed before or a new VM about to be released or anything, really. Most comments in SCO articles are just jokes about SCO or McBride -- real analysis mostly happens at groklaw.

    I just think -- every time Alan Cox posts about SCO or an indignant open source author spends a day disproving an new fabricated SCO claim so that they can come out with an analysis on groklaw, that's a driver patch that doesn't get applied, or a bit less threading work that can be done.

    Frankly, even if the whole tech world started talking negatively about Windows, the kernel coders at Microsoft are unlikely to notice or care -- to them, that's just some crap for the PR people to deal with. They wouldn't let it affect them. SCO is wasting a good deal of time, time which actually does have value. Aside from passively providing the opinion that SCO is full of it when they come up in conversation, there doesn't seem to be much useful stuff that can be done any more.

    Now, if you're really into IP law, of course, the case is interesting. But I just have a really hard time getting upset over whatever latest outrage SCO has come up with to stay in the press. I mean, who *cares* anymore? Noting we're going to say is going to stop them from making claims and getting quoted. Everyone in the tech world already thinks SCO is absolutely ludicrous, and IBM and Red Hat and Novell and God knows who else are already busily dealing with the situation. I'm sure the moment SCO crosses a legal line somewhere (and sooner or later, they have to), there will be a countersuit, maybe with a preliminary injunction against SCO stopping them from making new claims. My time is too valuable to me, and Darl McBride too worthless of a human being, to spend it on him.

    The strength of the Open Source world is that one person contributes thoughts, code, analysis, whatever, and then that work propagates and is used and built upon by as many other people as are interested. Finding SCO's logical fallacies is work that is useless by the end of next month, as they're onto something new. It doesn't feel *good* when you're done with it. It's terribly inefficient and ineffective, even if it feels cathartic at the moment.
    • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @05:20PM (#8503314) Journal
      ...The kernel coders at Microsoft are unlikely to notice or care...

      Nope. I've heard that not much phases the kernel coders at MS... unless somebody forgets to bring them their bananas for lunch, or accidentally leaves a mirror within reach...
    • Because bashing SCO is fun. Why do people play games, because it's fun. Why do people have sex? Because it's fun (oh and that procreation part, too).

      Playing video games costs money and having sex costs money for some slashdotters, but SCO bashing is free (as in beer and freedom) because it's our God given right. In fact, I like to thank Darl for sacrificing himself for the amusment of others.
  • by GQuon ( 643387 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @05:04PM (#8503170) Journal
    Are you sure gathering so much leadership is wise? You know, when you have armed enemies [slashdot.org]?
    You should do like they do at the State of the Union address, and leave one* of the members at an undisclosed location, in case the FSF is bombed or something.

    *: The rest of the FSF might hope to leave RMS out of there because of BO considerations, but, alas, he is too important not to attend. It would be like Dick Cheney staying away from State of the Union.
    • The rest of the FSF might hope to leave RMS out of there because of BO considerations, but, alas, he is too important not to attend.

      You'd think that /. would be the last place you'd find stereotyping of geeks. I have spoken with RMS face-to-face and he didn't smell.

    • The rest of the FSF might hope to leave RMS out of there because of BO considerations, but, alas, he is too important not to attend. It would be like Dick Cheney staying away from State of the Union.

      Wouldn't it be more like Dubya staying away from the State of the Union?

      In any case, the BO jokes are getting old. For you to be complaining about it suggests a certain proximity. In other words: maybe you should take your nose out of his ass.

      I'm no fan of RMS, but that's because I personally saw him rip a y
  • I read the other day in my fortune something who said a CEO of a major japanese corporation around the eighties, he said the one who had control of software would control also the world.

    The late nineties and the begining of this century have been controled by Microsoft, but now free software is starting to gain momentum. Big corporations supporting it, administrations changing to free models, like we have seen in Spain, Germany or Israel. If the FSF and RMS (the soul of the movement, IMHO) are gathering, I
  • Old Speech (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stallmanite ( 752733 )
    The Dangers of Software Patents is an old one.

    You can listen to it here [gnu.org] if you're interested. I highly recommend all of stallman's stuff. They are at least as interesting as reading slashdot.
  • Odds (Score:4, Funny)

    by hardgeus ( 6813 ) on Monday March 08, 2004 @05:46PM (#8503506)
    So, anyone care to take odds on whether RMS can find anything to talk about other than yelling at everyone to say GNU/Linux?
  • the *BSD convention offers Free Beer.

    You can imagine where the participants will go.

  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday March 08, 2004 @06:32PM (#8503965) Homepage Journal
    They even used the term "dialog" as a verb!

  • I wonder if they will discuss the dangers of free software being used in propietary and closed source applications like Mac is doing with OS X. If there is one thing we should have learned from the SCO debacle it is that the guy who acts like your friend today can have you in court tommorow.
  • The point'll likely be moot, but what does the Free Software Foundation (aka RMS) think of IBM's countersuit of SCO for software patent infringements?
  • by crazyphilman ( 609923 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @03:06AM (#8507779) Journal
    "Joey! Man! He's right there... I dare you. Say it..."

    "I dunno, man... It sounded like fun on the way over here, but now... I mean, LOOK at these guys. It's like a cult. We'd probably get skinned alive. I dunno..."

    "Joey, you puss... You ain't gonna wuss out on me now, are ya? Come on, he's RIGHT THERE. Ya GOTTA say it."

    "I'm tellin ya, man, I dunno. These cats are WEIRD. Something weird is gonna happen. Let's just go."

    "You big puss."

    "Come on, man, you don't have to be like that."

    "You're a wuss. Just admit it: say 'I'm a great big wuss'".

    "Dude, it's not cool, ok? There are like a million of 'em, and only two of us. It'd be a slaughter."

    "Ok, if you're not gonna do it, I'm gonna. You big puss."

    "Dude! DO NOT SAY IT."

    "I'm gonna say it."

    "DUDE, I'm SERIOUS. Dude, come on, don't do it."

    "I'm gonna say it..."

    "If you say it, I'm leaving."

    "HEY, RICHARD! Sign a copy of this here Linux book? It's for my boss, DARL MCBRIDE, who's RIGHT OVER HERE!"

    "YOU FUCKING IDIOT!"

    "RUN, JOEY, RUN! GO FOR THE DOORS!"

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