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GNU is Not Unix

Wired on RMS 452 writes "wired news has an interview/story with Richard Stallman about how he thinks Linus shouldnt be getting all the glory he does." There's actually several interesting bits in there- Good article.
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Wired on RMS

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  • OK, maybe I'm just misinterpretting things, but it seems that RMS is complaining about the loss of a right that he gave away a long time ago. By putting all the GNU stuff under GPL he gave away rights such as determining the name of later products that uses his code. He can't decide not to let Linux use GNU stuff, because he gave up those rights (if he ever had them to begin with).

    While he can whine as much as he wants to, he should look at this as a lesson. Control of naming is something he gives away in his pursuit for freedom.
  • Well, if the name of a system should be dictated by what it looks like to the user, then I run GNU/KDE because I use some GNU tools and lots of KDE apps and utils.

    What a lame idea...

    I'll stick to calling it Linux, because that is what it is.

  • Time to start porting those BSD distros' tools
    to Linux, perhaps? I was toying with doing that
    for their libc, after the glibc-2.1 saga...
  • Linux has no code in common with Minix, AFAIK. It was originally developed in Minix, but the compiler was gcc from the beginning, and I suspect the assembler may have been gas, as well. So the GNU project certainly helped Linux get started.
  • Since the Open Group would sue the pants off anyone who marketed Linux as Linux Unix or something similar, I can see why it is not done.
  • Doesn't *BSD use a BSD userland? Sure, they use gcc, but the rest of the tools are non-GNU, I think. I haven't used *BSD, though, so I might be wrong.
  • I say RMS rocks.
    Without his fierce, uncompromising idealism, the entire free software
    movement would be much diluted, and would possibly not exist at all.
    I respect this sort of a lion; agree or disagree, there is nothing
    wishy-washy about him.
    And as far as the half-assed comments about RMS needing to get a
    life; he's GOT one. One with a very intense focus, that placid sheep
    will never understand.
  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    You might possibly be one of the sheep that is not aware of the extent GNU software makes things work on your computer --unless you run some proprietary system.

    So if it's not GNU, that makes it proprietary?

  • Geeeez... I have to speak up here. Did you ever read Steven Levy's great book 'Hackers'?
    Read about RMS participating with entire groups of people in the MIT computer lab, sharing an unusual intimacy much like people on a shared mission?
    Read about how the LISP machine wars broke up the computer lab, and the precursor to free software (because nobody had considered there was another way to _be_) got _destroyed_ by the purchase of all the hackers at MIT, who were put under nondisclosure agreements and made to not share code and ideas?
    Read about how the MIT computer lab, once a place of idea sharing and enthusiasm, was rendered _empty_ and dead?
    Read about how RMS was driven to _tears_ even years later by the anguish of this loss?
    Read about how he, singlehandedly, with nothing left for him but vengeance, reverse engineered the work of an entire _team_ of brilliant hackers? And implemented everything in original, novel ways to avoid any risk of IP violation- all by himself matching the work of a _group_ of _brilliant_ programmers formerly of MIT themselves?
    And finally, as the LISP star passed, sought to find a productive way to contribute to society- but never ever risk the destruction of the community he loved- which he was forced to watch happen once already, due solely to proprietary software forcing hackers to not talk about their work and ideas?
    I'm sorry, but I'm incredibly offended by this portrayal of RMS as a unfeeling robot. You seem to have no _idea_ who you're talking about, or any notion of what he went through to make him such a zealot. He shared his life in the most deep, committed, almost loverlike way with a group of other hackers- and this was torn from him by the LISP machine fiasco, and he would go around at the time saying his _wife_ had died and showing every evidence of it- only this 'wife' was the community of hackers he remembered!
    He already has found himself as lonely as can be imagined- over the LISP machine issue, over proprietary software killing the communication and community he loved. How dare you condemn him for a heartlessness that does not apply to him?
    I'm sorry, this post really bothered me. Please consider the background of the person and his value system and what he has loved passionately in the past before making snap judgements about his personality.
  • Several things:

    1) You are correct in saying that Linus wrote the original Linux kernel, but he did not write the current (2.x.x) kernels. He has a significant percentage of the kernel code, but he himself estimates that much less than half the kernel code is his. Alan Cox probably has nearly as much code as Linus, if not more, yet he gets much less recognition than Linus does.

    2) the GNU/Linux OS is not the same thing as the Linux kernel. That would be like saying that the name of Windows is "Win32" or that the name of OS/X is "Mach"

    3) The Linux kernel was heavily influenced by Minix. However, most of the rest of the OS had already been written by the GNU project. The kernel was just the last needed piece of the OS (Since the "real" GNU kernel, HURD, is taking much much longer than envisoned).
  • you fail to mention that egcs is not some sort of new compiler built from scratch. It, too, owes much to the FSF for developing the gcc compiler it is based on.
  • A minor point: Steve Wozniak is the real architect of Apple's success. Jobs succeeded in largely killing the company by insisting on abandoning the ][ series and going through with fiascos such as the Apple /// and Apple Lisa.
  • Yes, he was instrumental in the original marketing of the Apple ][, but after that he pretty much succeeded in throwing away Apple's dominance. The Macintosh was more successful than the /// or the Lisa, but not nearly as successful as the ][. He should've stuck with the ][ line, as the Apple ][gs, which was barely supported or advertised at all, was a quite powerful machine for its time, and had the advantage of being backwards-compatible with all that ][ software everybody had. Intel knows the value of backwards compatibility, but apparently Jobs did not.
  • Posted by Charles Bronson:

    What a putz. I don't believe any of that crap he spews about not wanting kids. That seems like an easy way of explaining why he's like 40 and has probably never had a date in his life. I mean, would you want someone as abrasive as Richard Stallman as your husband or dad? Perish the thought! Then again, maybe it's best that RMS doesn't procreate. Maybe he's jealous of Linus' wife and kids.
  • Posted by !ErrorBookmarkNotDefined:

    I vote for Mega-RMS. He fights with recursion,
    making him a team. The group always wins over
    individuals. RMS Kung-Fu is Better.

    Computers are useless. They can only give answers.
  • Posted by patg:

    It's not like Linus is the one asking for the fame. Who's to say what people should or shouldn't think?

    Why can't we just be happy that Linux is where it is and let it be at that? Every week there's some article of this sort. It's really tiring.
    I don't care about the politics. I just want everything to work well, and do my daily tasks without being annoyed.

    The rest is seems to be ego-inspired political nit-picky trivialities.
  • Posted by D3V17X:

    What the coward want's to say is that he is a (wanabe) H4XQ3R and X is for sissies.
  • Richard should know that _anything_ he says about Linus which is
    not completely and totally complimentary will be rebroadcast as
    whining. Here's a clue Rick; don't waste what credibility you
    have by lamenting Linus's good fortune. Share in it and build
    upon it.
  • by stoney ( 780 )
    1) maybe Alan Cox doesnt care?
    2) !
    3) I 2nd this. and wait for the utils coded in perl.
  • did he ever mention the kernel he developed emacs on?
  • Isn't GNU a responsibility? Isn't RMS' Free Software crusade a responsibility? Who has judged one responsibility to be of greater value than another? Priests and freedom fighters, among others, tend to go without the "responsibilities" that straight society feels people should be compelled to adopt. I've admired and worked with many people who have uncompromisingly rejected or postponed the trophy hunts that the mainstream urges upon us (and who often are considered "odd" in their behavior and "abrasive" in their personalities). Is the Dalai Lama a joke because he doesn't have a wife and 2.2 kids in Suburbia? Who the fuck are you?

    The Founding Fathers of the U.S. were all well-heeled gentlemen . Many of them owned slaves; many of them were rapists, their acts conveniently sheltered under the purview of "property rights". Many of them took particular glee in fucking over the original inhabitants of the land. Yet somehow these men still get well-deserved credit (even from me) for nation-building.

    If we're going to judge RMS by his appearance and belief system and by whether or not he "plays well with others", we're in pretty sad shape. Linus birthed the kernel, but the kernel itself isn't the soul of Linux, X/Linux, GNU/Linux, or RedHat Linux. Whose idea was it to invent the GPL, under which Linux has made all this progress. Who wrote gcc and emacs? Credit where credit is due. Call Linux what you want - call it Bob, for all I care - but this gratuitous bullshit RMS-bashing has got to stop. It's bad for our karma :)


  • No GNU is not a responsibility. I mean - how much responsibility does it take to run a business (even a non-profit) with no oversite and no one to argue with you.

    Ask any sole proprietor about the responsibility; ask any full-time painter, sculptor, writer, musician...

    To have a crusade is not to take responsibility. I don't care how many kids he has. I don't care if he has a wife or a house. But the FSF apparently does charge an awful lot for the CD's it presses. And the printed documentation is really cheesy (consisting of, mostly, copies of the manifesto and so on). That isn't really responsible.

    The prices are ridiculous, but that's economics: why are many college textbooks relatively expensive? They don't have the luxury of a mass audience to recover the costs.

    Many, many people have contributed to emacs and gcc. It isn't just his puppy (although he may well have written the originals by himself).

    But isn't that the point of the (his) GPL and (his notion of) "sharing the software"?

    OTOH, if I didn't have to work all day, I could write some pretty neat stuff too...

    I don't know RMS' itinerary, but I suspect he's worked hard in the past, continues to do so, and will in the future. I ask you what I asked the previous troll: Who the fuck are you? Since when is coding and crusading not work, or a responsibility? And top of all that, he's put his ass on the line every day, risking (and receiving) public ridicule for the severity (and content) of his stances, and for the unconventionality of them. It's really quite easy to shrink from such a grand undertaking - 99.9% of us have chosen such shrinkage. RMS has not, it seems, backed down at all from his original vision. The man has willfully chosen a very bumpy and quixotic Road Less Traveled; he deserves respect for that, not ridicule. Some of the people (like RMS) who receive MacArthur Fellowships are people who've pretty much had to sweat blood to receive recognition for their work, because often that work doesn't conform to the Mo' Money ethos that unfortunately grips the society.

    I'm not asking you to agree with him - I myself am typing this on a non-Free browser, with - on my desktop - a non-Free RealPlayer and apps using a non-Free Qt (...but at least I wrote 'em on emacs and compiled with gcc); I would rather just give money to the FSF than couch it in the jacked-up prices for its hard-copy materials. I would just like an end to these very silly potshots, especially the ones from misguided ACs.


  • RMS in some ways needs to get a life. Just saying its a Freedom/Liberties issue is not going to win the day. For those of us in the *REAL WORLD* we have things we have to get done. Applications that need to be written etc. And while I would rather use free software to do it, I will use whatever I need to to get the job done.

    A lot of you guys just don't get it. This isn't a Idealism vs. Realism issue, this is a simple, unadulterated human nature issue.

    Some people are in it for the money. Some, are in it for the fame. Some are in it for the morality. Some are in it for the experiece. I'm sure that if I thought about it I could find a BILLION other reasons that seperate people are involved in using, writing, and advocating free software.

    I think people should really stop looking at RMS as a person. RMS is not a person in a lot of ways. He's honest, he's still interested in contributing to a goal where he's been spit on, laughed at, ignored, and detested, among other thigns.

    No self respecting human being would ever do that. They just don't have the balls, tolerance, or patience to do such a thing. And the funny thing is, is that 90% of you don't even notice it.

    RMS should be to Free Software what John Carmack is to 3d gaming. Simple. But that's not how it happens. John Carmack is loaded, RMS is not interested in money. John Carmack goes to macworld, acts like an asshole and cuts down the mac vigorously in front of them, and he gets applauded, whereas if RMS went to COMDEX and did the same thing, you wouldn't be hearing good things about it.

    Just being free will not convince people to use things. Being better AND free will. But you have to have a better product first.

    Remember that when you type "make", "gcc", "bash", "gas", "gdb", "emacs", "cp", "mv", "ls", "less".... Do I really need to say anything more?

  • If this is the core of the argument then the honor and the glory goes to ANSI and two people named
    Brian Kernighan and Dennis Richie who produced (and allowed the distribution?) of a sharable
    protocol for the generation of good operating system code.

    The creation of that standard means that if GCC had not existed there would have been another C
    compiler, and that there is no need to have a single compiler cover all platforms.

    There have been thousands of contributors to the community codebase that linux feeds from and
    contributes to. Any suggestion that RMS was the sole origin of the pool is simply ridiculous.

    In fact lets have a moment for the silent members of GNU and FSF who may have contributed a byte or
  • Didn't Stallman do almost all of his GNU project work on non-free operating systems? Seems to me, that to achieve his goal, instead of starting with toggling in a bootstrap loader, he took the shortcut of using non-free OSes to build his compiler, and of course copied ideas people came up with in proprietary software. Moreover, I'm sure many of the contributors to open source software had the opportunity and resources to assist open source from working on proprietary stuff. Now, having gotten to where he/GNU is by using those shortcuts, he condemns all of us who would achieve our goals working with non-free software.

    So to achieve his goals, it was ok to take shortcuts; yet it's not OK for the rest of us to do so. Sorry, I don't buy it.

    Open source/free software is a great idea in and of itself. You don't need to condemn proprietary software to believe this.
  • ""Breeding" is the most important thing humans do - that's not opinion, that's biology.

    Most Important? Thats a value judgement my friend, not a fact. If we took your advice, and just started cranking out kids without any thought for the fact that an infinite number of people can not live on a finite planet, we will surely all perish. Such a myopic view of the world you have. Our natural resources are not infinite and a such, no matter how much you want it to be true, the planet Earth can not support an ever increasing population.


  • by C.Lee ( 1190 )
    No. You just can't do basic math. 67+3=70. 70+30=100. See?

  • This kind of thing is why Wired Magazine is nothing but a pile of shit. I've never really understood what people see in this rag. 90% of the material seems to have lifted straight from the pages of STAR or Weekly World News. Doubt it? Glance though them and honestly say you can tell the difference bettween Wired and the other mentioned. You can't.
  • The problem is that RMS *REALLY* needs to tell his supporters *TO SHUT THE HELL UP* once and for all. They are the ones who are *REALLY* making him look bad. The Wired article is a perfect example of this. I really have to wonder if the "not having kids" statement is what RMS meant to say, or was it something the person writting the article thought RMS was saying.
  • I think that there is just lots of plain ole jealousy here, and that is about it. RMS is mad that Linus managed to do what he has never been able to: get a working kernel. Even though started before Linux, HURD still amounts to nothing. I think the reason that Linus suceeded where he failed is because heading a huge project to design a kernel requires you work with PEOPLE. I remember the one time I met RMS, he didn't even look up from his computer with a group of people standing there in front of him, wanting to ask a question about the books he was selling. Linus, on the other hand, can actually communicate with people, and thus he was able to coordinate the momumental task of creating the Kernel which required the help of lots of people that listen to you, and you listen to them. RMS should stop whining and start to take a look at his own shortcommings and wonder WHY he failed at creating the kernel. He gets plenty of attention, and I think that everyone understands his contribution and is grateful for it. I think what everyone is not grateful for is the bad name he gives the Free Software movement everytime he shoots his mouth off about how he should get the credit, yadda yadda.

    Richard, if you ever read this, PLEASE stop making yourself and us look like a fool by doing this constantly. Don't ruin the monumental and greatly appreciated accomplishments you have done by going down in history as the mad man who goes nuts cause he doesn't get enough press.

    If Luke gets all the credit for slaying the evil Darth Gates using the tools you gave him, you should be happy that it was accomplished. The movement is MORE IMPORTANT than you, more important than Linus. You should keep that in mind and realise that it is OK if it is not you personally that wields the sword that brings him down.
  • RMS in some ways needs to get a life. Just saying its a Freedom/Liberties issue is not going to win the day. For those of us in the *REAL WORLD* we have things we have to get done. Applications that need to be written etc. And while I would rather use free software to do it, I will use whatever I need to to get the job done.

    Just being free will not convince people to use things. Being better AND free will. But you have to have a better product first.

    --Zachary Kessin
  • We have RMS to thank for lots and lots of important software, for initiating the GNU project and basically inventing and propagating the concept of Free Software. Then again, we have Mr Torvalds to thank for putting together a kernel, making the whole system usable to ppl on i386 style computers. Linux, the kernel that is, may not be as clever and modern in its monolithic design as Hurd was meant to be (IMHO ofcourse), but still it has evolved into a really nice, usable and portable kernel. Without it GNU software wouldnt have become nearly as popular as it is today.

    Personaly I dont care much who gets the credit for anything, not even for any software I write myself; the important thing is that the software is written and is free. And that the ideas of Free Software are propagated, just like RMS says in the article. If the GNU project continues to evolve and grow as well as it has so far, be it using Linux of Hurd, you'll have your name in the history book someday RMS, be sure.
  • Linux did, AFAIK, not come out of Minix at all, it was written by Torvalds from scratch all by himself. Tannenbaum (the Minix-dude) didn't like Linux at all, there is an infamous mailinglist discussion about Linux between Tannenbaum and Torvalds where Tannenbaum says Linux is obsolete in its monolithic design (somewhat true IMHO, altho microkernel archs havn't exactly turned out as well as everyone thought) and that Torvalds would have gotten a really bad grade if he were Tannenbaums student. Torvalds replyed pointing out many of the braindamages of Minix.

    Linux, while written from scratch by Torvalds, was written with the GNU system in mind; the GNU software wasn't ported to Linux, Linux was written to run GNU software. And ofcourse, Linux is a piece of GNU software itself.

    While the kernel is an essential part of the system, its not the only such. The write the kernel you need a compiler, a shell, good tools for filehandling, a neato editor etc etc, this was what the GNU project aimed to write first before the kernel was written. Then there was Linux, started shortly before Hurd was started (the Hurd folks didnt know of Linux when they started it AFAIK). Linux caught on more quickly and got more developers than Hurd. And here we are. What you identify as a "Linux" system, is really a GNU system, with a linux kernel. Unless you are a kernel hacker, you cant tell a Linux system from any other system with the same userspace software from any other system with a POSIX compliant kernel.
  • You are ofcourse correct.
  • Ever heard of POSIX?

    If you replace Linux with any other POSIX compliant kernel, you defenetly couldnt tell the difference if you were a moronic user, you might tell if you were a failry advanced programmer (wich you most likely arn't since you're such a fscking idiot) and were using any nonstandard calls, ioctls, stuff in kmem/proc etc specific to Linux.

    If you replace the GNU tools you will have potentially much different system. You could probably set up an entirely BSD/Linux distribution, this wouldn't THAT much, but basically, you can add any kind of shell and utilities on top of the kernel. A hypothetical alien civilization using telepathy comunicate could use the Linux kernel in an OS. Humans would probably not be able to understand such a system, much less use it.

    Any OS distribution using a Linux kernel should have the name "Linux" in there, just to emphasize that the Linux kernel actually is in there. This is of less relevance. The name "GNU" should be in there to if it uses the GNU tools. This will tell the user what environment he will be presented with, and what software he can expect to find. This is of much more relevance.

  • The idiot comment was perhaps unecessary, but defenetly not uncalled for.

    Its hard to say this more clearly than I've done so far. I'll give it one last go at explaining how things are. Take your time, read the previous posts again and then read this thru.

    Its the GNU _system_ part thats important. Most "Linux" distributions are GNU systems, that is, they use mostly all parts of the GNU projects os except for the kernel, instead they use Linux. Thats just fine. Since its a GNU system with a Linux kernel it should be called GNU/Linux. IF someone was to put together a system using the Linux kerenel but WITHOUT the GNU software (that is, without the sofware that is part of the GNU _system_, that is, software officially made part of the gnu _project_), they might call it whatever. Stallman has no claims on renaming Linux - the kernel. That is what Linux is. GNU/Linux denotes a GNU system using a Linux kernel. The interview with RMS was not realy on the naming of the system, but on who gets the fame. RMS is not so sad that Torvalds is getting most of the press, but because Torvalds is not propagating the concept of Free Software enough. (IMHO he does, just by so sucessfully spreading his kernel, but it *would* be nice if he'd mension Free Software a bit more often.)

    True, the kernel is the heart of the system. But what kernel that is is of less importance. The GNU system runs on POSIX compliant kernels.
    Imagine a man with a transgenic heart transplanted from a pig(not too far away); would you call him a pig? (not that I'd call him Human/Pig ;)
  • Its not trivial, and Torvalds and all the other Linux developers sure put in a great effort. The kernel internals are just not verry visible to the user, be it an normal or advanced user. Linux is POSIX compliant, that is it has the same system calls, filesystem structure, and device interface as most other Unices and Unixlike systems. And thats what the user/programmer sees most of the time. If you were to replace Linux for any other POSIX compliant kernel most ppl wouldnt notice the difference. If you were to replace all the userspace tools and programs however, the difference would be substantial.

    Why HURD hasnt gotten further I dont know. It was based on the MACH microkernel and should have had a head start. The sucess of Linux made it somewhat unecessary, and Linux has always drawn more developers. Im perfectly happy with the Linux kernel. However, with all this RMS, FSF, and GNU bashing lately I feel the importance of HURD growing again, just to get away from it all. The Linux community isn't what it used to be. I'd like to run a GNU only system.
  • This is ofcourse true.
    Bur replacing the userspace software with exact eqvialents (clones) is a far more complex matter than replacing the kernel with any other POSIX compliant kernel. The system as a whole (wich is what we're discussing) is far more userspace software than kernel, period. Still the kernel deserves to be emphasized - therefore its GNU/Linux.
  • His life is described as a chain of avoidance of responsibilities. He doesn't want children because he doesn't want to work to make enough to support them.

    I hope you don't mean to imply that it is "responsible" to pollute the world with ever more suckers. If only more people would devote their lives to some mission instead of just selling away 40 years of their lives to corporations and/or popping out kids left and right.


  • having children and taking care of them, if done with love and keeping them first in your mind, can be one of the greatest self-sacrifices. I kind of long to have a kid (or two -- maybe), and I feel like I would make a good father, if given the chance. I love children.

    If you love children and you long to have them, then having them won't be "one of the greatest self-sacrifices". You want to have kids for the same reason other people want to have pets: to satisfy your own emotional needs.

    Now, if you, like me, hated kids, then having children would amount to a self-sacrifice.


  • However, you don't seem to realize what software RMS wrote:
    • gcc
    • gdb
    • emacs
    • command reimplementations (cp, sh..)
    • surely a lot of other things (shells, etc.)
    He wrote gcc, gdb, emacs and make. The utilities, bash and the C library were written by the FSF, but not by him personally. However, by far the most important thing he created is the GPL. A wonderful legal hack.


  • [Free code] is not more ethical than proprietary software

    It clearly is. Proprietary software licenses prohibit learning, improving, sharing and helping others. Free code does not. Learning, improving, sharing and helping are good things, therefore free code is more ethical.

    For that matter, it's worth pointing out that the GPL actually restricts my freedom! I cannot do just anything with GPL-ed code.

    That's right. You are not free to restrict other people's freedom. That is a basic tenet of all civilized definitions of freedom. Unless you go with Thomas Hobbes, who defined "Freedom means I can do whatever I want".

    Which one do you agree with:

    • All people are free, therefore they should be free to capture other people as slaves.
    • All people are free, therefore they should not be free to capture other people as slaves.


  • I respect RMS for the contributions he has done, but that as far as my respect go. I don't know the man, but from what I've seen and hear, I cannot but conclude that he is a social inept. He claims that Linus stamped the name Linux w/o acknowledging previous work. Bullshit. Linus made the kernel and named it Linux. People used Linux, add stuff around it, but kept using the kernel name. As far as I can f*cking see, there is no legal aggreement that binds one to name a product GNU-something just because one uses the GNU tools. Not even MS has gone that far. Imagine if we had to call my work VFP Premium Module or VC++ Word Processor or VJ++ homework 1. Whenever I hear Stallman demanding Linux to be called GNU Linux, I think of Hitler. If he were to give me one of his bashing lectures because I called Linux "Linux", I would most likely give him the beating of his life. What the f*ck, if I want to call red green, I do so and that's the end of the story.

    I believe Linus has given more than enough honor to Stallman and the GNU "cause" by making the Linux kernel GPL. If I were to develop a program using the GNU tools, I would sure as hell not name it GNU-something. Hell no! For that kind of constrain on my rights of expression, I may just as well bend over to MS.

    RMS is just a cry-baby. "Momma, Momma, nobody pay attention to me. Everybody look at the other kid, Linus, but nobody look at me." He doesn't need to be in the press to be acknowledged. If he does good deed not for the sake of fraternity but for glory and fame, then the hell with him. Most of us Linux users know who RMS is and appreciate the work he does. But I'm using the GNU tools because someone out there created a damn good kernel to run them. I use the GNU tools because I'm running Linux. GNU tools were used to create Linux, that I grant. However, it is Linux who make GNU tools ready to run for most of us.

    One thing for certain is that Linus has never "cried baby" to be acknowledge. For that he deserves my respect. RMS, listen, behave like a grown-up human once and for all. If you really, really, really want a GNU-OS to bare your cherised GNU name, then forget about Linux and write a kernel yourself. And a finger to those who want to force me to call Linux GNU-Linux and crap like that.
  • Since when did "not having kids" mean someone showed a lack of responsibility?
  • by Matts ( 1628 )
    Yes - apparently it is just you...

    + 3
    100 !!!

  • Something for you to read. ml

    I find the seahorse reference hilarious :-).

  • Why do you think he dissatisfied with his life? If he thinks having children is of little importance then that doesn't have to be founded on dissatisfaction.

    I rather have a monetary poor life with someone I love than alone with all Gates' money. I am not dissatisfied because I think all that money is of little value to me, am I?

  • If they had not developed the tools, someone else would have.

    But they did.

  • Actually, I believe I saw proposals to create GNU/Solaris and GNU/FreeBSD systems.

  • IIRC, XFree was officially declared to be part of GNU. Could someone corroborate that (or tell me I'm a complete idiot..this being /., that'll happen anyway though.. :-) )

  • I cant tell you how disgusted I am at the CONTINUING backstabbing within the community, the seeming LACK OF TOLERANCE, and general disdain for those who arent the leaders of the day (especially those who held the title yesterday).

    Regardless of personality flaws, which I would bet we all share pretty equally, RMS has done a GREAT deal for the movement... shit, who cares if he doesnt own his own equipment, that to me is pretty straight inline with his stated philosophies, and no matter how counter-culture he is, WHY THE HELL cant we accept that.

    Do you people REALLY care about him not wanting children, not wanting to work, not wanting to even own his own machine? The answer is NO!, strenuously... the chief concern here seems to be to kick him while hes down.

    Id say the most important part of the GPL is its efforts to maintain proper credits for work done, not to control payment of licensing terms (or lack thereof), and I think, out of everyone, RMS and GNU seems to be the only crew we're willing to publicly deny that proper credit to...

    I also absolutely BELIEVE that informed people primarly do not use the term "GNU/Linux" because it IS too damn awkward...

    Give the man some credit, he had these ideas when most of us, Linus included, were eating dirt in the sandbox in kindergarten.

    When we loook back in a few years, I believe we will see the ultimate loss of men like RMS and Bruce Perens from the flock as one of the turning points, and I dont think itll appear as the right turn...

    Linus, save me from your followers.
    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • So should we also look over jim Gettys, and not provide him proper community admiration, even WHEN WE KNOW BETTER?

    Come on, its not like we havent ALL known ALL along that RMS is GNU, theres no excuse in anonmity because there never was any, the real reason is bitterness and plain, outright betrayal.
    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • Why dont you go screw yourself, maybe then YOULL have kids Mr Bronson.

    But really, what fucking business is it of ANY of us whether he wants to have kids or not, how and when, why and with whom... WTF does that have to do with his obviously underappreciated, yet highly significant, contributions to the "Linux" world?

    Just looking through todays posts I think we have ENOUGH unwanted children just on SlashDot, let alone on the streets...
    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • Well, I certainly read the whole thread, I just take offense to anyone attempting to LIMIT the respect and recognition of the Gettys and Stallmans of the world rather than supporting their hopes for it... I see nothing negative about RMS, and would certainly, equally, support Gettys if he felt a need to emphasize his lack of acknoqledgement... i think these people have all done a great service to us and deserve hero-worship from ever one of us.

    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • Actually I completely agree with you... Im always happy to have a good discussion on the meaning of this movement, occassionally I just get fed up with the distasteful, and downright hypocritical, personal attacks.

    I apologize for my own lack of tolerance, I only wish we could resist the infighting that will probably be the chief detractor, in the long-term, of the OSS and Linux movements.

    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • I think Ill agree with you, as we certainly cannot force admiration of any particular object on the psyches of those who dont already admire said object.

    However, admiration aside, I think there is a valid point to be made in that, while we are primarily a grassroots, user-fed community, there exists a small group of leaders without whom none of this would be possible... I think even limiting RMS' recognition to his contribution of the GNU portions of Linux is rather short-sighted, as he has also been one of the most vocal advocates of the very system we have built for much longer than it has formally existed.

    I dont think we should start calling Linux GNU/Linux (and GOD, never GNUlix), its too late for that... but as this platform grows in size, the collective consciousness here becomes less aware of its roots, and less aware of its "debt" to people like RMS, and thats a shame. Maybe something as simple as a system of honors and awards is due.

    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • This will probably be my shortest post of the day:

    Well said!

    Binary Boy [mailto]

    If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
    -- Derek Bok,
  • I'm a Unix system administrator, and the first
    thing I've always done with a new Unix system
    is to install all the GNU stuff - gcc, of course,
    but also the other utilities.

    But I've just replaced my Digital Unix server
    with a GNU/Linux box, where I didn't have to
    worry about this!

  • There is also a lot of 'software' created during life (such as memories and knowledge) that makes up the one that call yourself me. So genes is not enough.

    But I do hope and think that by the time I'm getting old there is a way to preserve that information (like freezing in some smart way) and later run it (me) on an artificial brain in the body of my choice.
  • RMS sacrificed much in his life and what that means to me that there is hope that I will not have to put up with NT and other strange things at work that do not always work. Learn from his experiences and you might know how much of an impact his contributions have made. I would hate to think of a world where all of technology was locked up in NDA's.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 06, @04:52
    Well, we have RMS to thank for this bit of FUD to hurt the Free Software Movement. Thanks Stalin!

    Wrong. If you want to be working for the communist good, let Mr. Gates continue his path and you will be working for his good. After all, he innovated the internet, the computer, and many of those other things on the Microsoft Time Line. You are the one spreading FUD.

    There is nothing wrong having personal freedoms. There is something wrong with having your life tightly controlled and that you must pay a high tax for everything that can be commoditized. RMS asks for nothing but freedom.

    Microsoft must keep those stock prices in a certain direction. Its like buying into an obese dinosour trying to devour everything in sight. One of these days, its going to come crashing down in a spectacular display of flatulence because it cannot stay up.

  • And no doubt that is why he is so bitter about not being internationally acclaimed.

    That may be your perception. He may be setting a precedent for getting recognition. How would you like to write a set of utilities and have some large corporation come along and mask what you wrote with a different brand? That can be useful, but can be misleading.

  • I cant tell you how disgusted I am at the CONTINUING backstabbing within the community, the seeming LACK OF TOLERANCE, and general disdain for those who arent the leaders of the day (especially those who held the title yesterday).

    Calm down. This is healthy discussion and is good for you. There is a need for topics like this to be brought up so we may understand the importance of free software. That is why it was brought up again. No blood is being drawn here and most people do not get hurt feelings, but learn and gain from this forum. Even though a lot of strong opinionated discussion what free software really means, it is quite educational. It is a good topic, not something to hurt one another with.

  • Richard Stallman, on the other hand, is quite abraisive, rude, and thoughtless as to other people.

    People who feel threatened by the concept of free software often spread this image about RMS. As for being rude and thoughtless, I would say that he has a straight vision. RMS will not sell out to other people. He is a quickdraw when it comes to correcting people. Believe it or not there are some people who are not offended by such ways of communication and use it to escalate the debate to new hights. Leaders do not break down to logic and accept what is pushed at them are strong. He has vision and is not afraid to share it.

    My take on RMS asserting authorship is that he is trying to maintain some kind of balance on who did what. Nothing wrong with that. This is where all these debates about what free software means to people come from too. RMS is doing a good job bringing these issues into awareness.

  • Where did this come from? What does sex have to do with free software? Why do some people have to inject Freudian into every discussion? Is this another one of Godwin's thread relevancy calculations?

    Sex has not been programmed into the kernel yet, so you can move along now. Nothing to see here.

  • Umm - most mainstream American's believe that when you do work (like, say, writing a program), you deserve to be paid for it. And that the harder people work, the more money they deserve. And some odd concepts like you should be forced to pay for the things that you get to use. Mainstream America is capitalist. Mainstream academia is much more leftist. It is no coincidence that RMS is from MIT and Boston.

    Hey, I get paid for something else quite well. I'm a hardware type of guy and I like seeing good quality software to make things turn. Its when I see crap operating systems do unfunny things like dump a blue screen or changing data values that I start getting pissed off. Because I work for someone else, I am forced to watch large powerful and high speed manufacturing machines churn tons of scrap almost daily because of junk software.

    I have learned that the software model of secrecy and NDA's is not working very well. GNU offers a freedom synonymous with the ideals this country was claimed to be based upon. If I was working with GNU software, there would be an option to refer the problem to someone who could look at the code and fix it. Freedom of peer review.

    GNU software can save many landfills from filling up. Would you trust your business to some operating system made in Redmond?

  • People who fail to grant RMS the respect that he deserves are the people who miss the point of freed software.

    RMS gave Linus and the rest of us the freedom we enjoy today to use/modify/distribute our software with the GNU GPL.

    The GPL is most significant achievement in the history of software because it makes possible the cooperative development that will eventually change the world. Mark my words.
  • Freedom has greater value than bill gates stock.
  • With all this talk of who wrote what percentage of the code, be it the kernel, compiler, tools, shell, whatever, I think something important is being overlooked. Namely, that in every cultural movement, a central leader/figurehead/idealog needs to be looked to as the nucleus. People have the need to be able to point to someone and say "this is what it's all about".

    Think about it. The Civil Rights movement had people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Womens' Sufferage had leaders along the lines of Susan B. Anthony. Apple computer, the leader of a more relevant movement, had Steve Jobs, who was described as, "When I didn't know what charisma was, I met Steve Jobs, and then I knew." (Of course, he's also been described as obnoxious, but anyone who's heard him speak cannot question his charisma, charm, and leadership abilities.)

    Linus Torvaldis is the perfect candidate. The romantic fairy-tale of a college guy single-handedly hacking out his own stable OS because he wanted a UNIX variant catches the imagination. It also so happens that this is almost, kinda true. So much the better. He's also a great guy who has a family, a steady job, and nice, laid-back, happy attitude. He's a hacker the average man on the street can relate to.

    Richard Stallman, on the other hand, is quite abraisive, rude, and thoughtless as to other people. He's "on a mission" so he says, and he obviously never lets anyone forget the mission from God he's on. He's a zealot, not an idealist. The people to be most feared are those who see no shades of gray, who confuse fanaticism with conviction. I think the "real world, gotta get stuff done" arguments which have been raised here are more than valid. Most people *use* computers, they don't design/develop them or their software. As the bard Billy Joel sang in his song Angry Young Man, "I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage, I found that just surviving was a noble fight. I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point-of-view, and life went on no mater who was wrong or right."

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for free software, but I think that open-source may be more realistic a model, where businesses can make a buck or two. Let's not forget we live in a capitalistic society, not a communistic one. The Soviets tried communism, and it lead the people over there on a "seventy-year road to nowhere" as they say in the former Soviet Union.
  • Quite true, and I was completely aware of all of that. It should be pointed out, however, that without Jobs, the Apple ][ would never have come into existance. He was the driving force behind the creation of Apple computer. He desigened the excellent look (for 1970's style) of the casing, and was the visionary who thought that PCs could be sold in shopping malls (think back to what the days were like in the computerless 1970s). It was also his management style, both driven, focused, and frustrating to those under his rule, which provided the Macintosh. Arguably, without Steve Jobs, the PC revolution would have taken much longer, and possibly not been as sensational as it was.
  • by pH7.0 ( 3799 )
    Yeah, X Window should get some glory!
  • gcc could run on top of DOS or commercial UNIX. I'm sure Bill Gates and Scott McNealy, would thanks RMS. Without an alternative OS, the "free software movement" couldn't go anywhere.

  • You can't measure software by size!

    If size matter, X Window is bigger. It's not even GPL, so RMS can't claim any credit!
  • by pH7.0 ( 3799 )
    X is under MIT license, NOT GPL. RMS can't change that.
  • Well, jolly old RMS gets my recognition, for what it's worth.

    Anyone with half a clue knows what GNU is and what Linux is. RMS shouldn't feel so bitter, because there are those out there who recognise him and are grateful.

    The mass media and the Great Unwashed are traditionally good at taking a name, word, phrase or buzzword and applying it to a different meaning, and brainwashing the masses.

    I fully intend to live long enough to be a cantankerous old git with a walking stick and an attitude, ranting at the young telling them how it used to be in the good old days when RMS freed software and a young chap called Linus Torvalds made an OS kernel that toppled the great evil dictatorship etc., about prejudice...

    blah blah blah.

    Stallman, your name is already in tablets of stone. In centuries to come you will be remebmbered as the man who had the courage to stand out from the crowd, think differently, and change the course of human civilisation.

    You may think these coments are glib and ironic, but they are not.

    This is what will happen.
  • I think that the main reason that the prices are so high is that many businesses don't have a policy for donating to a non-profit business (or, more likely, accounting isn't going to donate to a company that doesn't seem like a typical "charity" to the public eye). It's much easier to say to your boss "We need to spend several thousand dollars for this software that we use that works really well." It's essentially a donation.

    Mark Fassler
    fassler at frii dot com
  • Also, RMS likes to claim that without GNU tools we woudn't have a free operating system today. That's a bit of a stretch, and one that assumes the non-existence of BSD tools, most of which have no AT&T code

    Indeed, if Linus hadn't written Linux, it would be likely that some form of FreeBSD would be the popular free UNIX of choice and GNU tools would be far less used than they are today. People should remember that the FreeBSD movement actually started before there was Linux and "GNU" meant only the common version of Emacs to most UNIX geeks.

  • If the kernel was such a trivial thing to create, then why wasn't the Hurd finished in a timely fashion? There might be a lot of GNU code in Linux systems, but it is mostly in trivial things like "ls" and "cat". To use the biological example, the kernel isn't the heart (a simple pump), but the brain (the most complicated element of the system)
    And I would call a man with a transgenic pig brain a pig.
  • Well, gcc is certainly more complicated than "ls" but look at the dozens of free compilers for Linux (or UNIX in general). Granted they tend to be for more obscure languages like Modula-2 instead of C, but that's not because C is intrinsically more complicated to write compilers for -- its just that gcc is already there.

    RMS and FSF did a lot of good things for Linux, no question. But RMS seems to claim that any system running GNU tools is the GNU system, even if the system is nothing like the system Stallman described in his Manifesto (Whatever happened to that LISP-based Windowing system anyhow?)
  • Compiler isn't all that matters. The BSD's don't run GNU utilities, except where there is no replacement - i.e. GCC, GDB, and emacs (for the emacs addicts.) Anything GPL'ed they actively try to replace with BSD'ed stuff.
  • The author of G77, Craig Burley, has talked frequently about how he never would have written a free Fortran compiler under something other than the GPL. When I write proprietary stuff, I expect to get paid for it, he says.

    It's nice to say "another compiler would be", but you need authors. Free BSD's still don't have a compiler they consider free (i.e. BSD/X-free style license.) Why is that, if it's so easy to replace the compiler.
  • Well, as an anonymous coward, letting no one know it was you won't be hard. Sure, I'd like to see it. Might even hack a new front-end (GPL'ed), if it's technically superior.
  • well, if they put the brain of the pig in the body of the man, what would you get?
    It still looks like a man, but its not.. the heart is necessary, but it is not the brain, the brain is where you reside.
  • >Prophets have always been hated and oft-times
    >martyred by the ignorant mob....

    Certainly. On the other hand, the 'ignorant mobs' in the world have also thrown out ruthless dictators and tyrants.

    Just because someone has, in the public's eye, made an ass of him/herself on a regular basis does not mean that he/she is a martyr. Frankly, Rich's rhetoric is driving people away from free software, not helping it.

    I recognize his talents and contributions - they are important. But if they *have* to be linked to his ideals and can't stand by their own merits, then it's no wonder people pass by him in favor of more likable people (ie. Linus). People skills are important, just as much as coding skills.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • What is RMS working on these days? I hear that he takes a notebook with him everywhere, and that he can be seen frantically hacking code in every spare moment he has, but not what he's working on.
  • I'd like to see a linux distro with a commercial x server and KDE. It should be called New Linux-better, faster and easier to use. Who knows-I think that's what Corel may be working on
  • Commercial X servers are much better. Check out
  • heh maybe it's because you don't have any ideas of your own or maybe you don't appreciate the amount of work, time and money that goes into some ideas. The industrial economy is over. Welcome to the information economy where ideas-not goods- are produced and sold. Linus understands this perfectly-he understands that there is a place for open-source as well as proprietary. That's the rational approach. RMS and MS represent the irrational extremes
  • the Hitler thing is a bit too much but besides that you're basically right. RMS is a fanatic and while he had his 15 minutes of fame, we must move on. Hey, if it wasn't for Bill Gates we would still be using expensive proprietary IBM PC's. That doesn't mean we should go with MS. Same for RMS
  • If Mr. Stallman wants the world to beat a path to his door, he should build a better kernel. I'm not one who likes stories of a future better mousetrap; I need to a mousetrap now. Those M$ rats are big!
  • If he doesn't have the time or financial resources to do a proper job of "that whole parent thang" then he is doing the right thing by remaining childless. Wish more people were as responsible.

  • And every time someone new contributes to it their name could be added.
    Or maybe as previous contributors added new stuff their name could be bumped up the list relative to the size and/or worth of their overall contribution. Shouldn't be any trouble getting everyone who should have a voice in those relative rankings to agree just whose work gets what rating, or deciding who those who should have that voice should be.

  • I can't believe you. You are perhaps the most un-idealistic individual I have ever had the misfortune of replying to. The fact that you have replied like 5 or 6 times to this article makes me realize what your trouble is. You're afraid:

    I think he will likely find himself very lonely, some day.

    Talk about projecting your own personal terrors onto others. Sacrificing one's life for a greater cause is a risky business. Raising a family is a difficult, but safe one. Overcoming human needs and desires for a greater purpose is one of the most admirable traits that one can have. If everyone said "Why change things when I can raise a family - that's just as gratifying," things can and will never change. If you have children simply so that they can have children and so on, what's the point? To make great sacrifices to advance what is right should not be mocked. The fact that you are so adamant about something that doesn't even affect your life (I mean, it's none of your business if RMS dies lonely, and it's not as if there need to be more advocation of childrearing over idealism, it happens enough) makes me think that you're trying to prove to yourself that your life isn't a waste. Well, it will be if you don't start facing facts, and stop being so egocentric. It's attitudes like yours that will keep me from ever living in a utopian society, and that gets me pissed, more than anything else.

  • So you propose that we should all be mavericks and world-beaters because that's just so much cooler, right?

    No, I didn't say that. Working together as a team to change the world for everyone is pretty damn cool. What isn't cool is the eventual disintegration of society and the environment because of an overpopulated world of generation after generation of complacent do-nothing family-havers. It would take so little to change the world, but we don't, simply because we tend to gravitate towards what comes naturally to us. Like childrearing.

    It's quite easy to sit in the belltower picking people off with your rifle, isn't it? Certainly not as hard as finding someone who understands you and who you understand.

    Woah, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Actually, I'm not saying that at all. As you've pointed out, coupling and having children is the natural thing for humans to do, right? The easiest thing. Going against that in pursuit of something bigger than all of us is what's harder.

    As far as the relevance of this thread, I would say it is quite minimal.

    Actually, I disagree. I would say this topic is the most important one that faces humanity right now. It's the lack of thinking about this kind of stuff that's causing problems. I wouldn't mind so much about people having kids if they just sat down and thought about the ramifications beforehand.

    I was only trying to illustrate a possible alternate and less noble explanation of RMS' insistence on being recognized as a prophet.

    You mean besides the fact that he's living proof that if you put idealism before nature, one person can defeat even the largest problems? If everyone did as much with their life as RMS has, there would be no problems on earth. We would be living in a perfect society. It's because of complacency and fear that we live in the world we do now.
  • And you talk about being selfish and egotistical? The way I see it, if you're out to make a lasting contribution to society (and believe it or not, there *are* people out there-I believe RMS is one of them-who want to make a contribution for non-egotistical reasons...), then in sacrificing children/relationships it might just be possible that that person is being far less selfish than he who merely seeks pleasures for himself within his own lifetime.

    What's more admirable, striving to have the best life for yourself, or giving up that (perceived, perhaps) better life in order to ensure that tommorrow the world will be a better place?

    I'd rather die knowing that I'd made a tenth of the contribution that someone like RMS has, than simply knowing I'd had a good time...
  • I think the thumb sucking Gnu icon is appropriate. RMS can act like a real crybaby when he wants to.

    I propose a 1 step recovery program for his ego:

    Step 1: Get over it.

    The name Linux as opposed to GNU/Linux is not a way of pushing RMS into the background. Don't put so much into a name.

    The publicity around Linus and RMS is different because marketing (intentional or unintentional) does not follow logical rules. A normal looking guy with a wife and two little kids living in California is a more comfortable image for many people to focus on rather than a long haired/bearded eccentric.

    If you are running for office RMS, get a political consultant. If you are writing code, quit whining and get on with it.
  • Face it RMS is just a shabby bum he doesn't shave, carries everything he owns in a garbage bag and wants GNU before linux. Blah, blah, blah... he is just wining because he has faced up to the pitiful fact that he has accomplished very little in his life. The fsf was not his effort alone. Now he just wants to meddel in the community and stir up kde flame wars, etc. He wants to do nothing and get all the credit.

    But of course this is where everyone worships gnome and rms and the comments of the opposing faction are repeatedly deleted (alot like those great commie countries with wonderful views of property rights :)) So get off the political high horse and face the facts... rms will be swept under the carpet with all the other people who talk alot and do little... and then brag about it.
  • Just look at the gnome discussion from a few days back. Every negative post was sytematically deleted... hmmm. Did everyone have such a great response at the nice stable gnome 1.0... even the gnome mailing list was filled with posts about an early release to conincide with RH6 and LinuxWorld.
    Seems to me that the "ideals" in the OSS community work when people can leverage them to their advantage. For instance, on of the arguments lined at kde by the gnome project was that it was something that could be controled by a comercial company. Well look at what we have now! A desktop that will become the defacto standard just because of the backing from a major linux distributor. And an early release so all the guys at RHDL can make a nice buck of finishing up just in time for the expo and 6.0. Real nice guys! Now is that the linux way? It sounds like something out of Redmond to me!
    Meanwhile Miguel champs on about the techinical superiority and stablity of his product, unfortunately he can't hide behind the "it's still in development clause". But after he rides the media hype for awhile people will begin to notice the 522 or so bugs still left in this great stable product and one of the Linux critics will be more than happy to harp on them for months.
    Look at kde 1.0 and gnome 1.0 they aren't even close in the completeness department. Hell you can't even change the default icons and mime types visually with gmc or change the default wm (enlightenment) launched from gnome-session (a binary not a script)... what a configurable new enviroment this is :)
  • Yeah Geoff I agree. I think that finding what better is, is a part of life.

    Don't ask me to define better in a sentence. Its a lot of stuff. I'll try and shed some light on what I think in this post, but don't expect an answer. :-(

    I like free software.
    I like music.
    I like art.
    I like the freedom to learn and better myself.

    Hey Geoff. You can't elucidate better in a word, its something we all have to find.

    And for most of us its different.

    I guess one of the defining aspects of better is realising you can disagree with other people and learn from it.

    That's something that most of the people in this forum haven't realised I think.

    I like the GPL, it seems to incrementally encourage free software. I don't mind people choosing not to use it now - but I think one day they will because of the ever growing incremental benefits of doing so.

    I believe Economics will kill proprietary software in time, that is why the suits are jumping on board.

    I think the result will be a better world - economics based on openness. And this isn't communism, because we are still talking about competing. I guess my grandparents meant this when they talked about being a "gentleman" something most people don't do.

    That is why I also find privacy important for example. Sure, I value transparency, honesty and something of my own morality (which you probably start to glean from this post) but I think you should have the choice whether to be transparent.

    Why should the spooks snoop on communications just meant for friends and lovers? Especially when criminals will always use the strongest encryption, and with key escrow will just hide their encrypted communications in other files - like GIFS or MPEGs for example.

    Mostly I want my kids to have the freedom to find what is right, and the chance to find a maturity and depth of thought that they value. This freedom needs a rich cultural background (art, music, film, theatre, literature, you name it) and the chance to paricipate and create themselves (and is this not what free software gives them).

    And if this is what RMS is devoting his time - to a culture of sharing, and gift, but with the freedom to use or ignore it - I don't think anyone can slate him. I recently saw ESR speak in London, and I value his words, but he is telling it only one way. RMS's ideas are another, and I think I understand and respect both.

    You said "opportunity for what?". That is the point, opportunity is not the opportunity without the choice, so I am not going to state here. I think they just need the opportunity to tread the path they should: a parents role is to lead by example, by giving pointers to the lessons they have learned, not by instruction.

    Shakespeare was a genius, because he could illustrate the views of many convincingly. He knew they all had value of their own: that paradigms are just that. Equally, RMS and ESR both have their slant. Both matter. They keep us on their toes as someone said.

    Now lets create some stuff goddammit.

    BTW: I don't program C++ or anything hardcore. I design and consult for business on software or whatever they want. I do write PERL though (whoops I find PERL hardcore enough for me before anyone flames me with PERL is hardcore! - that's not what I mean), and hopefully if I'm allowed (work?) I'll put some cool stuff in public domain later this year. At least my current contract let me suggest how it will benefit them to do this.
  • Prophets have always been hated and oft-times martyred by the ignorant mob....

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev