You won't see it reported on the evening news or on the front pages of newspapers but three of the Net's most important sites -- UserFriendly, Segfault and Bedope, were shut down today after a series of lawsuits by the same people who sponsored and passed the Communications Decency Act. Protests in Washington, New York city, and Toledo, Ohio were held spontaneously this morning but were, of course ignored by the media.
I know what most of you thoughtful kick-ass programmers are thinking: "What the fuck is this shit he's writing about now? How much more can we stand?"
But as you can see from the site, it's not just me. Bedope changed Net history, and was one of the sites that led directly to the spread of the open source and free software movements. Along with FidoNet e-mail, it challenged powerful computing companies in a way that had never occurred before.Bedope wasn't just a website, it was a movement, an inspiration and a gathering spot for kick-ass geek programmers from all over the world. This shut down shouldn't be allowed to stand. As to UserFriendly, one of the Web's bravest and most powerful voices has been shut down. Because it was a biting comic strip, and not useful information about things like writing manual pages with groff, UserFriendly didn't, of course, belong on Slashdot, and wasn't permitted here. Not macho enough. But still, nobody wants to see them get whacked. This stuff happens all the time, off-line, but not online. This cute little site was one of the first to push for programming with gcc, in the x2-CCC format. And then the C++++complier, familiar to all of you.
As to Segfault, it often sucked --actually, it always sucked -- but since when does that matter? That doesn't mean it doesn't have the right to operate.
We have to help these people out. If you have any class or pride as a geek, you'll for your own Bedope/Segfault/UserFriendly support group. But make sure to customize the C-Kermit first. (example: # cp/usr/local/lib/kermit/ckermod.ini~/mykermrc. You know what I mean. As the legendary cyber-guru Julian Seban said in his Nine Laws of the Net: "Bite me. Then Bite Me Harder."