Open source -- non computer topics

From: James B. DiGriz <>
Date: Sun Apr 28 12:04:14 2002

Doc wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Apr 2002, James B. DiGriz wrote:
>>P.S. Even those who disagree vehemently with Stallman respect his
>>integrity, even if it's hard for some of them to understand his
>>arguments (Not his fault, they include concepts difficult for some to
>>grasp, which may be a blessing, all things considered, when you think
>>about it.) You can't say he hasn't put his money where his mouth is.
> I don't believe that anyone who works with any unix fails to recognise
> & respect Stallman's work, or his personal integrity. That includes me.
> I have read his manifesto, I've read many of his interviews and
> editorials, and of course I've read the General Public License. I
> disagree with one single contention - his insistence that Linux should
> be named after his brainchild.
> The notion that disagreement with the RMS party line denotes a failure
> to understand Stallman's arguments, and the principles behind them,
> doesn't follow.
> The vehemence of your replies, your over-generalization of my remarks
> and my viewpoint, and your implication that anyone who disagrees with
> Richard M. Stallman simply can't grasp his concepts, are together a
> perfect demonstration of what I find distasteful in GNU bigotry. The
> "GNU Movement" has become a cult. Its members are unable to abide any
> view of its goals or its leader that doesn't hew strictly to the party
> line. To raise any question or objection to _any_ of RMS's views,
> actions, or demands, invites accusations of ingratitude and/or
> ignorance, at the very least.
> In other words, in action if not in principle, the GNU model is
> "Freedom of Information", but _not_ "Freedom of Opinion". Once again,
> "Bah!"
> Doc

Nah, I understand that Stallman and the FSF are under constant probing
for any sign of a capitulatory mood, for any sign of tolerance for being
made irrelvant, since they are using IP against itself, and a lot of
people stand to gain at everyone else's expense if they can crack that
wall. That's the grounds for the GNU/linux controversy, and no doubt why
he makes demands that are taken as overreaching to UG's that want him to
speak. I don't envy his position. He has a point, too, even if you think
it's overblown. Enough so that a lot of people would prefer that it be
kept between the lines. Kinda hard to do that when people single you out
for public comments about your personal hygiene.

A lot of people *don't*, or maybe don't want to understand all this and
see any intransigence that can be portrayed as irrelevant or anti-social
in some way as a sign of compulsive, fascistic, control-freak tendencies
and ego problems. There are people in the open-source movement even who
think open-source (what Stallman calls "free software") should just mean
giving code away, period, with no restrictions. In an ideal world, that
might work. In the real world, this just allows free code to come under
proprietary claims, exploiting the work of countless benefactors against
their wishes. So you're working at cross-purposes.

I'm the last thing from a bigot, Chief, and I've paid the price to say
that. And I call it Linux, too, while recognizing, as was pointed out,
that in the case of Debian, GNU/Linux is indeed more correct on
technical grouds.

Received on Sun Apr 28 2002 - 12:04:14 BST

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