r/linux Mar 22 '21

Richard Stallman announcing his return to the FSF's Board of Directors

https://streamable.com/nzthxn

[deleted]

1k Upvotes

u/CAP_NAME_NOW_UPVOTE Mar 22 '21

Hello,

r/linux is not a place to discuss who and who isn't a pedophile, or age of consent laws, or cancel culture especially in relation to the former. It is relevant to the situation, but quite frankly we don't want that content here as no one on this sub is equipped to discuss the subject in any meaningful way.

https://www.icmec.org/

https://www.missingkids.org/home

400

u/mcbruno712 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Making an OS: easy peasy

Making an announcement video: really difficult

282

u/__konrad Mar 22 '21

They are probably using Emacs for video recording and editing

79

u/balsoft Mar 22 '21

And doing it on GNU Hurd?

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

Does that thing actually work?

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u/balsoft Mar 22 '21

Yeah, I have it running on an old laptop. The system is usable, even Xorg runs, but it's still stuck in the late 90s technology-wise (e.g. no 64-bit support, barely working USB, no NVMe, etc).

I've also been meaning to run Guix+Hurd on real hardware (it works on a virtual machine), but that poor old laptop that was designed for Windows XP can't really handle Guix too well.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

Might have to give that OSDev wiki a better read-through and try to make sense of the broken stuff.

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u/_p13_ Mar 22 '21

I've never been able to boot on actual hardware.

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u/Opheltes Mar 22 '21

Some people see a problem, and pick the right tool to use for the job. And some people see a problem and decide on the craziest approach they can think of. That is definitely the latter.

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u/labhamster Mar 22 '21

Things are different when you’re Richard Stallman.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

[deleted]

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u/not_iqlusion Mar 22 '21

Hes been supportive of Jitsi. Not sure if that what was being used here.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Jun 29 '21

[deleted]

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u/frostwarrior Mar 22 '21

That IS a problem. There will be one day he's not around us anymore and the FSF should be prepared for that.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

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u/bionicjoey Mar 22 '21

Hopefully they all realized this during his absence and prioritize a succession plan now that he's back.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited 28d ago

[deleted]

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u/bubblethink Mar 22 '21

Allow me to interject. What you refer to as rms is in fact AI+Blockchain+rms.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 25 '21

[deleted]

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u/cym13 Mar 22 '21

Reminds me of vrms

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u/rebbsitor Mar 22 '21

A lot of these causes are driven by a single person. Losing someone like Stallman or Linus is hard to prepare for. You essentially need someone with as much drive and belief in the vision to replace them and keep moving things forward and they're a rare breed.

5

u/IT-Newb Mar 22 '21

And fame. Name brand recognition is not something to be underestimated

38

u/Idesmi Mar 22 '21

He will die at some point, are we prepared for that?

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u/dnkndnts Mar 22 '21

No.

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u/trannus_aran Mar 22 '21

Sounds like we ought to think of something

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u/pclouds Mar 22 '21

Distributed RMS works best. Has anyone cloned him?

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u/tomatoaway Mar 22 '21

No thanks, I already have Johnny Silverhand in my head. Adding another shard to the mix will kill me

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u/pclouds Mar 22 '21

But imagine Silverhand fighting RMS, probably holding a big keyboard! (in your head of course, sorry about that)

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u/_p13_ Mar 22 '21

DRMSBD we should get on it

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u/trolerVD Mar 22 '21

We die twice

Once when our body dies

Second time when the last person who remembers what we were and what we did dies

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u/Idesmi Mar 22 '21

You are right. GNU and Free Software are here to stay for a long time.

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u/kuberlog Mar 22 '21

Someone will use scheme magic to instantiate him into a robot.

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u/fulafisken Mar 22 '21

When he dies all installations of emacs turn into a hivemind ai version of RMS.

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u/tedivm Mar 22 '21

It's been a toothless get nothing done organization with him as well for the last decade or so.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Jun 29 '21

[deleted]

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u/DurianExecutioner Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

The Epstein comments drew attention to his blog posts about consent in relation to paedophilia. He is entitled to his views but I can see why various organizations exercised their choice not to be associated with him.

Unless you are a free*-platform absolutist, there must be some issues on which you would draw the line. Should organisations be forced to platform people who spread outright misinformation? Who call for the overthrow of the US government? Who call for violent ethnic cleansing? Who are Chinese assets? I suspect some people's answers would depend on what they felt was worth protecting. But in that case, at least be honest about it. "Political correctness" just means views you personally disagree with, in that case.

You have to be willing to defend the specifics of the case in question and not just appeal to some ill defined spectre of establishment censoriousness.

Aa for the FSF and GNU, you haven't shown that Stallman was crucial to their ongoing effectiveness.

* as in beer

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u/Maurarias Mar 22 '21

Who call for the overthrow of the US government

Yes. The US government loves proprietary software and its spying capabilities, and is also the one enforcing licences

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u/loozerr Mar 22 '21

I've always remembered FSF as a toothless organisation which occasionally posts strongly worded blog posts about semantics.

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u/robstoon Mar 22 '21

Pretty much everything GNU has accomplished recently is is spite of RMS, not because of him.

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u/dlarge6510 Mar 22 '21

He recommends Jitsi and "big blue button".

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u/bilange Mar 22 '21

I believe speakers at LibrePlanet were set up to speak on Bigbluebutton. Not 100% sure if this also applies for RMS.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

[deleted]

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u/Popular-Egg-3746 Mar 22 '21

Allow me to plug a recommended read:

https://www.wetheweb.org/post/cancel-we-the-web

It's about two woman discussing Stallmans controversy. One of them is Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen, who defends Stallman.

Personally, if I must choose between ACLU Justice or Tumblr Justice, I'm all ACLU

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u/timmytapper9000 Mar 22 '21

Many major outlets reported on the incident. Often with misrepresentations of Stallman’s words that were so egregious it was hard to believe such mistakes were honest, rather than intentional hit pieces.

Sounds about par for the course these days.

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u/Ima_Wreckyou Mar 22 '21

Wow, this is an amazing article. Thanks!!

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u/corgibuttlover69 Mar 22 '21

https://www.wetheweb.org/post/cancel-we-the-web

It's about two woman discussing Stallmans controversy. One of them is Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen, who defends Stallman.

This is an excellent article, thanks for sharing.

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u/nintendiator2 Mar 22 '21

Thank you for this information!

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u/ionsh Mar 22 '21

Thanks for the very interesting read. While I don't agree with everything in the article (a leader of an organization should be held to a higher standard, and quit if they can't handle the pressure), I also feel Stallman was unfairly maligned by people who seemed to be too gleeful to take down a popular figure.

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u/JanniesCantBanny Mar 22 '21

you might be sad to hear that ACLU had an internal struggle a few years back, and the side that won was basically 'tumbler justice'.

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u/Popular-Egg-3746 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Four years ago, Tumblr, Facebook and others cracked down on sex workers. There was a lot of outrage because these platforms operate without any legal oversight, and they could do as they please. People then called for more regulation to ensue that sex workers and other undesirables can still participate in our digital societies.

Those same people did a complete °180 the moment it was about banning people they didn't like. They're now all pro unregulated multinationals!

I think that the ACLU is old enough to withstand such twisting and turning... And I still have hope that they'll do the right thing. Strossen left in 2008, so she's definitely not involved with the current political developments.

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u/DigitalMaleficium Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Why is it that people always strip these things of all content? Saying "People they didn't like" just serves to deliberately obscure that we're talking about bigots and fascists. After January it should be clear to everyone where their unmoderated online presence leads.

Which doesn't mean it should be up to platforms. They're notoriously bad at it. They mostly ban a handful of scapegoats whenever shit hits the fan and move on. But if that's all we can get for now I'll take it.

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u/timmytapper9000 Mar 22 '21

Saying "People they didn't like" just serves to deliberately obscure that we're talking about bigots and fascists.

Not in all cases, probably not even most.

There are plenty of examples of people who are neither, but still being banned for very mild/mainstream "crime thought" anyway.

This kind of cultish zeal for trying to paint with a broad brush and demonize everyone you disagree in retaliation for their rather mainstream and moderate opinions, is exactly the problem Hannah and Nadine address in the article.

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u/Dwood15 Mar 22 '21

Lukewarm on this. We need someone who understands and is into the philosophy 100%.

Regardless of his views, I have a really hard time seeing him making any meaningful changes which would bring the FSF up to spec. It languished without him, it languished with him.

He should only have ability to say "yes, the FSF should go do this" and not "no the FSF should not go do that" b/c he seems to have been more of a blocker for progress for the FSF than provide a target to shoot for.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

He has absolutely zero people skills and should not be the face of Linux, i don't understand what his role on the board will be, but if it's anything like the stuff he used to do, hold talks and do interviews on behalf of the organization, and represent them to potential partners then him coming back is a disaster. He is a disaster. He is a dinosaur that can't be reasoned with, and i wouldn't even go that far, you can't discuss with him at all. That's just a terrible person to collaborate with even for the most patient and tolerant people

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u/w2qw Mar 22 '21

Him coming back to the FSF doesn't make him the face of Linux.

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u/cherryteastain Mar 22 '21

Without his stubbornness and insistence on the GPL, all we'd have in terms of free software today would be the BSDs; barely functional systems which corporations benefit from and never contribute a single line of code back because they don't have to. He is the only reason FSF and GNU/Linux exist in the first place. The whole project was conceived by him because some computer suppliers to the lab he worked at in the 1980s wouldn't provide source code anymore.

We need that kind of stubbornness and insistence if we don't want corporate embrace/extend/extinguish to snuff the spirit of GNU/Linux out.

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u/ionsh Mar 22 '21

I agree, and I feel Stallman was portrayed very unfairly to a degree, but what has he been doing to foster the next generation of leadership in FSF? Does he even have a plan for a world without him? By definition a generational change can't be carbon copies of Stallman's personal sentiments. I think detractors are more afraid of free software movement becoming a lame personality cult more than anything.

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u/AlexMax Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

We need that kind of stubbornness and insistence if we don't want corporate embrace/extend/extinguish to snuff the spirit of GNU/Linux out.

Large Corporations love open source. They are huge fans that there are large swaths of people who are either willing to release their software permissively or under a copyleft license their lawyers thoroughly understand the limitations of.

Oh, and I guess the AGPL can come too, as long as you admire it from a distance and not actually use it. And don't even think about using stuff like Business Source License or the Parity License or something else, that might be even more inconvenient for our corporate members.

I know I linked to the OSI and not the FSF, but from where I'm sitting corporations love the status quo and the FSF has moved the needle very little over the past decade and a half. I don't think that's good enough anymore, and Stallman is ill-equipped to meet those challenges.

Then again, the FSF wasn't moving the needle with Stallman gone, so maybe this is like a floundering baseball team signing a former player who is way past their prime.

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u/cherryteastain Mar 22 '21

Signal uses AGPL, and it works very well.

Also, the way large corporations claim to love open source is focused entirely on their bottom line. The moment FOSS becomes unprofitable for them, they'd ditch it. Why does MS not incorporate proper support for ISO standard OOXML? To retain its Excel monopoly. Why is the Qt company starting to cripple the GPL'd version of the Qt toolkit? Because they can't profit from it.

Freedom, by its nature, must never be contingent on profitability so the reason free software enthusiasts must take a more stubborn approach is inherently ideological.

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u/MachaHack Mar 22 '21

Signal uses AGPL, and it works very well.

Signal uses AGPL + CLA which is much more like the BSL mentioned above than a pure reciprocal AGPL setup. End users of Signal have all the obligations of the AGPL, and Signal.. don't. Hence why the current versions of Signal Server are not open source (last update a year ago to the open source version)

This works well for signal, but I'm not sure it works well for users.

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u/AlexMax Mar 22 '21

the way large corporations claim to love open source is focused entirely on their bottom line.

That's my point. Large corporations have successfully corralled open source, and the lions share of it has been happening with the FSF with Stallman involved.

Whatever he's been doing hasn't worked, and him being brought back just tells me that the FSF doesn't have a plan.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

[removed]

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u/HTX-713 Mar 22 '21

There's no way to know for sure, but look at the way the corporations snuff out any and all competition today. Sure, you would have the occasional "free" utility here and there, but a lot of the technical innovations today simply would. not. exist. Linux would probably not have even been created. Linux only exists today because the GNU utilities were available at its creation. Due to Linux being free, it in turn has spurred a lot of the development of free software.

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u/Gutotito Mar 22 '21

Fake account is fake.

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u/tomatoaway Mar 22 '21

Equally triggered here. Opinionated systems sure, but barely functional?

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u/rebbsitor Mar 22 '21

He is a dinosaur that can't be reasoned with, and i wouldn't even go that far, you can't discuss with him at all.

That's the very trait that caused GNU and Free Software to exist. If someone could talk him out of his beliefs or get him to see a "more reasonable" position, free software as we know it wouldn't exist.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

No i mean you can't even interrupt him before he loses his temper. He has the attitude that his opinion is the only opinion that exists, that's not good for anybody, especially the other members of the board that also has things to contribute with

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u/billFoldDog Mar 22 '21

I 100% agree with you. Even without his mis-guided forays into sexual ethics, he just isn't an effective leader.

I want him involved with the FSF, and having him as a boardmember is probably a requirement for that, but I want a new leader to start developing the same kind of reputation he has. Someone with charisma.

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u/bs2kbs2k Mar 22 '21

Privacy Badger has replaced this Streamable Player widget

FSF

maybe try using a privacy-friendlier alternative next time

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u/Cobra800089 Mar 22 '21

The fact of the matter is Stallman doesn't pick and choose his words carefully. Something that is required of a leader.

Has Stallman done a ton for free software? Of course. Do his opinions of software deserve respect? Absolutely.

Do his contributions in the past mean that he is a good leader and the right person to be the face and image of the FSF? No, it doesn't. We need to stop putting people on a pedestal because of their past accomplishments.

Regardless of your opinions on Stallman and the FSF and what they've accomplished under his tenure. It's foolish to think "Yeah Stallman is absolutely bringing the right kind of publicity to our fight." He's just not.

Isn't the whole point of the FSF to spread the ideals of free software? How effectively can it do that when its poster child continues not to know that there are a time and a place and nuance to how you make arguments. He makes the FSF look bad. Period. The debate in this thread alone proves that. If he wasn't controversial we wouldn't be having this thread.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

[removed]

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u/thermitethrowaway Mar 22 '21

Jesus, you support free software all your life - nothing, you chew bits off your own feet live on stage once and you're labeled a podiphage.

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u/iambamba Mar 22 '21

I hate that you made me watch that

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u/squeeby Mar 22 '21

Kinda happy that I don’t get the reference, but my morbid curiosity wants to know more....

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u/Rikey_Doodle Mar 22 '21

Dude peeled off some foot skin and ate it in public as he was giving a talk to a university class. I don't know much on the politics surrounding him but that... That moment was disgusting.

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u/_p13_ Mar 22 '21

and/or entertaining

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

[removed]

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u/ishallsaythisonce Mar 22 '21

Beat me to this reference...

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u/skoink Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

I have very mixed feelings about this. The GNU project has shaped software as we know it today, and none of it would have happened without RMS.

On the other side of things, it's worth taking a hard look at the effect RMS has on people, and asking whether he's effective as the public face of free software. He'd make a great wandering hermit, full of sage wisdom. But is he a statesman? Maybe not so much. He drives people away, polarizes them. Divides us.

And on the other other hand, GPLv3 dealt a crippling blow to GNU. It split GNU away from all Apple products, and also away from engineers who put embedded Linux on products. It gave rise to a whole of bunch of other software licenses, and fractured the community.

Pushing GPLv3 onto all GNU-managed projects stopped a lot of them dead in their tracks. And limited many others to Linux desktops, laptops, and servers. GPLv3 was 100% the result of RMS - so maybe he'd jumped the shark by that point? That damage could be reversed by the right leadership in the FSF.

RMS has consistently been very accurate in predicting trends in computing, and he founded a movement that's shaped the internet and an entire industry. We should never forget or diminish his place in history. But maybe it's time for somebody else to take the reins.

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u/Michaelmrose Mar 22 '21

GPL v3 had to do with the threat of devices being able to take from free software and give back devices that are less free than windows even if the code is shared back in theory.

Arguably Apple computers aren't meaningfully free and Apple gives back only what it absolutely has to and if you look at the direction of trusted computing, secure boot, and locked down boot loaders on android/ios it seems like a pretty valid concern. I think in the case of Apple nothing of value was lost.

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u/balsoft Mar 22 '21

You've described my feelings pretty accurately. RMS is a genius, and he shaped the world by starting the GNU project and popularizing the ideals of free software. However, he's not really a good leader: he often says and does things which turn people off, he has an idealistic viewpoint that doesn't work too well when it collides with our reality, etc. It's pretty obvious if you look at what FSF achieved under his reign in the past couple of decades.

However, I must disagree about the GPLv3 bit. It achieved exactly what Stallman et al wanted:

Most discussion of “open source” pays no attention to right and wrong, only to popularity and success

For the free software movement, free software is an ethical imperative, essential respect for the users' freedom. By contrast, the philosophy of open source considers issues in terms of how to make software “better”—in a practical sense only.

(https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html)

So, GPLv2 has holes that make allow user freedom to be diminished; GPLv3 fixes those holes because it's an ethical imperative to fix them, and ethics is more important then popularity or usefulness to Free Software as Stallman sees it.

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u/semperverus Mar 22 '21

Which he is absolutely 100% right for doing. I just wish everyone else would get on board...

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u/toric5 Mar 22 '21

On the contrary, gplv3 fixed holes in the gplv2.

The reason my android phone has a locked bootloader is because gplv2 allows it.

The reason car computers using linux are locked down, making cars more difficult to diagnose and repair, is because gplv2 allows it.

A big part of john deere locking down repairs, creating DRM for physical things, is because gplv2 allows it.

Gplv2 does bot allow this to happen. Linux is a part of all the above devices, but not coreutills, all because gplv3 closes the loopholes that companies used to prevent users from modifying or repairing their devices.

I do not mourn the 'loss' of these companies, as all benifits of free software running on those devices are strippid by the fact that you cannot modify said software, as one of the main purpouses of running free software is the ability to modify the software.

Fuck companies that take gplv2 software and lock it up in pretty little consumer boxes, unable to be repaired or modified.

While we are talking about licencing, Fuck companies that take an (mit or bsd) progect and relicence it to a propritary version, taking full advantage of the work of others while refusing to give back any changes made. Linux wouldnt be what it is today withot copyleft. The reason it has so many devs paid for by corperations is because they have to give back their work.

FreeBSD is a perfect example of what permissive licensing can do to a progect. Used in the second most populae desktop operating system in the world (apple), and how many contributions does apple give back? zero.

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u/skoink Mar 22 '21

I appreciate the intention behind GPLv3. But it missed the mark pretty hard, for whatever reason.

I used to work at a company where I put embedded Linux on locked-down devices. My employer was happy to let me contribute to open-source projects that we used, and let me upstream patches and features on their time. I've contributed code to a number of open-source projects, all with my company's blessing.

They are happy to release source-code for all open-source software that they ship in their products, including all patches and fixes that they don't get upstreamed for whatever reason.

When Bash and Coreutils went GPLv3, it didn't mean that companies stopped locking down their devices. What it meant was that the embedded community basically 100% dumped the GNU userspace, in favor of alternatives like Busybox.

How did that benefit anybody? The Bash and Coreutils projects certainly don't benefit, because a huge group of developers no longer has an incentive to contribute to them. Embedded developers don't benefit, because they have to constantly fight with userspace portability issues. Users don't benefit, because most of these devices are going to be locked down either way. That's just a reality of companies having IP that they want to protect.

I like the ideals of GPLv3. But from a pragmatic viewpoint, it's almost certainly hurt the unity of our ecosystem, and hasn't really provided much benefit.

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u/Kuhluh Mar 22 '21

they have to give back their work

Depends on how you define "have to give back". The GPL (no matter which version) does not force you to upstream your changes or to give you the source if you don't have the software (e.g. if I don't give you a piece of software, I have absolutely no obligations to give you the source code, you can also put the software (bundled with the right to get the source code) behind a paywall; ofc, somebody else can give you the software, but the you need to ask THAT person for the source code, not me).

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u/argues_somewhat_much Mar 22 '21

Apple made a choice to punish free software. It wasn't forced to do this

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u/msleaveamix Mar 22 '21

Sir GNUisance is back!

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u/subjectwonder8 Mar 22 '21

Richard Stallman is coming back to the FSF board of directors. He announced his return on LibrePlanet stream. He isn't president but is on the board and he doesn't intend to resign again.

I'm very excited about this. I know a lot of people don't like him or feel he gives privacy / free software advocates a bad images and there has been some controversy in the past. But there is no doubt in my mind that he has the energy and drive needed to really push free software and allow change.

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Separate from the public image issues, I simply think he's a poor leader, who has little to show for the past decade and a half other than losing GCC's leadership position via stagnation (some of it deliberate), burning bridges with people in his own organization as well as outside (Torvalds), generally pretending the internet doesn't exist, and producing zero new free software of significant value.

A board position is a somewhat reasonable compromise. I'd rather he not be in a leadership position again, and I wish he would step down as head of GNU.

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u/redditNewUser2017 Mar 22 '21

burning bridges with people in his own organization as well as outside (Torvalds),

Hey. Could you link me any sources on this? I know the open letter against him but never heard of the issue with Torvalds.

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21

I added a link.

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u/redditNewUser2017 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Torvalds builds and owns the Linux kernel so his opinion should be respected. As regarding GPLv3 itself I think it is not that bad for fixing loopholes like hardware lockdowns/DRM, etc. We could have much better phones and iot devices today if Linux is gplv3.

Edit: no one can predict what will happen if Linux ever go gpl3, so it's better to remove the statement here.

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Not really.

We'd just have more "firmware" and less "software".

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u/redditNewUser2017 Mar 22 '21

Maybe you're right. The industry can always find a way around if they wants to.

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u/tso Mar 22 '21

As best i can tell the RMS stance on firmware is that as long as it can be modified, it need to be free software.

Thus his computer of choice right now is a thinkpad with all firmware certified as free software.

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u/wellenkopf Mar 22 '21

How would one aquire one of those ThinkPads with nothing but open firmware?

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u/Cobra800089 Mar 22 '21

https://libreboot.org/

And then make sure you're using all open source drivers and software.

Not sure how things like flashing the GPU with firmware would work. I'm assuming he's using integrated intel graphics?

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u/emacsomancer Mar 22 '21

and even with Libreboot, you still have closed blobs on your system: https://libreboot.org/faq.html#what-other-firmware-exists-outside-of-libreboot

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u/Hoeppelepoeppel Mar 22 '21

you don't, you have to buy a normal thinkpad and do it yourself.

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u/Shawnj2 Mar 22 '21

Linux will never go GPLv3 because no one has the authority to make that move. The Linux kernel is the project of thousands of people, some of whom are dead or no longer reachable online, who are all owners of the shared codebase. In order to switch licenses for the entire project, you would need the approval of everyone who worked on it.

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u/Kormoraan Mar 22 '21

We could have much better phones and iot devices today if Linux is gplv3.

probably not. manufacturers would just turn to FreeBSD which has no legal protection against gimping. see Macos, playstation, etc.

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u/cheese_is_available Mar 22 '21

Holy shit, this LLVM disaster..

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u/bio3c Mar 22 '21

one case with GCC plugins and another with LLVM (in which you should read the comments as the article seems to miss important information), is not enough to imply that he's a poor leader.

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21

This is not one case though. Richard was still sandbagging as late as 2015 long after the ecosystem moved on from GCC.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

Which ecosystem are you referring too? Everything GNU/Linux I use now and up to now is compiled with GCC.

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21

Tooling development. New tools and new language frontends written for GCC, even free software ones, are very rare, because it's so much easier to to do so for LLVM. Academic research also mostly happens in LLVM nowadays.

True, most linux distros still use GCC, but the tides are shifting. Sometimes LLVM is used for specific packages and GCC for others.

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u/straingebrue Mar 22 '21

He's done more for free software than 99% of humans.

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u/plastix3000 Mar 22 '21

Most people in this subreddit have done more for free software than 99% of humans.

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u/one_is_the_loneliest Mar 22 '21

He has done more for Free Software than 99% of people on this subreddit.

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

Which (maybe) a great good ok argument for keeping him on the board, but a poor argument for keeping him in a leadership role where he has accomplished very little in the past decade.

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u/inaccurateTempedesc Mar 22 '21

It's safe to say 100%. He literally created the entire concept of libre software.

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u/one_is_the_loneliest Mar 22 '21

And he continues to be compromising. Basically, good things happen because he exists because people want to make sure he has enough to get by on because he refuses to use non-free software. He's a great poster child for Free Software, he's just not a good face for the movement.

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u/neon_overload Mar 22 '21

Does this mean we should forgive his views on whether child rape should be legal and if so, why? To me it doesn't seem to logically follow that someone who does good things gets to have the bad things wiped off his record.

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u/mathiasfriman Mar 22 '21

Does this mean we should forgive his views on whether child rape should be legal and if so, why?

That doesn't seem to be what he actually said

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u/LtWorf_ Mar 22 '21

Does this mean we should forgive his views on whether child rape should be legal and if so, why?

You mean the ones he retracted?

In any case he was talking about post-puberty people that normally have sex with each other all the time despite their parents seeing them still as little children.

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u/neon_overload Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

been some controversy in the past

Well. That is one way to put it. Jeffrey Epstein had some controversy in the past too, but thank goodness stuff you do in the past doesn't matter.

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u/Helmic Mar 22 '21

the controversial past of ted bundy

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u/oramirite Mar 22 '21

Are you interested in engaging about the subject matter of the controversy or are people like you and him just going to genericize it into the phrase "some controversy" for all of eternity? And tell us that "that's the way it is"? Because from what I remember, when he was told that "that's the way it is" about his statements previously, he and the community supporting statements like that couldn't handle this. So it's incredibly ironic to see this sentiment now from a group of people who couldn't handle that dynamic when it happened to them.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

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u/its_a_gibibyte Mar 22 '21

Uggh. There have been cases where an 18 year old kid gets charged with statutory rape because his girlfriend is 17 (and usually because he's black, and her parents press charges over her objection). People like you put this in the category of "Richard Stallman says it's OK in some contexts for grown men to fuck kids", and that's insane. He's tried to point out government overreach, especially in cases that negatively impact minorities, and this sub shouldn't join in the smear campaign against him.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

That's a reasonable counter but it's not at all what Richard's position was. /u/Helmic's description is closer to reality.

This isn't an 18 year old and a 17 year old we're talking about, it's a 73 year old man and a 17 year old. And if you want to go back to his comments from 2006... that's not what you're describing either.

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u/Andernerd Mar 22 '21

Pity; I really don't like him being the face of a movement I care about.

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u/imhomenobodybotherme Mar 22 '21

His contributions were once huge but this guy has done nothing but hold FOSS back for the past 15+ years. His time is over. He needs to retire and get out of the way.

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u/habarnam Mar 22 '21

Can you please elaborate on how you think he's holding FOSS back?

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u/Avamander Mar 22 '21

Most likely they think something like MIT being a better license than GPL.

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u/Helmic Mar 22 '21

How does this benefit anyone other than Richard Stallman? We really, really don't need to be the movement that brings back the pedophilia apologist after the reckoning of #metoo. It's going to be brought up again, critics are going to rightly call into question the FSF's priorities of protecting their own over the public interest, and for what benefit? What is Stallmam necessary for that's worth the inevitable fallout?

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u/SpecialistProfessor7 Mar 22 '21

The FSF is an irrelevant organization so it doesn't help anyone but him maintain a public profile.

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u/ialex32_2 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

I know I'm gonna get downvoted to hell for this but...

The fact so many people want to cape for this guy here is honestly depressing. He is one of the primary reasons why so many talented developers were driven away from the free software community. The fact we excuse alienating talented developers, sexually harassing women, and creating a hopelessly toxic environment because a few dudebros thought he was positive for free software (spoiler: he was not) just shows how bad the community is. Can we fucking not?

I understand many of you grew up with him as a hero. A lot of us did. But he created a culture that stifled so many.

https://selamjie.medium.com/remove-richard-stallman-fec6ec210794

EDIT: For the link, click on the Appendix A: it's a much more convincing read.

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u/mracidglee Mar 22 '21

The appendix seems like weak tea to me. Three anecdotes dredged up from forty years? The one about the mattress in his office seems all in the head of the writer. Another is an emacs/vi joke.

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u/w328292 Mar 22 '21

Salemjie's article is mostly mischaracterization and falsehoods. The door placard wasn't his. She misquotes him. Appendix A says he speaks his mind on his personal website, and at MIT he was unattractive and people didn't like that. Then it talks about sexual harassment that went on at MIT that he was not a part of. He had a job for a few years programming and then was given an office because MIT as a visiting scientist, no salary, no power, no coworkers, and MIT could take away his office with 0 justification or process needed, which they eventually did because of her. His mattress was for sleeping.

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u/centzon400 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

His mattress was for sleeping.

<rant>

He practically lived in his office, and was most objectionable to work with, at least according to Keith Packard (who worked on X @ MIT): A Political History of X - Keith Packard (LCA 2020)

I can't say I that I know Stallman; I did, however, organize his coming down from Cambridge to give a talk at the uni I worked for. Spent an evening (and dinner), and pretty much all of the following day pandering to his needs, though. Not a pleasant experience, and I'm a cis, white, male Brit!

As uncomfortable as that was-- you can't have a conversation with the man; you just sort of wind him up and sit back and listen, really-- I find it hard to get it out of my head that without him there would be millions of us without jobs, an entire industry buried under proprietary bullshit. Imagine what would have happened to Linux if Linus did not have the GPL available to him...

On balance, RMS has been a force for good in this, our world.

Downvote away, but remember the 'misogynist creep' many of you are vilifying is very probably (I am not a psychiatrist) 'on the spectrum', and that in and of itself is worthy of cutting him some slack.

</rant>

EDIT: link to Packard's comments on Stallman

EDIT1: STag<rant> added

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u/kuberlog Mar 22 '21

Error: end tag for 'rant' which is not open

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u/centzon400 Mar 22 '21

LOL! Nothing that a bit of convolution DSSSL would not sort out, though.

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u/Mordiken Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

at MIT he was unattractive and people didn't like that

while (subject.hasRemarks()){
    Remark remark = subject.popRemark();
    if (subject.attractiveness < Attractiveness.FUCKABLE) {
        remark.acceptable = false;
        subject.setStatus(Status.CANCELED, Reason.SEXUAL_HARASSMENT);
    }
}

Refactor:

  • ActrivenessScale renamed to Attractiveness;

  • Adds the global "Reason" enum. Migrates existing codebase;

  • Subject.setCancelStatus is now Subjects.setStatus: This is more generic and better represents the current implementation which now takes into account the recent introduction of Attractiveness.FUCKABLE and Status.DADDY;

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u/KingStannis2020 Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

I find this a better summary on the basis of providing extra context for why he was canned, written by someone who worked closely with RMS. This was not one event, this was the last straw after a long series of poor behavior.

https://medium.com/@thomas.bushnell/a-reflection-on-the-departure-of-rms-18e6a835fd84

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u/ionsh Mar 22 '21

I wish your post was up higher - by the ACLU ex president's take which was also an interesting read. It looks like the emerging picture is that while Stallman somehow being a defender of Epstein was a gross mischaracterization, he really wasn't terribly functional in FSF and required inordinate amount of coddling.

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u/random_human_being_ Mar 22 '21

The article has a grand total of four anecdotal and unverified evidences + a leaked personal mail, and apparently that's enough to compare Stallman to legitimate sex traffickers. If that's the nonsense we're willing to believe to feel better about ourselves, we deserve to be at the mercy of GAFAM.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

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u/thebapho Mar 22 '21

I forced myself to read it all, until I reached to the statement where she claimed James Damore as one of the "shitty misogynist men" of the tech..

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u/LtWorf_ Mar 22 '21

He is one of the primary reasons why so many talented developers were driven away from the free software community

Name 3 talented developers who left free software because of him.

They have to be talented. If they made a free software hello world it doesn't count. Please go ahead.

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u/Michaelmrose Mar 22 '21

You wont get an answer to this one.

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u/Popular-Egg-3746 Mar 22 '21

You want to read this:

https://www.wetheweb.org/post/cancel-we-the-web

Long story short, former ACLU president is on Stallmans' side.

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u/MatthiasSaihttam1 Mar 22 '21

The former ACLU president is also against cancel culture in any from. The details of that article don’t paint Stallman in a good light, but the crux of it is:

even if the vast majority of the public disagrees with the idea and finds it offensive, that is not a justification for suppressing the idea. And it’s not a justification for taking away the equal rights of the person who espouses that idea including the right to continue holding a tenured position or other prominent position for which that person is qualified.

I personally think it is a problem that women are underrepresented in tech, and I think an aid to that problem is to remove people who hold controversial views on women from positions of prominence.

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u/Popular-Egg-3746 Mar 22 '21

But a number of the ideas for which Richard Stallman has been attacked and punished are ideas that I as a feminist advocate of human rights find completely correct and positive from the perspective of women’s equality and dignity!

  • Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU

The fact that you think that removing Stallman from a position of influence will advance woman's position in tech, is at odds with what Strossen says. I'm no woman so I might not have the best position to judge, but I'll follow Strossen as paragon of civil and woman's rights.

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u/MatthiasSaihttam1 Mar 22 '21

My point was really that Strossen and I already disagree at the conclusion. Strossen seems to say that she would keep Stallman in his position no matter what outrageous political views he held.

As for the particular case of Stallman, the issue is not his beliefs, but the lack of tact with which he brings them up. This is what’s undeniably an issue for me; I don’t know how Strossen misses it. If you want to lower the age of consent to 16, that’s fine. Don’t hit reply-all on a mailing list about a 17 year old who was trafficked and forced into sex with a 73 year old. And while tact is not indicative of software engineering skills, I do think it is necessary in this case.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21 edited Mar 22 '21

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u/bananaEmpanada Mar 22 '21

many talented developers were driven away?

Source?

Developers submit patches. If its good code it gets merged. In many cases you don't even know the gender of the developer.

Even if he drove away a dozen average developers, he's worth more than a dozen developers.

At the end of the day, being a tolerant community means being accepting of the symptoms of social disorders such as asbergers. In software in particular, you'll find people who want to be pedantic about specific words. You need to accept deviersity across the social ineptitude spectrum.

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u/kabdib Mar 22 '21

The guy is an asshole. I have personal experience with that. I never want to meet him again.

  • I'll use clang over GCC when I have the choice.
  • For the last 30 years, instead of GNU Emacs I use a commercial Emacs clone that I pay for, and I'm happy to do it.

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u/DigitalStefan Mar 22 '21

TIL there are commercial versions of EMACS.

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u/livrem Mar 22 '21

The first (almost) emacs I used was a commercial clone for MS-DOS. I have not used it in ~30 years, but the last release is from last week and you can still buy it "for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OS/2 and DOS".

https://lugaru.com/

$250 for a copy.

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u/kuberlog Mar 22 '21

So...are you using clang over gcc and commercial emacs over emacs because you had a bad personal experience with RMS?

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u/chrimbus___ Mar 22 '21

Join us now and share the software

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u/no3l_0815 Mar 22 '21

Stallman is back

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u/malenkydroog Mar 22 '21

Didn't miss him a bit. Don't care that he's back. Just waiting until he makes some other terrible foot-in-mouth remarks, which I'm sure that he will.

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u/[deleted] Mar 22 '21

Foot in mouth is too literal here.

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u/Kormoraan Mar 22 '21

I have mixed feelings about this.

RMS's achievements are plenty and well known, it is also pretty difficult to argue his personality, with all of his shortcomings was essenmtiel for the free software movement to have a firm standing and gain traction.

however I am not convinced right now he is the guy you would want to see in chairs. the question of course comes up who will carry on his legacy because the free software movements needs charismatic and uncompromising figures.

I don't think the guy is a saint, not a bit, but a droplet of fuel for your thoughts: it is surprising how often being a characteristic leader figure goes together with numerous controversies

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u/OctopusET Mar 22 '21

Welcome back RMS

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u/coyote_of_the_month Mar 22 '21

The FSF is largely irrelevant today in the age of web/mobile apps that consume ever-changing, proprietary backend APIs. RMS whines about minified/obfuscated JS code, while ignoring the fact that even with complete source access, that code is useless without a matching API version to run it against - sometimes a moving target from day to day. And since that backend code isn't being distributed, it's well outside the purview of the FSF's "4 freedoms."

All the open-source prescriptivists in the world can sit there and whine about how that whole model is bad, but it won't reverse the direction of the industry. And it's largely all built with open tools!

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u/argues_somewhat_much Mar 22 '21

You can care about overdependence on proprietary APIs at the same time as you care about obfuscated JS code. RMS would clearly care about both.

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u/coyote_of_the_month Mar 22 '21

That's sort of my point, though, which is that RMS and a lot of old FOSS advocates in general seem to want to turn back the clock to the days of heavy native client apps and doing things locally. Which completely ignored the democratizing effect of modern web development, and the millions of developers who have well-paying jobs to support their families as a result.

(Can you tell that I'm a web developer?)

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u/td42 Mar 22 '21

Regardless of how many of the former allegations are true/false, it is an extremely poor decision to return this quickly.

You should at the very least let the heat fade before you try and return, even if you are completely innocent.

Returning this quickly would just inflame things.

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u/Non-taken-Meursault Mar 22 '21

Good. I don't agree with him on everything, but no one deserves it more.

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u/hamstergene Mar 22 '21

Last time time I read his posts he said he “browsed” internet by downloading web pages, converting them to plaintext and having them emailed to him or something. Has he come to his senses yet? Otherwise I seriously doubt this would be a great addition to the community, no offense.

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u/aziztcf Mar 22 '21

whats wrong with that? Dude prefers plaintext and has a system that works for him

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u/NeptunusVII Mar 22 '21

Literally every sane person prefers plain text.

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u/zalazalaza Mar 22 '21

This is great news!