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InfoWorld: Richard Stallman, GNU/Linux

Oct 07, 2000, 13:12 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Leon)

"In 1983 Richard Stallman found himself at a moral fork in the road and decided to take the less-traveled route. It is a journey which turned out to have significant economic implications. Otherwise, it would not have garnered much attention outside a small core of computer intelligentsia. Stallman had started the process that gave birth to the Linux/GNU OS."

"Linux/GNU, an essentially free OS, has hastened the proliferation of Web servers, e-commerce applications, and all things e-business, a fact that Stallman says does not particularly interest him. "It is not an important issue," Stallman says. "I know this aspect of Linux/GNU gets a lot of attention, but this just shows how people can so easily misunderstand things and miss what is truly significant."

"The significant thing, according to Stallman, is the freedom to cooperate. And this is what he was thinking about 17 years ago. "I looked closely at the practices of software development and decided that non-free software is anti-social," Stallman says. "It divides people, and when you divide you can more easily conquer. The user who cannot get free software is essentially helpless."

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