Stallman's Column Evokes Responses
Jan 08, 2004, 23:00 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Chance, John Carroll)
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NewsForge: In Defence of Free Software, Community, and
"A recent article by Richard Stallman on the subject of the
direction of the Free Software community provoked a lot of
discussion, in particular on whether he is right to push so
strongly his principles of Free Software over and above the
pragmatic principles of Open Source. In this article I would like
to defend Stallman's vision of software, and its place in community
rather than as a consumer product, and re-advocate Stallman's
assertion that the right to form a community is more important than
the ability to use particular software.
"In one of the most telling criticisms of his position, one
Slashdot poster commented that, to paraphrase, until Stallman
realises that people don't expect cooperation and community to be
products of, nor aspects of, a software industry, he won't ever
succeed. Stallman, the poster implied, is talking only to a select
group of people, and will never 'meet the needs of the masses'
until he accepts that their expectations of software are
significantly different than his own..."
ZDNet: A Response to Richard Stallman
"There are a number of people in the open source pantheon, among
them Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond. However, Richard Stallman, as
author of the GPL and one of the most prolific authors in the open
source movement, certainly fills the role of Zeus. Perens and
Raymond serve many purposes, though a number of their recent
writings seem aimed at channeling the open source community's ire
towards an enemy (usually Microsoft, who is portrayed as an evil
Zelig that they inevitably see standing in the shadows in photo
opportunities with open source critics). Stallman, however, rarely
dirties his hands with such things, leaving him free to operate in
the ethereal realm of open source philosophy.
"Stallman serves his purpose well, even if I often disagree with
him. What motivated me to write this response, however, were six
simple words included in his recent article on ZDNet: Free
software does not mean 'gratis'..."
The Free Software Community After 20 Years: With Great But
Incomplete Success, What Now?(Jan 05, 2004)