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BeOpen.com: BeOpen Interview with Jeremy Allison - Profile

May 28, 2000, 02:09 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

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"As a native of Sheffield, England -- a traditional hotbed of left-leaning UK politics -- Jeremy Allison has understandable reservations when it comes to wearing the "benevolent dictator" mantle so-often applied to open source software project leaders."

"First, there's the credit issue: As one of the two main individuals behind Samba -- an open source system of networking protocols that allow NT boxes, Unix workstations and Linux servers to work together in near-perfect harmony -- Allison must give equal leadership credit to Andrew Tridgell, the man who first coined the name "Samba," as well as other members of the 20-programmer Samba team."

"Secondly, there's the paradoxical issue of assigning leadership to something that in Allison's view is simply a grass-roots movement similar to the working class struggles of his native country. "When I downloaded the GCC [Gnu C Compiler] for the first time, back in 1988, I took a moment to read through Richard Stallman's Gnu Manifesto," Allison says, recalling his first introduction to the notion of free software as a political statement. "I instantly recognized it for what it was: Socialism. Coming from Europe, where socialism isn't a dirty word, I had no problem with it."

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