EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.26.09

Richard Stallman is Not the Bad Guy

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman young
Richard Stallman (younger days)

Summary: Richard Stallman is smeared for pretty much saying it like it is

Miguel de Icaza and his online friend Jason Perlow (they occasionally spoke before) seem to be on some sort of subtle attack on Richard Stallman. Perlow wrote a trollish post for ZDNet [1, 2] and de Icaza now portrays himself as a poor victim who is only looking for love. There is little reference (or none) to what led to Stallman's remarks about de Icaza and the very rational, factual explanation of why Mono means trouble. As Sam Varghese puts it, Stallman merely “comes under attack again”. Apparently, Stallman is not permitted to defend Free software from Microsoft.

It appears to be open season for launching attacks on the head of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Matthew Stallman, the man who is in large measure responsible for the status that free and open source software enjoys today.

The latest attack on Stallman is a lengthy post by ZDNet blogger Jason Perlow and is based on remarks that Stallman is said to have made during the Free Software Day celebrations in Boston.

Other people followed these attacks on Stallman, but some are Freedom-apathetic (power preceding Freedom). A lot of them have always disliked Stallman in the first place. In his new blog, Bruce Byfield puts it politely, but others are obviously trying to dethrone Stallman, calling it dogmatism (missing the whole point about Mono, which is a fundamental risk to Free software, not reason for “dogmatism”), et cetera et cetera.

At Identi.ca, Stallman received the support of people, one of whom writes: “I know what @RMS thinks, because I read the blog post quoting the tweet that quoted a person who was there. And I am outraged!”

Truth be told, here is how another person put it: “#RMS is pretty bad as a diplomatic, alt[h]ough he’s a visionary indeed. I hope people can understand the message by above the way”

Here is another take from a blog post:

RMS tends to call a spade a spade and he does not accept fluff as substance. M$’s posturing as being open to FLOSS is absurd. No matter how many millions they contribute to FLOSS, they are not a friend of FLOSS-loving people. Repeatedy they have shown a willingness to buy out the competition rather than to out-compete. RMS is not a great diplomat but neither is he often wrong.

Free software supporters still do not want Mono. It was never particularly popular, to say the least. The same goes for Moonlight.

Now that Silverlight comes to Linux (Moblin, at least initially [1, 2]), people wonder what Moonlight was made for at all. Microsoft explains it like this:

According to a blog entry from Microsoft’s Silverlight team, the initiative will complement their work with Novell’s open source port of Silverlight for Linux, Moonlight.

Jason from Mono-Nono has another explanation:

Novell shocked to be undermined. Everyone else points and laughs.

So, the news is out that Microsoft is bringing real Silverlight to Moblin. This is not Moonlight, this is the real-deal Silverlight 3 in a joint effort with Intel for Atom-based platforms.

A very interesting development.

[...]

Note Microsoft claims “we” (meaning Novell and Microsoft) are building Moonlight. Microsoft says Moonlight is a Microsoft project.

I whole-heartedly agree that it is a “clear extension” of Microsoft’s current efforts. That is phase 2, after all.

In another new post, Jason explains once again the motivations behind Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation [1, 2, 3]:

Microsoft man Sam Ramji reveals some of the Codeplex Foundation’s motivations.

In responding to the devestating criticism of the Codeplex Foundation’s fundamentally flawed organization and the high skepticism of its motives, Mr. Ramji revealed a bit of the true motives behind the Codeplex Foundation:

Look at projects related to Mono, you also can look at NUnit, NHibernate, we really feel optimistic that the Foundation could help them gain a higher level of credibility in the open source community. They feel they have been lacking that strong moral support.

Break that down and chew on it a bit!

Mr. Ramji is saying you know those Microsoft-approved “Open Source” projects like Mono? And you know how the Open Source community keeps rejecting them? Well Microsoft is going to create our own playing field and support them!

[...]

Microsoft is not new at leveraging its considerable resources into creating a rubber-stamp pre-approved situation, especially when the real and existing community doesn’t want anything to do with Microsoft’s offerings – <cough> OOXML</cough> – and the CodePlex Foundation is just another example of that.

The very idea that Microsoft can even set up an independent Open Source foundation is absolutely ludicrious. Pick any absurd analogy you like: Yankees fans setting up a Red Sox Appreciation Society, the Klan setting up a Civil Rights commission, Nickleback fans setting up a music appreciation group, whatever.

Here is another new report about Sam Ramji and Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation:

Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation leader soaks in stinging critique

In response to criticism from a leading expert on forming consortia, the interim president of Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation, Sam Ramji, says the open source group is in a “beta” phase for its first 100 days and is welcoming all forms of evaluation and critique of its bylaws and governance model.

One KDE developer offers this reminder of why Microsoft’s supposed “openness” is still an unfulfilled promise.

But there are MS Access proprietary file formats (mdb, accdb) that remain to be secret. These are not planned to be replaced by XML formats (what would be overkill in databases). I guess there was no pressure to open the formats, what looks like an overlook in EU and the USA (correct me if there’s another reason like patents). If you google for that, it is hard to find even a single mention of file format specifications in the above meaning, and even explanations from MS employees or backers show that they do not fully realize one thinf: MSA formats are not covered by the process of said “opening of the legacy formats”.

How timely a reminder of how “open” Microsoft truly is.

In conclusion, rather than attacking Stallman, people ought to learn why he reacted as he did. It is a matter of self defense — he is defending our freedom.

“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. “Don’t bother us with politics,” respond those who don’t want to learn.”

Richard Stallman

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  2. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  3. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  4. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  6. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  7. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  8. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  9. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  10. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  11. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  12. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)



  13. Qualcomm's Patent Aggression Threatens Rationality of Patent Scope in Europe and Elsewhere

    Qualcomm's dependence on patent taxes (so-called 'royalties' associated with physical devices which it doesn't even make) highlights the dangers now known; the patent thicket has grown too "thick"



  14. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Are Still Desperate to Crush PTAB in the Courts, Not Just in Congress and the Office

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) improve patent quality and are therefore a threat to those who profit from spurious feuding and litigation; they try anything they can to turn things around



  15. IAM, Watchtroll and the EPO Still Spread the Mentality of Patent Maximalism

    The misguided idea that the objective (overall) should be to grant as many monopolies as possible (to spur a lot of litigation) isn't being challenged in echo chamber 'events', set up and sponsored by think tanks and pressure groups of the litigation 'industry'



  16. Watchtroll and Other Proponents of Patent Trolls Are Trying to Change the Law Outside the Courts in Order to Bypass Patent Justice

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) voids almost every software patent — a reality that even the most zealous patent professionals have come to grips with and their way of tackling this ‘problem’ is legislative, albeit nowhere near successful (so far)



  17. Links 16/9/2018: Windows Plays 'Nice' Again, Elisa Music Player 0.3 Beta and Latte Dock 0.8.1

    Links for the day



  18. Slamming Courts and Judges Won't Help the Patent Maximalists; It Can Only Make Things Worse

    Acorda Therapeutics sees its stock price dropping 25% after finding out that its patent portfolio isn't solid, as affirmed by the Federal Circuitn(CAFC); the only way out of this mess is a pursuit of a vastly improved patent quality, thorough patent examination which then offers legal certainty



  19. Patent Trolls Are Still Active and Microsoft is Closely Connected to Many of Them

    A roundup of patent trolls' actions in the United States; Microsoft is connected to a notably high number of these



  20. Advancements in Automobile Technology Won't be Possible With Patent Maximalism

    Advancements in the development of vehicles are being discouraged by a thicket of patents as dumb (and likely invalid) as claims on algorithms and mere shapes



  21. Battistelli “Has Deeply Hurt the Whole Patent Profession, Examiners as Well as Agents” and Also the Image of France

    A French perspective regarding Battistelli's reign at the EPO, which has not really ended but manifests itself or 'metastasises' through colleagues of Battistelli (whom he chose) and another French President (whom he also chose)



  22. António Campinos Needs to Listen to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) et al to Salvage What's Left of Public Consent for the EPO

    Groups including Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde (MdM) have attempted to explain to the EPO, with notoriously French-dominated leadership, that it’s a mistake to work for Gilead at the expense of the public; but António Campinos is just another patent maximalist



  23. The Max Planck Institute's Determination on UPC's (Unitary Patent) Demise is Only “Controversial” in the Eyes of Rabid Members of Team UPC

    Bristows keeps lying like Battistelli; that it calls a new paper "controversial" without providing any evidence of a controversy says a lot about Bristows LLP, both as a firm and the individuals who make up the firm (they would not be honest with their clients, either)



  24. Links 15/9/2018: Wine 3.16, Overwatch's GNU/Linux (Wine) 'Ban', New Fedora 28 Build, and Fedora 29 Beta Delay

    Links for the day



  25. Max Planck Institute Pours More Water on the Dying Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Max Planck Institute gives another sobering reality check for Team UPC to chew on; there's still no sign of any progress whatsoever for the UPC because even Team UPC appears to have given up and moved on



  26. EPO Seals Many Death Sentences With Acceptance of EP 2604620

    Very disappointing news as EP 2604620 withstands scrutiny, assuring that a lot of poor people will not receive much-needed, life-saving treatments



  27. Links 13/9/2018: Compiz Comeback, 'Life is Strange: Before the Storm'

    Links for the day



  28. Now We Have Patents on Rooms. Yes, Rooms!

    The shallow level of what nowadays constitutes "innovation" and merits getting a patent for a couple of decades



  29. EPO Granted a Controversial European Patent (Under Battistelli) Which May Literally Kill a Lot of People

    The EPO (together with CIPA) keeps promoting software patents; patents that are being granted by the EPO literally put lives at risk and have probably already cost a lot of lives



  30. Links 13/9/2018: Parrot 4.2.2, Sailfish OS Nurmonjoki, Eelo Beta

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts