Summary: Response to the usual anti-Richard Stallman crowd and their latest incitement against Free software (and to a lesser degree Ubuntu)
THE headline is a response to Matt Asay’s latest “Free software is dead” wishful thinking. He is one of those opportunists who believe that they can simply relabel GPL-licensed software “open source” and then magically declare the FSF “irrelevant” and Free software “dead”. It doesn’t work that way.
“Truth be told, Asay has disliked Richard Stallman all along.”Richard Stallman does not shy away from politics and this comes at a cost. Truth be told, Asay has disliked Richard Stallman all along. This fact has been raised here many times before. Like with the Shuttleworth incident, Stallman has been smeared again recently. Free software supporters should not be dismayed, however, because these latest smears against Stallman typically come from pro-Big Business writers (e.g. Apple users/advocates) and also people of the Big Press. They look for triggers to justify their disdain and then make convenient excuses for an outburst du jour.
Speaking from experience, I have not found a single person who agreed with the FSF before those ‘incidents’ and changed his/her mind. I have seen about a dozen criticisms of Stallman's remark and none surprised me. The shrewder complainers ‘sell’ the illusion that things suddenly changed; but it could not be further from the truth. In the case of Tux Machines, for example, the Shuttleworth/Ubuntu unrest was nothing new. The editor expressed similar sentiments several times before.
One reader of ours writes: “I think the renewed sexism attack should be counted as an attack on rivals last week. It was dirty and indirect but it was an attack.”
On he goes saying in reply to Wallclimber that “the best way to diffuse that is to look at the context and diffuse the lie.” She said that “what’s bad about these recent attacks is that they know exactly what buttons to push to get people worked up… I think everyone’s nerves are a little on edge lately.” █
“Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn’t all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.”