Rchard Stallman vs Darl McBride

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Thu Jul 15 10:04:17 MDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 3:25 AM, Henry Hertz Hobbit
<hhhobbit at securemecca.com> wrote:
> On 07/14/2010 04:21 PM, Levi Pearson wrote:
> <SNIP>
>> Seriously guys, this is a USERS group.  Neither McBride nor Stallman
>> would have anything useful to say about USING Linux.  One of them is
>> out to make a buck, and happened to end up on the wrong side of a
>> lawsuit.  The other is the leader of a social/political movement, and
>> seems to be only really interested in advocating that movement.
> Have you had any personal interaction with Richard?  I have and
> you are very wrong.  He single-handedly created the entire
> movement that if it has not been done there would be no Linux for
> you to use.  He also created the EMACS text editor. He also uses
> Linux.  I joked to him that I would make sure that I would give
> him /usr/bin/emacs for his shell.  You may disagree with his
> politics but without the FSF and the Gnu Public License (GPL) you
> would have no Linux OS to use.  You would also not have GnuPG which
> is the free side of OpenPGP encryption that is on all Linux systems.
> >From the looks of it some distros are using GnuPG instead of SSL
> certs now to make sure your downloads for the updates to your OS
> are legitimate. I would say Stallman is front and center behind
> the movement that gives you the Linux OS that you are using.

I know very well who he is and how cool of a hacker he used to be.  He
created lots of cool stuff, and I'm really glad he did.  But sometimes
guys who created cool stuff decide they have another calling in life
and move on.  That's what RMS did.  I'm not really interested in what
he moved on to, and I don't think anything he's likely to say to a
group is going to touch on the technical aspects of using Linux today.
 I'm sure he still uses it, but that's because it's what he knows and
it's what fits his philosophy and social agenda.  Linux would exist
just fine without GNU, and if it didn't, we'd all be using
BSD-derivatives instead.  I was using Linux when it first took off,
and the world was primed for something like it to take off.  The only
reason BSD didn't take the popularity surge that Linux did was a small
and short-lived licensing issue that existed right at the cusp of
things.  I would be fine if BSD had taken off instead of Linux + GNU,
really.  We'd be largely in the same place, except maybe we'd have
fewer Free Software zealots and religious wars over licenses.

I'd love to hear him talk about his MIT AI Lab days and how the Lisp
Machines there worked.  I'd love to hear him talk about the
development of emacs and how he uses it today.  I'd love to hear about
how he was involved in developing gcc and the technical details about
how it's put together (I've actually had to fix a bad port of gcc to
an embedded platform I was using, so something like that would have
been very useful to me at one point).  I'd love to hear him talk about
any of the cool things he might have done if he hadn't dedicated his
life to lecturing and advocating about Free Software.  I really doubt
he'd talk to a group about any of that stuff.  He'd talk about Free
Software and why he believes it's so important.  That's fine that he's
passionate about that now, but I don't really care and I don't think
it's particularly relevant to helping people get stuff done with Linux
or their computers in general.


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