Rchard Stallman vs Darl McBride

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Fri Jul 16 16:03:04 MDT 2010

On 07/16/2010 01:09 PM, Levi Pearson wrote:
> ESR annoys me almost as much as RMS.  At least RMS was a real hacker;
> ESR is just kind of a hacker groupie with an inflated sense of
> self-importance.  He's had some good ideas, he's made a few code
> contributions, and he's definitely been heavily involved in the
> periphery of the whole open source/free software movement, but my
> point is that the 'movement' aspect of software sharing and group
> development is useless and annoying.  People naturally share ideas and
> help each other to work on projects.  The early history of computer
> software 'hacker' culture shows this, and it worked pretty well
> without huge egos, figureheads, and organized movements.  The fact
> that 'users groups' and the like have existed almost as long as
> computers have shows this, too.  It worked just fine before RMS and
> ESR went on their crusades, and I believe we would have largely ended
> up in the same place we are now without the non-technical
> contributions of either of them.

My experience has been different.  More than a decade ago, Eric 
Raymond's papers convinced me to try something beyond Windows/Mac and 
take a serious look at Linux.  I had to be convinced that free software 
and the people behind it were worth my time.  Raymond's perspective made 
sense to me; Stallman's did not.

So I think Raymond's writings were very valuable for inviting new people 
like me into the existing hacker culture.  Consider yourself lucky that 
you were already part of that culture.


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