[clug] Kernels are easy, ls is the hard part!

Sam Couter sam at couter.id.au
Fri Sep 14 10:25:34 GMT 2007

steve jenkin <sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au> wrote:
>    RMS & friends invented "embrace and extend" long before Microsoft got
> there...

Except that their code is Free - you can compile and run it anywhere,
distribute it, etc. No vendor lock-in there.

>     FSF/RMS have a very strong agenda - and it isn't about great code or
> facilitating others.

No, it's about freedom for all software users. Specifically, the freedom
to run, study, modify and redistribute software.


>           BSD broke the rule for system commands (2-7 lowercase letters,
> non-words)
>           'backup' and 'restore' are BSD names.
>           grep, ls, cat, ar, tar, dd are 'original' Unix names: System
> commands don't pollute the namespace.

Uh... 'cat' and 'tar' are both real words. Maybe I'm just a
whipper-snapper, but I didn't realise there had ever been a non-word
restriction on UNIX command names.

>     RMS actively promotes himself and seeks disciples and accolades. He
> pretends it's about the code...

He claims it's about freedom, and has never pretended otherwise.

Of all the criticisms that can legitimately be leveled at RMS,
pretending and inconsistency are not valid.

> 5. RMS has made a contribution that changed (shook?) the world and will
> do so for a century - GPL.

He did more than that. He didn't just talk it, he lived it. His code
output was prolific, his evangelism single-minded, his principles

>     If BSD had been open to use like Linux, it is extremely unlikely we
> would have MS-Windows today.

Because people felt the need to use an even more restricted and less
capable operating system? No, I think you're just making this up.
Windows survived for a few reasons, and none of those reasons include a
lack of alternatives.

>     I'd agree there is a right for every user to be able to demand, as
> part of the sale,
>     full human-usable source code for any software product. But
> constrained usage conditions are only fair.

Says you. I believe it's fundamentally impossible to restrict the spread
and use of information, and that's all software is. I also believe it's
immoral to expect me to pay for your software and then have you try to
tell me how I can use it on my own hardware.

>     Money is an evil we have to live with - people need to be able to
> trade their efforts for income.

The GPL doesn't preclude charging money for software. It does mean your
first customer also becomes your first competitor, but it doesn't stop
you charging money. Have you even read the GPL FAQ?


Here's a whole page about selling GPL software.


>     [For RMS to be absolutely consistent in his beliefs and actions, he
> needs to repudiate money entirely.]

Now you're just making more stuff up.

>     [He cannot and will not. If 'software needs to be free', then all
> work needs to be on the same basis.]

This is complete garbage, unsupported by evidence or logic, and a
non-sequitor to boot!

>     Truly "Free Goods", such as fish in the ocean, only get exploited
> and most likely wiped out.

If you can't see the fundamental difference between a finite (even if
enormous) resource like the fish in the sea and infinitely reproducible
software, I think you're not yet informed enough to meaningfully take
part in this discussion.

> 8.  Don't pretend that FSF/RMS created Open Source. They didn't, not any
> part of the concept/process.

FSF doesn't even consider themselves part of the Open Source community!
Nor have they ever claimed to have created the concept of Free Software,
although it wasn't called that then.

[ I'm starting to think you're not really this ignorant and I'm being
trolled ]

Seriously, inform thyself:

Sam Couter         |  mailto:sam at couter.id.au
                   |  jabber:sam at teknohaus.dyndns.org
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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