Stallman on the Linux Action Show

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t3g
t3g
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I was eating lunch today and checked out an episode of the Linux Action Show at http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/17822/richard-stallman-gnulas-s20e10/ which included an interview with Richard Stallman for their 200th episode. Here are my thoughts:

In every interview I have seen and or heard, the discussion is always one way. It starts with Stallman on this long 10 minute rant about how he started GNU, takes credit for Linux, and how much he hates commercialization of software. The people he is "talking to" rarely get a chance to respond and just sit there. Maybe he thinks he is super righteous or a godlike figure, but that's the impression from listening to this guy talk.

I've seen other interviews and speeches by him and Stallman is very quick to get defensive about everything. If you disagree with him in any way, he has this passive aggressive tone and will get on another 10 minute rant about the strength of the FSF. I can tell this man is passionate about what he follows but at the same time is angry about everything. You can tell it in the tone of his voice when answering a question.

I think the GNU and FSF have a great purpose, but most of what Stallman says these days is repeated from what he has been saying for almost 30 years. I believe in the ideology of the system, but Stallman always comes off as a bitter and cranky "get off my porch" old man.

Maybe we need a younger and more enthusiastic leader of the FSF. How's Ruben's schedule these days? :-)

starchild
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I've never seen him take credit for Linux.

Magic Banana

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I believe he need to keep on repeating the same things over an over since
people to not seem to understand:

rms is not against "commercialization of software" (he is against
proprietary software and clearly says, in this interview, that the
distinction between free and proprietary software has nothing to do with
commercialization);
he does not "take credit for Linux" (he clearly says, in this interview,
that Linus Torvalds is at the origin of the kernel and decided, after some
time, to distribute it under the GPL, hence filling the last remaining hole
for a free operating system);
he is far from having a "get off my porch" attitude (he invites everybody
who values his freedom to embrace free software).

As for your impressions on the form, they are your own. I do not find him
"aggressive", "angry", "bitter" or "cranky". He only defends his ideas.

t3g
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Here is what I got from the video:

1. One of the hosts sells software for a living and people buy a license key.
Stallman tells the host that he is unethical and businesses like his should
fail. The only reason that Stallman "makes a living" is begging people for
free money to donate to the FSF.

2. Any games released for Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, and so forth are
bad. By buying Mass Effect 3, you are supporting bad ethics even though games
can be considered art like a movie, painting, or music. Stallman would then
expect Bioware to release every bit of the game from the art, sounds, and
code. I love video games and appreciate them as art and for Stallman to say
that they are wrong for releasing a product and I am being unethical for
playing an Xbox 360 game is total crap.

3. Applications given for free without any DRM or licences are still bad. You
must give away the entire source code. This we have known about this but an
XMPP app is much different than a video game like listed above. I'd be more
inclined to give a tool away than an entire art piece in software form.

4. Stallman blames right wing politics and wall street for ruining software
essentially saying that it is not just about software anymore. He is an ultra
liberal that hates capitalism. He said he doesn't care if people are
unemployed and should be spending their time following his dogma instead of
putting in hours to innovate something with a unique product. I know the
"Stallman is a communist" rhetoric has been thrown around before, but you can
hear it in his tone and his words.

Adrian Malacoda

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He never took credit for "Linux," the kernel started by Linus Torvalds in
1991. His work started in 1984, **seven years** before the first line of
kernel code was written. He is justifiably annoyed that people insist on
trying to scratch those seven years out of history, leading to the
misunderstanding that Linus Torvalds wrote the entire thing, single-handedly,
from scratch in 1991. Most likely, like you, these people are driven by
personal vendettas.

He is not against "commercialization" but against proprietary "end user
licenses." Your observation that he is against gratis proprietary software
confirms this. That you can't think of a way to commercialize free software
is your problem, not Stallman's. The FSF raised funds selling it. People have
built businesses off it. This is kind of like saying that food safety laws
are anti-business, but given your tone ("ultra-liberal communist" etc) you
probably think anything that regulates businesses for individuals' (workers
and customers) benefit is communist, socialist, or whateverist.

And yes, these -isms effectively have no meaning, because ultra-conservatives
throw them around to describe anything that benefits the "common individual."

If he is "always angry"... well, being attacked and harangued by people who
absolutely benefit from your work does that to you. Over 25 years of it is
bound to have some effect.

t3g
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Let me clarify:

I fully support free software when it is used as a tool. I believe that
operating systems, language compilers, editors, and web browsers should
always be open and free. I can buy any tool whether it is a power saw or
coffee maker and take apart and learn how it works. I can also learn how it
works for free and if I choose to improve it, I can release my own version of
said power saw or coffee maker. The point is we use the tools to create
things and we shouldn't be restricted by that.

My issue is with saying things like a video game, which is software, should
have all of its source code available. It is a source of entertainment and I
didn't put in the money and hours to pay the rent, taxes, artists, and
programmers to make it happen. I also spent no money to market it. I
shouldn't feel entitled to have their complete source code even if the tools
they used were free and I can make one on my own if I wanted.

Confusion between what is a service or not When I offer a service to a
customer, they pay me for monthly access and I give it to them. It is
software as a service and one of the things the FSF says is ok to make money
off of software is when it is a service. On the other hand, if it is an
actual program and I give them monthly access with a key, then it is bad. The
only difference here is one is a physical program on a computer and the other
is on a web server. Aren't they pretty much the same thing?

I understand there are gray areas in everything and Stallman takes it to an
extreme. Just think for a second... what would Stallman be doing now if he
didn't have a non-profit and could be paid to advocate? Probably working some
manual labor job or be forced to write proprietary software to feed himself.

Magic Banana

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Again, you should really pay attention to what rms says because, although you
complain that he keeps on repeating the same things over and over, almost
none of what you write about rms's views is correct:

Stallman has no issue whatsoever in "selling software for a living". He is
against "proprietary software". You can sell free software. He states, in
this interview, that most software developers are employed by the single user
of the software ("custom software"). This way to make a living does not raise
any ethical issue (there is no distribution of the software). Stallman does
not make any money on the donations to the FSF (including those raised during
his talks). He makes a living from the talks he gives.
He does not pretend *you* are "unethical for playing an Xbox 360 game". He
says that the developers of this proprietary game are unethical and that you
would not use the game if you would value your freedom. Notice also that rms
does not want to apply the same rules for software and art although both
should be freely sharable (he says, in this interview, that "sharing is
good"). Watch or listen any recording of his conference "Copyright vs.
community" to know his views about the differences between productions that
aim at achieving a work (software, cooking recipes, textbooks, documentation,
etc.), those that aim at making an impression on the public (music, movies,
pictures, etc.) and those that directly involve the authors' opinions
(thesis, manifesto, political speech, etc.). He details what would be the
freedoms the public should be granted for these different categories (for
instance, rms does not regard as essential the ability to modify artistic
works as soon as they are released; this can happen after 10 years... but not
70 years after the death of all authors like today!)
Video games are made of software. Stallman believes that the user deserves
the four freedoms. Consider the freedom to use the software as you wish: many
video games have DRMs (to force the player to be connected to Internet, to
remotely remove the game, etc.) and rms considers this unethical. Consider
the freedom to study the software: a video game may spy on the user or open a
backdoor and again rms considers this unethical. Consider the freedom to
modify the game: this is necessary to remove the aforementioned malware or
simply to correct a bug. Finally, to exercise these freedoms in a community
(nobody is able to inspect all her applications, especially if she is not a
programmer!), rms believes the fourth freedom is necessary as well. As for
the artistic parts of the games (the images, the sounds, the story, etc.), I
believe rms would not see ant threat to his freedoms if those would be
licensed in a restricted way (see the previous point).
Stallman does not blame "right-wing politics for ruining software", he blames
them for working for interests of the large companies and not of the people.
He never says that "he does not care if people are unemployed". He only
states that earning money should not be a justification for unethical
behaviors (in this interview, he says that this argument would justify
stealing as well). He says, in this interview, that somebody who cannot
figure out how to make an ethical living by writing software could simply
work in another domain. Nevertheless, he points out, in this interview, that
most developers are working for one single client and would not be affected
in any way by an hypothetical end of proprietary software. Stallman would not
object that "innovation with a unique product" is good... as long as this
product is ethical towards its users. He believes, and details it in this
interview, that it is not the case of proprietary software (a negative
contribution to society hence as worse as it is attractive). Finally Stallman
is not communist: would you say that promoting a free market by enabling any
company to support any software (something that only free software allows) is
communist?! Stallman defends freedom, whereas every attempt of a communist
state so far has ended up as a police state.

t3g
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I'm also aware its not just a social issue, but also a a political one.

A little while back here in the states we had the Occupy Wall Street movement
that mainly consisted of young, college-aged students, older socialists, and
homeless people. Most of these people hated big business even though many of
them were able to get to college due to their father or mother working at a
corporation for 20+ years, they hated the corporations that put food on their
table when they were growing up. No one is equal and success is earned and
not achieved by taking money from the people that earned it because the
little liberal is bitter that someone else has a better job than them.

Also, many people in that age bracket are still protected by the warmth of
being in college. No real responsibilities, no real money issues, and no wife
and kids to feed. People really don't know jack about the real world until
they have lived it and I doubt a 20 year old knows the problems of a 40 year
old.

I think there is a similarity between Occupy and the free software movement.
I'm guessing many of its supporters are young, single and are in college or
recently out. Sure, making close to nothing income wise or $20k a year is
fine when you are single, but not when you are married with kids. I don't
have any kids, but they are expensive and most of your money goes to them.

I'm saying all of this because someone fired back about the American
political system and how Republicans are bad. Same blah blah... Republicans
support the businesses and Democrats support the people. The reality is you
can unionize the crap out of everything and forcing a business to pay a
worker a set range can be great if the economy is great. The problem is that
union bosses are really only out for themselves and are glorified mob.

I understand that most of you are European and are used to more socialistic
ideals. Things are different over here in the states and there is a reason
why many people move from Europe to the US to find jobs.

t3g
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Same argument, same set responses. You do realize that Stallman lives in a
dream world and doesn't face the problems most people do. I have no clue if
he is married, but he has no kids and doesn't have to commute and sit in a
desk job for years. From his perspective, family is an inconvenience. Money
is an inconvenience. I understand that kids aren't for everyone, but his
viewpoints on society are really weak in comparison to his strong political
views.

Listening to the rest of this interview really did reinforce that he is all
for himself and his ideals with no gray areas and if you don't agree with
him, then get out of the way. Of course that doesn't stop him from getting in
YOUR way.

lembas
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

aloniv

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t3g, unlike some people here I actually agree with some of your points. I saw
a few of Stallman's lectures and thought they were very good, but I never
quite understood how one was supposed to earn a living developing free
software.

Selling support is an option, but many companies don't want a support
contract and would prefer to simply use the product without support (see e.g.
CentOS). Most people also don't donate money to software they use, so earning
a living by relying on donations is risky.

GNU/Linux could make money if an OEM pre-installs a distribution and pays the
devlopers of the software money. Unfortunately, none of the OEMs have
committed to GNU/Linux and GNU/Linux deserves at least part of the blame with
the mess the desktop environments are in at the moment. One of the companies
developing a GNU/Linux distro could become an OEM and build their own
computers, but that requires a huge investment which might not pay off.

t3g
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Isn't the majority of work on the Linux kernel done by big companies like Red
Hat, SuSe, and IBM? I know that there are people in the community that work
on it, but the majority of updates to the kernel come from these companies
that pay their workers to work on it. Heck, even Microsoft contributes:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/top-five-linux-contributor-microsoft/9254

If these three companies chose to stop paying their employees to work on the
kernel, will the quality go down? People get motivated by money and if they
can get paid to do what they love as their main job to pay the bills instead
of doing it in their free time, I believe more attention is put into the work
with better organization and a stricter schedule.

I mean... people freaked out with the news of Kubuntu's main maintainer no
longer getting paid by Canonical after the 12.04 release. He even addressed
his concerns as well. There was a big panic about the quality of future
releases due to him no longer being compensated. Of course the Kubuntu
community will take over and it will be interesting to see if the quality
matches the ones where he was employed.

m971668
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RMS certainly is an intelligent man and a prophet.

Yet, I understand how a programmer would take issue with his philosophy.

Learning how to program isn't something that a person can't do easily. Just
look at the job listings for programmers and all the languages and software
one needs experience in. Also programming is so immense to be able to
understand concepts from hardware to application would take years of study.

Then by not making the case that programmers would make more money
programming "free" software than "non-free", implies they won't. Morality
doesn't stand up well against economics. Like it or not that is reality.
Also, I gather that programmers don't believe they can make a living writing
custom software, or on technical support contracts. This is troubling to any
one that wants to be a programmer in the "free" software industry.

Then to hear that RMS uses a computer that isn't made any more saddens me.
It implies that RMS doesn't have an answer for OEM's to make "free" hardware.

Something they didn't talk about was "GNU/Hurd". It still isn't done.

teodorescup

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I'm just pouring gas on fire here but bare with me...

t3g, you wrote "I support GNU, free software, and Trisquel 100%." and used
similar words on free software in other messages.

Now, can you explain yourself as in what part of the "free software" or GNU
do you support "100%" ?
Because, you should know, free software as in libre/GNU free, refers to four
essential freedoms as stated here; in consequence if you don't agree with
those freedoms then you don't support "GNU, free software, and Trisquel".

And a self-evident note, nobody is saying you should like Stallman's style of
"preaching" but that doesn't make Stallman's stance on free software wrong in
any way.

alanharper198869
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The biggest argument against gaming here seems to miss the entire point.

ID Software has created the Free Software Gaming Model. Really, it's the
only one I've ever seen be successful (by my standards anyway.)

What most people don't realize is that the art content of the game does not
have to bee Free Software as it is not software. That's a copyright/creative
commons/public domain debate around art that has nothing to do with software.

Doom has been Free Software for more than a decade, but they still own the
copyright to the Imp Graphics.

ID Software realized that people editing WAD files made for more
re-playability in their games. This increased their live spans and thus made
the idea of investing into the games (buying the games) are greater choice
for customers.

ID Software took it another step forward and went all the way when they
decided to release the entire source code for Doom. At first it wasn't Free
Software; it was just out there under some other license.

Later, ID Software re-licensed the engine under the GNU GPL and, thus, it was
Free Software. People went forth and ported it to other operating systems
after this.

This is important to the discussion because from then on ID Software has
always re-licensed their engines for their major games under the GNU GPL
whenever they are old. ID Tech 4, aka Doom 3's engine, was released a couple
months ago.

Here is ID Software's Engine Life Cycle.

1: Create new engine.
2: Release pilot game developed on new engine.
3: Create or commission 3rd party development of either a sequel or an
expansion pack to the pilot game.
4: Optional step of creating second in house game.
5: License engine off to other third party developers for about four to
seven years (however long the engine is still seen in the gaming community as
advanced enough to stay current and thus make money off of.)
6: When the engine is old (and thus no longer a viable property to develop
on for in house or third part games) create a new engine (typically their a
massive re-expansion of the original engine or an major ground up re-build.)
7: Re-license the old engine under the GNU GPL so that the entire gaming and
software community can benefit from investing in the engine (aka buying the
game.) This step is done after the inaugural pilot game is released on the
new engine. (For example, we got ID Tech 4 about two to three month after
Rage was released on ID Tech 5.) This step allows for mods to become stand
alone games. It also might encourage some people to go back and buy the old
games now that they can do so much more with them.

I have not heard of any other video game company fallowing this model. All
the other companies, as far as I know, do steps one through six but never
seven. They keep the old engine's code locked up, even though its outdated
and there is no reason it can not be Free Software.

ID has encouraged other companies to fallow their example; but no one else
seems to have cared to.

Some companies release really old game engines; but they don't fallow a
regular step plan like ID Software does.

The real reason that most of the Free Software games are almost never as
'done' as proprietary games is because a game is more than an engine. Most
Free Software games are games that programmers and developers either do for
fun, and or for resumes. It might help them land a job writing proprietary
code some day if their Free Software game gets good enough and popular
enough.

It's a hobby for them, which is why they almost never have the advertising,
marketing, or art department for their games. Their games almost never have
full stories (no money for writers) as much variety in graphics (no money for
3D Modelers and 2D Artists) sound variety (no money for sound developers)
music variety (no money for composers or performers) much awareness (no money
for advertising.)

Instead, they typically have really great game-play engines with donated
amateur graphics (not in a mean way, it's just true) repetitive sounds
libraries from creative commons (ever get tired of hearing the same 'jump'
sound or 'gun shot' sound in almost every game... this is way) repetitive
music (ditto) and almost no story [the game is usually not long enough in
content or levels to host a story anyway.]

Most of your favorite Free Software games are almost always, when you think
about it, mod projects that started up around engines that grew out of
engines that were donated by ID Software.

Xonotic come from Nexuiz which came from Dark Places, which came from Quake,
which came from ID Software.
Tremulous came from Quake 3 which came from ID Software.

About the only games that are close to maturity I have seen that did not come
either from ID Software or as a MOD of an ID Software game are Secret Maryo
Chronicles and Hedgewars. There are a small number of other candidates, I
would guess, but none that really stand out to me.

What most people don't understand is that the programmer gets payed the same
(more or less) for writing the code from the business (or charity)
commissioning the project regardless as to whether the project will be
licensed as Free Software or not. Most programmers don't own he copyright to
the code, because [like books, music, and movies] these copyrights is ceded
to the publishers.

If you notice, about half of the Free Software programs people actually use
are either donated from businesses as their old stuff, or are funded by mass
charity movements.

If was want Free Software game worth whistling about, we almost have to do
one of two things.

1: Convince more companies to be like ID Software and release their old code
once it's old and not cutting edge anymore.
2: Create a Free Software Gaming charity.

The problem with option two is that, as you pointed out, gaming software
isn't really much of a tool. As such, most people are not interested in
donating to something that is entertainment only and not a practical work.

The difficulty with option one is that gaming companies are usually afraid of
being out-competed by their own past works. Truly Free Software Licenses
allow for commercial product derivatives. Meaning, if someone wanted to use
the source code from ID Tech 4, strip all the Doom 3 content out, and create
their own game content; they could proceed to sell their new game for a
profit.

ID Software doesn't have to worry about that. They are constantly
innovative. ID Tech 5 games should kick the pants off of ID Tech 4 games.
If ID Tech 4 games are beating ID Tech 5 games; then ID Software is loosing
their edge.

But, other companies are not so innovative and their engines or more or less
the same as they have been for five to ten years or so. They mostly add new
light a shadow things, and that's about it. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is about
the same as Super Mario Galaxy 1 which is about the same as Super Mario
Sunshine. That's why Nintendo is likely to feel that it can't release the
engine for Super Mario Sunshine from 2002. Because their new games are
basically just a modifies engine of the same one from a decade ago.

So, getting other companies that are not as innovative as ID Software (most
other video game companies) to re-license their old engine as Free Software
is not going to be easy.

Also, as a third challenge, most games based on the ID Software engines
aren't even complete games. This is, again, because of a lack of funding to
generate new game content. They typically don't have a storyline for single
player and they don't have single player missions about half the time. Think
of Xonotic, it's single player is mostly just regular multi-player set ups
with some goals to achieve. Not at all like Doom 3, where there is an entire
storyline with voice actors and plot points unfolding.

This is why, sadly, I do not see any major movements in Free Software gaming
coming to us in the near future. Even if we did get more engines from more
companies, like we do from ID Software, they are usually just used for hobby
modding and not serious game development. And the independent projects are
typically hobby too, typically never getting 'finished' by proprietary
standard of having a full game.

It seems the real solution for us to independent Free Software games that
were not proprietary games first is to go against the odds and create a Free
Software gaming charity.

Of course, there is nothing with having our best Free Software games having
been proprietary first, many of our Free Software tools were once Proprietary
before being re-licensed.

I just don't see any other way for Free Software gaming to go forward in any
major sense without it being mods of ID Software Engines. Nothing generated
independently has ever come close to being modern. Most Free Software games
look like they're something from the 80s and 90s at best.

t3g
t3g
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Oh btw, Bryan from the Linux Action Show gave some thoughts about his
conversation with Stallman: http://lunduke.com/?p=2273

t3g
t3g
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I just read this Stallman interview and it was one of his better ones where
he was very clear in his views and behaved himself: http://bit.ly/GCyeOm

Cyberhawk

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He mentioned Trisquel :D
It's when reading the interviews of RMS that I realise his genius. Look at
how he answers, how everything he says clarifies things. Instantly ethical
issues are separated from technical and legal ones, everything complicated is
quickly analysed and explained in a simple way. He isn't afraid to tell you
when he does an educated guess and when he just doesn't want to answer all
together, which is something I've rarely ever seen happen with philosophers,
especially the second. Everything this man has to say about software is gold.

aloniv

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I know this thread is supposed to be dead but...

The problem I see with Stallman is that while he wants users to use free
distros he doesn't offers methods for developers of software that primarily
targets desktop users to make money (without relying on donations).

This was the problem with Stallman's response in the interview. The
interviewer asked him how to continue making money from developing a game if
it becomes free software and Stallman simply said "I hope you can find a way
to make money developing custom software for a client" (don't kill me if I
got the quote wrong :) ). Now I understand that you can earn money making
custom software for a client (e.g. a billing system for a client), but this
still doesn't address the desktop problem.

The fact that Mozilla's browser makes most of its money from a partnership
with Google shows that the free software model has a problem with answering
the question how to earn money developing free software designed for desktop
users. Since Mozilla's market share is declining I doubt Google will be as
generous with them in a few years time.

It is impressive that GNU/Linux has a lot of free software, however many
programmes do not have a graphical user interface which a non technical user
will be able to use. For example, there are a few very good command-line
download managers (Axel and Aria2), but they do not have decent graphic user
interfaces. Also, video editing can be done via FFMpeg and Mencoder but they
require learning how to use the software and neither has a decent graphic
user interface. In addition, several basic word and board games are not
available with a graphic user interface to GNU/Linux users under a free
license such as scrabble and (a non-network version of) monopoly.

There is also the problem that many free software developers make desktop
software that is not needed, such as multiple browsers using the same
rendering engine which do not serve a different purpose (e.g. Dooble and
Arora), and multiple competing desktop environments that lack polish (e.g.
Xfce's keyboard switcher doesn't work after restarting the computer, LXDE
doesn't support adding hardware sensors to the panel yet, both Xfce and LXDE
do not support setting universal proxy server via GUI etc). It would be
better if instead of developing redundant competing software the developers
would make existing GNU/Linux software more newbie friendly (e.g. by adding a
graphic user interface to good command line programmes). It should be noted
that this problem isn't unique to free software on the desktop and exists in
other free software projects as well, e.g. the Openmoko Neo Freerunner has
many distros most of which are not fully functional or polished.

Nathan
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Are you all still going on about this? Just let it go already.

I think it's t3g who holds the unpopular view here. As for you I think you
should just recognize that the position of this community is that of rms, and
you stand the chance of one of us at a Microsoft conference for convincing
anyone here to agree with you.

Magic Banana

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I believe he needs to keep on repeating the same things over an over since people to not seem to understand:

  • rms is not against "commercialization of software" (he is against proprietary software and clearly says, in this interview, that the distinction between free and proprietary software has nothing to do with commercialization);
  • he does not "take credit for Linux" (he clearly says, in this interview, that Linus Torvalds is at the origin of the kernel and decided, after some time, to distribute it under the GPL, hence filling the last remaining hole for a free operating system);
  • he is far from having a "get off my porch" attitude (he invites everybody who values her freedom to embrace free software).

As for your impressions on the form, they are your own. I do not find him "aggressive", "angry", "bitter" or "cranky". He only defends his ideas.

Loic J. Duros
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On 03/16/2012 02:33 PM, magicbanana [at] gmail [dot] com wrote:
> I believe he need to keep on repeating the same things over an over
> since people to not seem to understand:

I found RMS was really good in this interview. Clear, precise, to the
point. I think the post from Bryan Lunduke (which made it on Hacker
News) is so much distorting what RMS said in the GNU/Linux Show:
http://lunduke.com/?p=2273

Or is it just the way he writes about things regularly?

t3g
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Here is what I got from the video:

1. One of the hosts sells software for a living and people buy a license key. Stallman tells the host that he is unethical and businesses like his should fail. The only reason that Stallman "makes a living" is begging people for free money to donate to the FSF.

2. Any games released for Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, and so forth are bad. By buying Mass Effect 3, you are supporting bad ethics even though games can be considered art like a movie, painting, or music. Stallman would then expect Bioware to release every bit of the game from the art, sounds, and code. I love video games and appreciate them as art and for Stallman to say that they are wrong for releasing a product and I am being unethical for playing an Xbox 360 game is total crap.

3. Applications given for free without any DRM or licences are still bad. You must give away the entire source code. This we have known about this but an XMPP app is much different than a video game like listed above. I'd be more inclined to give a tool away than an entire art piece in software form.

4. Stallman blames right wing politics and wall street for ruining software essentially saying that it is not just about software anymore. He is an ultra liberal that hates capitalism. He said he doesn't care if people are unemployed and should be spending their time following his dogma instead of putting in hours to innovate something with a unique product. I know the "Stallman is a communist" rhetoric has been thrown around before, but you can hear it in his tone and his words.

I support GNU, free software, and Trisquel 100%. I just don't support the man himself. Sorry.

Adrian Malacoda

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He never took credit for "Linux," the kernel started by Linus Torvalds in 1991. His work started in 1984, **seven years** before the first line of kernel code was written. He is justifiably annoyed that people insist on trying to scratch those seven years out of history, leading to the misunderstanding that Linus Torvalds wrote the entire thing, single-handedly, from scratch in 1991. Most likely, like you, these people are driven by personal vendettas.

He is not against "commercialization" but against proprietary "end user licenses." Your observation that he is against gratis proprietary software confirms this. That you can't think of a way to commercialize free software is your problem, not Stallman's. The FSF raised funds selling it. People have built businesses off it. This is kind of like saying that food safety laws are anti-business, but given your tone ("ultra-liberal communist" etc) you probably think anything that regulates businesses for individuals' (workers and customers) benefit is communist, socialist, or whateverist.

And yes, these -isms effectively have no meaning, because ultra-conservatives throw them around to describe anything that benefits the "common individual."

If he is "always angry"... well, being attacked and harangued by people who absolutely benefit from your work does that to you. Over 25 years of it is bound to have some effect.

edit: before you start throwing insults at me too... I am not a "Stallman cultist," I don't worship him at all, and there are things I disagree with him about and things he's said or done that I don't approve of. I just think the free software movement is a good thing. On the whole, he is a positive force, despite what folk like you have to say.

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Let me clarify:

I fully support free software when it is used as a tool. I believe that operating systems, language compilers, editors, and web browsers should always be open and free. I can buy any tool whether it is a power saw or coffee maker and take apart and learn how it works. I can also learn how it works for free and if I choose to improve it, I can release my own version of said power saw or coffee maker. The point is we use the tools to create things and we shouldn't be restricted by that.

My issue is with saying things like a video game, which is software, should have all of its source code available. It is a source of entertainment and I didn't put in the money and hours to pay the rent, taxes, artists, and programmers to make it happen. I also spent no money to market it. I shouldn't feel entitled to have their complete source code even if the tools they used were free and I can make one on my own if I wanted.

Confusion between what is a service or not. When I offer a service to a customer, they pay me for monthly access and I give it to them. It is software as a service and one of the things the FSF says is ok to make money off of software is when it is a service. On the other hand, if it is an actual program and I give them monthly access with a key, then it is bad. The only difference here is one is a physical program on a computer and the other is on a web server. Aren't they pretty much the same thing?

I understand there are gray areas in everything and Stallman takes it to an extreme. Just think for a second... what would Stallman be doing now if he didn't have a non-profit and wasn't paid to advocate? Probably working some manual labor job or be forced to write proprietary software to feed himself.

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Software as a service is "pretty much the same thing" as local software from the technical point of view but absolutely not from the point of view of the control the user has on her computation. That is the only point the FSF cares about! She has no way to access the code. She does not even have access to a binary! How can she make sure that the service is only doing what she wants and not anything malicious? How can she modify the service to make it do what she needs (for instance correcting a bug)?

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IOW you support free software only when you can use it to build proprietary software?

Yeah... there's plenty of businesses and NPO's founded exactly on that idea. That's why we have no shortage whatsoever of "revolutionary" new web frameworks and javascript libraries. There are plenty of people who like building "open source" components for other developers to build off of, and there's really nothing wrong with that. I say there is nothing wrong with that because, being non-copyleft, these components are available for both free and proprietary software, so free software developers get a direct benefit from their existence.

This view that free software should exist only as compilers and frameworks, however, I don't quite agree with. Open source people make a distinction between differentiating and non-differentiating components, which Bruce Perens (one of the original open source guys and a former Debian leader) explores in http://perens.com/works/articles/Economic.html.

Non-copyleft free software licenses directly encourage this kind of development. The end result is that we get real solid runtimes, frameworks, libraries, and whatnot, but the best things written on top of them (differentiating software, i.e. the stuff that actually matters to users) are proprietary. This seems to be the reason you generally favor non-copyleft licenses, is that right? To say you support the free software movement (which, again, isn't strictly about building software, but about encouraging a computing paradigm where a user has full access and control of all of the code running on their computer... since you're running Trisquel, you are indeed one of these users, and hence a direct beneficiary of this movement) 100% and then go on to say that you support it "only when used as a tool" (I presume a tool for building proprietary software, given your dislike of copyleft)... isn't that a little contradictory here?

It's refreshing that Stallman and the rest of us here stick with the original "free software movement" that started in 1984... the vision where it's about what the user can do and share with fellow users, not specifically about empowering proprietary software developers... this again is one of the reasons Stallman is so adamant about terminology, because conflating his movement with "open source" means putting him in the same basket as you and Bruce Perens, and labeling the operating system as "GNU/Linux" diminishes his agenda and distorts his involvement in the history of the OS (which you probably have no problem with, of course)

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Software as a service is "pretty much the same thing" than local software
from the technical point of view but absolutely not from the point of view of
the control the user has on her computation! She has no way to access the
code. She does not even have access to a binary! How can she make sure that
the service is only doing what she wants and not anything malicious? How can
she modify the service to make it do what she needs (for instance correcting
a bug)?

Adrian Malacoda

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IOW you support free software only when you can use it to build proprietary
software?

Yeah... there's plenty of businesses and NPO's founded exactly on that idea.
That's why we have no shortage whatsoever of "revolutionary" new web
frameworks and javascript libraries. There are plenty of people who like
building "open source" components for other developers to build off of, and
there's really nothing wrong with that. I say there is nothing wrong with
that because, being non-copyleft, these components are available for both
free and proprietary software, so free software developers get a direct
benefit from their existence.

This view that free software should exist only as compilers and frameworks,
however, I don't quite agree with. Open source people make a distinction
between differentiating and non-differentiating components, which Bruce
Perens (one of the original open source guys and a former Debian leader)
explores in http://perens.com/works/articles/Economic.html.

Non-copyleft free software licenses directly encourage this kind of
development. The end result is that we get real solid runtimes, frameworks,
libraries, and whatnot, but the best things written on top of them
(differentiating software, i.e. the stuff that actually matters to users) are
proprietary. This seems to be the reason you generally favor non-copyleft
licenses, is that right? To say you support the free software movement
(which, again, isn't strictly about building software, but about encouraging
a computing paradigm where a user has full access and control of all of the
code running on their computer... since you're running Trisquel, you are
indeed one of these users, and hence a direct beneficiary of this movement)
100% and then go on to say that you support it "only when used as a tool" (I
presume a tool for building proprietary software, given your dislike of
copyleft)... isn't that a little contradictory here?

It's refreshing that Stallman and the rest of us here stick with the original
"free software movement" that started in 1984... the vision where it's about
what the user can do and share with fellow users, not specifically about
empowering proprietary software developers... this again is one of the
reasons Stallman is so adamant about terminology, because conflating his
movement with "open source" means putting him in the same basket as you and
Bruce Perens, and labeling the operating system as "GNU/Linux" diminishes his
agenda and distorts his involvement in the history of the OS (which you
probably have no problem with, of course)

Magic Banana

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Again, you should really pay attention to what rms says because, although you complain that he keeps on repeating the same things over and over, almost none of what you write about rms' views is correct:

  1. Stallman has no issue whatsoever in "selling software for a living". He is against "proprietary software". You can sell free software. He states, in this interview, that most software developers are employed by the single user of the software ("custom software"). This way to make a living does not raise any ethical issue (there is no distribution of the software). Stallman does not make any money on the donations to the FSF (including those raised during his talks). He makes a living from the talks he gives.
  2. He does not pretend *you* are "unethical for playing an Xbox 360 game". He says that the developers of this proprietary game are unethical and that you would not use the game if you would value your freedom. Notice also that rms does not want to apply the same rules for software and art although both should be freely sharable (he says, in this interview, that "sharing is good"). Watch or listen any recording of his conference "Copyright vs. community" to know his views about the differences between productions that aim at achieving a work (software, cooking recipes, textbooks, documentation, etc.), those that aim at making an impression on the public (music, movies, pictures, etc.) and those that directly involve the authors' opinions (thesis, manifesto, political speech, etc.). He details what would be the freedoms the public should be granted for these different categories (for instance, rms does not regard as essential the ability to modify artistic works as soon as they are released; this can happen after 10 years... but not 70 years after the death of all authors like today!)
  3. Video games are made of software. Stallman believes that the user deserves the four freedoms. Consider the freedom to use the software as you wish: many video games have DRMs (to force the player to be connected to Internet, to remotely remove the game, etc.) and rms considers this unethical. Consider the freedom to study the software: a video game may spy on the user or open a backdoor and again rms considers this unethical. Consider the freedom to modify the game: this is necessary to remove the aforementioned malware or simply to correct a bug. Finally, to exercise these freedoms in a community (nobody is able to inspect all her applications, especially if she is not a programmer!), rms believes the fourth freedom is necessary as well. As for the artistic parts of the games (the images, the sounds, the story, etc.), I believe rms would not see ant threat to his freedoms if those would be licensed in a restricted way (see the previous point).
  4. Stallman does not blame "right-wing politics for ruining software", he blames them for working for the interests of the large companies and not of the people. He never says that "he does not care if people are unemployed". He only states that earning money should not be a justification for unethical behaviors (in this interview, he says that this argument would justify stealing as well). He says, in this interview, that somebody who cannot figure out how to make an ethical living by writing software could simply work in another domain. Nevertheless, he points out, in this interview, that most developers are working for one single client and would not be affected in any way by an hypothetical end of proprietary software. Stallman would not object that "innovation with a unique product" is good... as long as this product is ethical towards its users. He believes, and details it in this interview, that it is not the case of proprietary software (a negative contribution to society hence as worse as it is attractive). Finally Stallman is not communist: would you say that promoting a free market by enabling any company to support any software (something that only free software allows) is communist?! Stallman defends freedom, whereas every attempt of a communist state so far has ended up as a police state.
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I'm also aware its not just a software issue, but also a a political one.

A little while back here in the states we had the Occupy Wall Street movement that mainly consisted of young, college-aged students, older socialists, and homeless people. Most of these people hated big business even though many of them were able to get to college due to their father or mother working at a corporation for 20+ years, they hated the corporations that put food on their table when they were growing up. No one is equal and success is earned and not achieved by taking money from the people that earned it because the little liberal is bitter that someone else has a better job than them.

Also, many people in that age bracket are still protected by the warmth of being in college. No real responsibilities, no real money issues, and no wife and kids to feed. People really don't know jack about the real world until they have lived it and I doubt a 20 year old knows the problems of a 40 year old.

I think there is a similarity between Occupy and the free software movement. I'm guessing many of its supporters are young, single and are in college or recently out. Sure, making close to nothing income wise or $20k a year is fine when you are single, but not when you are married with kids. I don't have any kids, but they are expensive and most of your money goes to them.

I'm saying all of this because someone fired back about the American political system and how Republicans are bad. Same blah blah... Republicans support the businesses and Democrats support the people. The reality is you can unionize the crap out of everything and forcing a business to pay a worker a set wages can be great if the economy is great. The problem is that union bosses are really only out for themselves and are glorified mob.

I understand that most of you are European and are used to more socialistic ideals. Things are different over here in the states and there is a reason why many people move from Europe to the US to find jobs.

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You are going out of topic instead of recognizing that almost none of what you write about rms' views is correct.

I really wonder where you found a survey on who are free software enthusiasts and would be glad to have a reference. Anyway, even if what you write is true I do not grant much credit to people that defend their ideas with authoritative arguments like "you are 20 years old and do not anything about the real life". This is not an argument (and, FYI, I am not 20 years old, I have a full-time job, a wife, an apartment, etc.).

Then, you basically make the same argument as rms' interlocutor in the interview: that writing proprietary software is OK if you need to feed your kids. I completely agree with rms' response which basically is: "You can justify any unethical behavior (stealing for instance) with such an argument. If you disagree that stealing should be legalized then you should understand that this argument is void". No need to say that rms considers that writing proprietary software (hence controlling the users) is unethical.

SirGrant

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Not to mention that the feeding the daughter example was an example of an either/or logical fallacy.

Presenting two choices when in fact many exist is a weak argument. Saying either "I write non-free software or my child doesn't eat" is a poor argument. You can "write free software and have your child eat". If people were not eating when they write free software the movement wouldn't have lasted 25+ years.

SirGrant

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Not to mention that the feeding the daughter example was an example of an
[http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/ac_paper/logic.shtml#avoiding
either/or logical fallacy].

Presenting two choices when in fact many exist is a weak argument. Saying
either "I write non-free software or my child doesn't eat" is a poor
argument. You can "write free software and have your child eat". If people
were not eating when they write free software the movement wouldn't have
lasted 25+ years.

Magic Banana

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You are going out of topic instead of recognizing that almost none of what
you write about rms' views is correct.

I really wonder where you found a survey on who are free software enthusiasts
and would be glad to have a reference. Anyway, even if what you write is true
I do not grant much credit to people that defend their ideas with
authoritative arguments like "you are 20 years old and do not anything about
the real life". This is not an argument (and, FYI, I am not 20 years old, I
have a full-time job, a wife, an apartment, etc.).

Then, you basically make the same argument as rms' interlocutor in the
interview: that writing proprietary software is OK if you need to feed your
kids. I completely agree with rms' response which basically is: "You can
justify any unethical behavior (stealing for instance) with such an argument.
If you disagree that stealing should be legalized then you should understand
that this argument is void". No need to say that rms considers that writing
proprietary software (hence controlling the users) is unethical.

quiliro@congresolibre.org
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El 16/03/12 14:47, tegskywalker [at] hotmail [dot] com escribió:
> I'm also aware its not just a social issue, but also a a political one.
>
> A little while back here in the states we had the Occupy Wall Street
> movement that mainly consisted of young, college-aged students, older
> socialists, and homeless people. Most of these people hated big
> business even though many of them were able to get to college due to
> their father or mother working at a corporation for 20+ years, they
> hated the corporations that put food on their table when they were
> growing up. No one is equal and success is earned and not achieved by
> taking money from the people that earned it because the little liberal
> is bitter that someone else has a better job than them.
>
> Also, many people in that age bracket are still protected by the
> warmth of being in college. No real responsibilities, no real money
> issues, and no wife and kids to feed. People really don't know jack
> about the real world until they have lived it and I doubt a 20 year
> old knows the problems of a 40 year old.
>
> I think there is a similarity between Occupy and the free software
> movement. I'm guessing many of its supporters are young, single and
> are in college or recently out. Sure, making close to nothing income
> wise or $20k a year is fine when you are single, but not when you are
> married with kids. I don't have any kids, but they are expensive and
> most of your money goes to them.
>
> I'm saying all of this because someone fired back about the American
> political system and how Republicans are bad. Same blah blah...
> Republicans support the businesses and Democrats support the people.
> The reality is you can unionize the crap out of everything and forcing
> a business to pay a worker a set range can be great if the economy is
> great. The problem is that union bosses are really only out for
> themselves and are glorified mob.
>
> I understand that most of you are European and are used to more
> socialistic ideals. Things are different over here in the states and
> there is a reason why many people move from Europe to the US to find
> jobs.
>

Hahaha! Is it true that europeans move to the US to find jobs? I see a
lot of people from the US in Ecuador. Are they here to find a job?

quiliro@congresolibre.org
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El 16/03/12 14:47, tegskywalker [at] hotmail [dot] com escribió:
> I'm also aware its not just a social issue, but also a a political one.
>
> A little while back here in the states we had the Occupy Wall Street
> movement that mainly consisted of young, college-aged students, older
> socialists, and homeless people. Most of these people hated big
> business even though many of them were able to get to college due to
> their father or mother working at a corporation for 20+ years, they
> hated the corporations that put food on their table when they were
> growing up. No one is equal and success is earned and not achieved by
> taking money from the people that earned it because the little liberal
> is bitter that someone else has a better job than them.
>
> Also, many people in that age bracket are still protected by the
> warmth of being in college. No real responsibilities, no real money
> issues, and no wife and kids to feed. People really don't know jack
> about the real world until they have lived it and I doubt a 20 year
> old knows the problems of a 40 year old.
>
> I think there is a similarity between Occupy and the free software
> movement. I'm guessing many of its supporters are young, single and
> are in college or recently out. Sure, making close to nothing income
> wise or $20k a year is fine when you are single, but not when you are
> married with kids. I don't have any kids, but they are expensive and
> most of your money goes to them.
>
> I'm saying all of this because someone fired back about the American
> political system and how Republicans are bad. Same blah blah...
> Republicans support the businesses and Democrats support the people.
> The reality is you can unionize the crap out of everything and forcing
> a business to pay a worker a set range can be great if the economy is
> great. The problem is that union bosses are really only out for
> themselves and are glorified mob.
>
> I understand that most of you are European and are used to more
> socialistic ideals. Things are different over here in the states and
> there is a reason why many people move from Europe to the US to find
> jobs.
>

I guess that you write what you do because: you do not have children and
don't know what it that means; do not have the maturity to judge a
person by their thoughts and not by their age or spending level; do a
poor job in IT such that you can't afford not to monopolize the market;
and think based on consumerism instead of wellbeing.

You are absolutely entitled to think as you want but it might be better
that you investigate and ask before you write. It saves you from
writting things that make you sound off track.

t3g
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Same argument, same set responses. You do realize that Stallman lives in a dream world and doesn't face the problems most people do. I have no clue if he is married, but he has no kids and doesn't have to commute and sit in a desk job for years. From his perspective, family is an inconvenience. Money is an inconvenience. I understand that kids aren't for everyone, but his viewpoints on society are really weak in comparison to his strong political views.

Listening to the rest of this interview really did reinforce that he is all for himself and his ideals with no gray areas and if you don't agree with him, then get out of the way. Of course that doesn't stop him from getting in YOUR way.

Btw, if I donate money to Trisquel is there a guarantee that none of it ever goes in Stallman's hands? I would prefer it that way.

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Authoritative arguments again: please explain to us in what ways rms' views belong to a "dream world". Do you agree that 1) the great majority of people make a living without developing software?; 2) among those that write software most of them do not distribute it (it has a single client: the employer)?; 3) that less users of proprietary software means more users (hence developments) of free software?; 4) that businesses (especially support business) around free software are thriving and those usually involve local jobs? Given that, could you demonstrate how proprietary software is "necessary" to the real world?

SirGrant

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Money flows. If I buy a piece of bread at the market it may end up eventually in your hands or stallman's hands or anyone else in between.

Magic Banana

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Authoritative arguments again: please explain to us in what ways rms' views
belong to a "dream world". Do you agree that 1) the great majority of people
make a living without developing software?; 2) among those that write
software most of them do not distribute it (it has a single client: the
employer)?; 3) that less users of proprietary software means more users
(hence developments) of free software?; 4) that businesses (especially
support business) around free software are thriving and those usually involve
local jobs? Given that, could you demonstrate how proprietary software is
"necessary" to the real world?

SirGrant

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Money flows. If I buy a piece of bread at the market it may end up
eventually in your hands or stallman's hands or anyone else in between.

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El vie, 16-03-2012 a las 21:30 +0100, tegskywalker [at] hotmail [dot] com escribió:
> You do realize that Stallman lives in a
> dream world and doesn't face the problems most people do. [...]
> Listening to the rest of this interview really did reinforce that he is all
> for himself and his ideals with no gray areas and if you don't agree with
> him, then get out of the way. Of course that doesn't stop him from getting in
> YOUR way.

It is another falacy the fact of talking against anyone's ideas in terms
of its private life. Also, I don't understand how bad rms can be doing
you for never getting tired of attacking him.

lembas
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teodorescup

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Sad but true.

t3g
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I'm not trolling. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them a troll. Especially when my arguments are detailed and not simply "OMG GHEY!" responses.

Stallman wants Microsoft to get rid of 80,000 employees. Stallman would rather people stave and go on government assistance than make a living writing software. Stallman wants everything to be shared and owned by a "collective" but not just in software but everything including art. Stallman doesn't have solutions to fixing proprietary software, repeats himself, and gets angry when the person talking to him doesn't follow his script.

It is a childish and unrealistic view of the world.

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Again a either/or fallacy. Plus I think you are just putting words in his mouth.

It isn't "I write non-free software or starve/end up on gov assistance". That is a weak argument and is full of holes.

Can you show me where he says would rather have them starve and go on gov assistance then make a living writing software. I believe in fact what he says is he would rather they make a living writing free software but you are twisting his words here.

I don't think he has ever said he would rather people starve and go on public assistance. Now you are just making stuff up.

And I'll be honest. I find his personality grating. I probably wouldn't want to hang out with him socially. However even if he does have a difficult personality that doesn't make him wrong. I respect him in a lot of ways but I don't know if I would want to be his friend.

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"And I'll be honest. I find his personality grating. I probably wouldn't want to hang out with him socially. However even if he does have a difficult personality that doesn't make him wrong. I respect him in a lot of ways but I don't know if I would want to be his friend."

That is my view exactly. I said many times I support the GNU and the ideals of Trisquel. I just don't support his interpretation and execution in talking about it and I feel the FSF would be better off with a new leader.

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You aren't answering my arguments/questions where he says any of what you claim he does.

All I see you doing is making ad hominem attacks against the guy. If I like him or not has no bearing if his arguments are valid or not.

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I'm saying to not take my view on Stallman personally as an attack on free software as a whole. I think it has a great purpose but sometimes the leader is very one sided in how things are and doesn't choose his words wisely.

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You still are not answering my concerns. You made the claim he wants people to starve and go on gov assistance rather then make a living writing software.

When/where did he say that? You are totally dodging any real questions posed to you.

We also say he does have solutions to proprietary software (see Magic Bannana's post below this) when you claim he does not offer any. In fact Trisquel in itself is a solution to proprietary software. But all I see you doing is falling back on the weak position of essentially "Stallman is a jerk, we need to replace him". You are attacking the person but not any of the arguments presented.