[FoRK] Re: Okay, I've had it! (Daily Rant vol. N, large N)

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Thu Sep 13 21:03:38 PDT 2007

Tom Higgins wrote:
> Yes Stallman did go a long way in kicking off the great leap forward. People
> wanted to love the gnu way of life, being one of them back then I can say  I
> was all in for that, but aside from a few university machines where was it
> doable? Then Linus comes in with a set of floppies I could tinker with for a
I don't know what you're talking about there.  I've been developing with 
GNU tools and applications for over 20 years.  Most of my development 
was GNU on DOS, Win3.1, Unix (SunOS/Solaris, HPUX4-10, Apollo Domain, 
Dec Alpha, SCO, Interactive, etc. etc.), Linux, etc.

I was running Interactive Unix at home for a year or more before a 
fledgling Linux was available.  Then I lived through the KA9Q networking 
stack, etc. etc.
> week and get something of use in my apartment...so Stallman's entry should
> have been right around the corner. Folks waited, then waited, then the
> rhetoric started in and the wait became a nasty ego wankfest. Sorry, for
> that I am not all in for.
Who cares?  They didn't get a micro-kernel working well enough, etc.  
Linux and BSD created a vacuum for effort.  Big deal, nobody cares which 
guy it came from.
> Linux did what needed doing in ways I agree with. Hurd grazed in pasture
> tossing cowpies over the fence.
> That is why I am sing Ubuntu Linux that happens to have some gnu apps
> installed.  Stallman should be happy that he was a moving force and if he
> has energy to spare he should move things forward again rather than 
Stallman was way more than a "moving force".  He had some key insights 
and was able to get some major things built, organized, and held 
together long enough to get traction.  None of this would have happened 
without gcc for instance.  Emacs was a major contributor, although in 
the age of Eclipse most people wouldn't know that.  Duplicating all the 
key utilities of Unix in a sane way, including Bison/Flex, was really 
key.  Before GNU, even cpio wasn't portable.  I was just reminded of 
that when I was trying to cpio some data to an up-to-date Cray X1E: it 
is Irix based and has the old broken cpio that cannot interoperate with 
other byte orders, etc.

Stallman's rhetoric needs lots and lots of polishing, interpreting, and 
something close to compromise.  He has however been mostly right about 
GPL issues up to now.  His points are all pretty valid.  He is certainly 
a purist, which is good for all of us, but you can't only drink from 
that well in the real world.  The "Open Source" offshoot from "Free 
Software" has been healthy and good for participation, even if messy.

Still, Stallman usually has a point.  I'll have to go parse everything 
to see if he's really senile this time.  I doubt it.
> spending
> time and effort of fighting some inane branding jihad..heck he should go for
> apple if that his thing:)-
> I keed I keed.
> Well, maybe not.
> -tomhiggins

swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-371-9362C 703-995-0407Fax 20147 AIM: sdw

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