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Thread: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

  1. #1
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    Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Richard Stallman held a lecture here in Vienna on Friday at the Technical University.

    It was an interesting speech, yet the ideas were not new. He was talking about the dangers of proprietary software in comparison to the GNU-Linux model of free as in freedom, not as in beer.

    The hall was packed full, but most of those who attended had already heard about Stallman and his ideas.

    Although I have always found his ideas to be noble and of good intent, I am sad to say I find it hard for them to find acceptance amongst the masses.

    He is an idealist and a purist, his ideas effectively prevent development and innovation for money and fame, which is unfortunately one of the driving forces for human achievement and innovation.

    If I release my software under the GNU General Public License, I have to give up any control over the software, anyone could modify repackage and redistribute. In our modern software environment that would appear to be suicide to many developers.

    These were also the main points raised after his speech during the Q&A session. Developers asked "How can we continue to earn a living with your model".

    His answer was "Most of the development of software is made for companies that was custom proprietary code for their own use, that's where the money is and that's okay".

    It also seems that he is somewhat annoyed that people refer to GNU-Linux operating systems as just "Linux". He said Linux is only part of the whole, and that the GNU operating systems and all its components were well in development before the linux kernel was developed and that by simply referring to these operating systems as "linux operating systems" you are giving only one small side all the credit for the years of work that went into GNU.

    He also highlighted that Linus Torvalds doesn't care about Stallman's values and has been for some time now inserting proprietary code into the linux kernel which is dangerous for all involved and opens up the community so successful software patent lawsuits.

    I have mixed feelings after having listened to his speech, even though his ideas are not new to me. Generally I was happy I invested those two hours though.
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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by PartisanEntity View Post
    If I release my software under the GNU General Public License, I have to give up any control over the software, anyone could modify repackage and redistribute. In our modern software environment that would appear to be suicide to many developers.
    That's because the "modern software environment" (though that is in no way limited to software) is full of selfish jerks with a huge sense of entitlement. "I wrote this, therefore I should have complete control over it." Well, why should you? Doesn't seem obvious to me. "But that's what the law says!" Yeah, well, not so long ago, the law said a black person couldn't sit in the same bus as white pople. I ardently hope future generations will come to see our current copyright laws as the same sort of absurdities, though I don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

    Also "We need to make a living!" Yeah, well, that doesn't give you a pass to trample others' freedoms. If you need such a pass to make a living, maybe you should change jobs. A lot of very fine people will pick up where you left, don't worry.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by PartisanEntity View Post
    It also seems that he is somewhat annoyed that people refer to GNU-Linux operating systems as just "Linux". He said Linux is only part of the whole, and that the GNU operating systems and all its components...
    Not this again, he needs to give it a break. "guh-new slash lin-ex" is 5 syllables whereas "lin-ex" is only 2. That's why people call it by it's shortened name.

    Why not call it "GNU/Linux/XWindows/Gnome/LibreOffice/etc"? Eventually you have to cut the name off somewhere or it becomes ridicules. Also, nobody really uses an OS, they use programs. So the naming scheme is kinda pointless anyway. From what I understand, GNU is more of a toolkit and not an OS unless coupled with a kernal. What if I used half of the GNU programs (nano, cat, more, ifconfig, etc) rewritten to replace their proprietary Unix counterparts and replaced half of them with similar ones I had personally written? Would it be called "GNU/myname/Linux"? Or what if I took mixed a bunch of programs from GNU, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, Plan 9, Minix, Irix, etc and used them in conjunction with the Linux kernal? Would I have to put each OS's name into the final product separated by slashes? That's too much.
    Quote Originally Posted by PartisanEntity View Post
    He also highlighted that Linus Torvalds doesn't care about Stallman's values and has been for some time now inserting proprietary code into the linux kernel which is dangerous for all involved and opens up the community so successful software patent lawsuits.
    I thought the proprietary code in question were only binary blobs that are designed to be easily removed for the sake of working with proprietary drivers, like the GPU drivers that Nvidia and AMD/ATI release.
    Last edited by NMFTM; July 3rd, 2011 at 03:42 PM.
    The only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing at all, for certain.

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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by PartisanEntity View Post
    He also highlighted that Linus Torvalds doesn't care about Stallman's values and has been for some time now inserting proprietary code into the linux kernel which is dangerous for all involved and opens up the community so successful software patent lawsuits.
    Is this true? Does any of you have a reference for this?

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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by Bachstelze View Post
    That's because the "modern software environment" (though that is in no way limited to software) is full of selfish jerks with a huge sense of entitlement. "I wrote this, therefore I should have complete control over it." Well, why should you? Doesn't seem obvious to me. "But that's what the law says!" Yeah, well, not so long ago, the law said a black person couldn't sit in the same bus as white pople. I ardently hope future generations will come to see our current copyright laws as the same sort of absurdities, though I don't expect to see it in my lifetime.

    Also "We need to make a living!" Yeah, well, that doesn't give you a pass to trample others' freedoms. If you need such a pass to make a living, maybe you should change jobs. A lot of very fine people will pick up where you left, don't worry.
    Are you nuts? You're comparing segregation to software? Come back when reality hits you.

    /posted by one of them "Mixed ancestry"
    The above post definitely does not contain any sarcasm at all.

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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by jerenept View Post
    are you nuts? You're comparing segregation to software? Come back when reality hits you.

    /posted by one of them "mixed ancestry"
    +1

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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by jerenept View Post
    Are you nuts? You're comparing segregation to software? Come back when reality hits you.

    /posted by one of them "Mixed ancestry"
    I'm not comparing anything. Both are problems, and the fact that the former is more serious than the latter doesn't mean the latter doesn't exist and no one should talk about it.

    And no need to boast your "mixed ancestry", I'm mixed ancestry too and this is totally irrelevant to the discussion.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    And since this is about Stallman, he made that point long before I did.

    Owners often describe the current state of the law, and the harsh penalties they can threaten us with. Implicit in this approach is the suggestion that today's law reflects an unquestionable view of morality—yet at the same time, we are urged to regard these penalties as facts of nature that can't be blamed on anyone.

    This line of persuasion isn't designed to stand up to critical thinking; it's intended to reinforce a habitual mental pathway.

    It's elementary that laws don't decide right and wrong. Every American should know that, in the 1950s, it was against the law in many states for a black person to sit in the front of a bus; but only racists would say sitting there was wrong.
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-free.html
    Last edited by Bachstelze; July 3rd, 2011 at 04:07 PM.
    「明後日の夕方には帰ってるからね。」


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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Quote Originally Posted by Bachstelze View Post
    I'm not comparing anything. Both are problems, and the fact that the former is more serious than the latter doesn't mean the latter doesn't exist and no one should talk about it.

    And no need to boast your "mixed ancestry", I'm mixed ancestry too and this is totally irrelevant to the discussion.
    True...

    On the topic, this guy pretty much sums up my beliefs on the Linux naming thing (and a lot of Free Software philosophies).
    The above post definitely does not contain any sarcasm at all.

  10. #10
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    Re: Richard Stallman was in Vienna

    Einstein didn't own the theory of relativity, anyone (who has the knowledge) can modify, improve it. Science is open source (at least the pure sciences), scientists still make a very good living.

    On the other hand most programmers don't own their codes anyway, the corporate entities they work for do and the first condition for employment is to sign away your ownership of your own code, why aren't these people complaining about it?

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