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GNU is Not Unix

Free Software Foundation Turns 25 183

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-dig-the-crazy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On this day, 25 years ago, Richard Stallman created the Free Software Foundation. He had been the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Lab. Tired of seeing software that he and others had written appropriated (without acknowledgment or compensation) by disreputable software companies and then told to pay for software they had written, Stallman took action, creating the foundation. The original license was written by Stallman. Stallman had subsequently written a large number of GNU tools, but the license was his most important contribution."
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Free Software Foundation Turns 25

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  • What about emacs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nicolas.kassis (875270) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:23AM (#33784308)
    GPL is cool but I think emacs was his greatest accomplishment. At least technical accomplishment.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:29AM (#33784392)

      Nah, vi is better.

    • by yankpop (931224) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:56AM (#33784704)

      GPL is cool but I think emacs was his greatest accomplishment. At least technical accomplishment.

      Whoever modded this flamebait needs to have their privileges revoked. I'm not sure I agree with the parent post, but Emacs is unquestionably a substantial contribution in its own right, as is the GCC.

      Flamebait is not a synonym for disagree.

      • by Eil (82413) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:39PM (#33785240) Homepage Journal

        You'll note that the negative moderation was balanced against at least 4 other positive moderations. The moderation system was built on the assumption that some people will moderate poorly but most will moderate appropriately. So Slashdot is working as it's supposed to. You can relax now.

        • by ari_j (90255)
          There is a problem with your comment. By saying, "Slashdot is working as it's supposed to. You can relax now," you imply that there is a logical connection between these two things. Experience has shown that relaxation and Slashdot mix nearly as well as oil and water.
      • Correct, flamebait is a mod for posts which seem to be deliberately crafted to stir up meaningless debates. Like the Emacs vs Vi debate (which is no debate at all, they both suck).

        What is there to be said in reply to 'emacs was his greatest accomplishment'? Only posts of the sort of the first reply, 'Nah, vi is better'. I can easily see how someone thought it was just there to stir up an argument, and for that 'flamebait' is entirely appropriate.

        • nicolas.kassis didn't mention vi. He said that emacs was a great accomplishment. Any emacs vs vi implication is in your head.

          • The first person to reply did so to state that Vi is better than Emacs. It's not in my head, it actually happened.
            OP may not have intended to start that flamewar, but it's an entirely reasonable postion for 1 of the 5 people who moderated the post to think that he did.
            Maybe he had a serious point and wanted to see if he could start a small flamewar, we don't know, but there's something about the construction of the post which feels a little 'off' for starting a discussion. For instance, he gives no reasons

        • by chromas (1085949)
          A nice reply might compare Emacs with anything else he or the FSF accomplished, which doesn't include vi.
      • by nametaken (610866) *

        I doubt the moderator was disagreeing over emacs. They are probably only vaguely familiar with the running vi vs. emacs jokes and thinks it's about starting a real fight. Hence the "Flamebait" mod.

        Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      • by cp.tar (871488)

        GPL is cool but I think emacs was his greatest accomplishment. At least technical accomplishment.

        Whoever modded this flamebait needs to have their privileges revoked.

        Are you saying that any mention of either vi or emacs isn’t flamebait? Here? On Slashdot?

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:08PM (#33784878) Homepage Journal

      Only a tiny percentage of people use Emacs.
      Programers have the option of Vi, Eclipse.org, Netbeans, XCode, Notepad++, and any number of other free as in speech or beer IDEs.
      Think of all the software that is available under the GPL including Linux.
      Then think of all the software written using GCC.

      While I do not agree with RMS's extremist dogmatic view that all software should be free, I tend to believe there is room for both models. I also really dislike his devoted followers.
      But I will say this about him.
      GPL was important in influenced a lot of people including myself to write and contribute free software. Emacs while I do not use it is a very powerful editor/ide/os/religion. GCC is wonderful and I use it often. And about the man himself. I wrote him an email once and he actually took the time to respond to me. I didn't agree with him but he was polite and passonate in his view point. I will say that my opinion of RMS is he is a gentalman that I respect but have an honest difference in opinion with.
       

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:09PM (#33784890)

      Technical accomplishments pale in comparison to cultural accomplishments.

      Are you really arguing that emacs is a greater accomplishment than the entire open source software movement? GPL is what made OSS possible, without license the software would have been stolen before it could get off its feet. That's exactly what prompted the GPL in the first place - Stallman and his MIT buddies were writing software that vendors were picking up, incorporating into their own products, and then forcing Stallman and his buddies to pay for in the next iteration.

      • by nicolas.kassis (875270) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:54PM (#33785406)
        I guess you are probably right but I still think he doesn't get the cred he deserves as a genius programmer. Before the GPL he was single handedly reverse engineering all of Symbolics stuff as a way to screw them for taking code from MIT's mac project and close sourcing it. That code was written by teams of very good hackers. That + emacs + gcc == incredible code writing. Some of the best MIT Hackers still say they we impressed by how much code he was churning out during that time.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bzipitidoo (647217)

          as a way to screw them for taking code

          Perhaps that was a motive. But if it is, should it be characterized that way? You might as well say that people who don't buy movies are "screwing" movie producers. Even if they never watch movies-- never pirate them, go to theaters, or even see them while visiting friends. Or that the police are "screwing" criminals whenever they make an arrest. If anyone writes useful software and gives it away, some business "opportunity" is "lost". That's crazy thinking, based on a fundamentally unsound business m

      • I say Emacs could be a bigger accomplishment then GNU.
        Sure he is more popular because of the GNU. But the GNU probably couldn't be proven without Emacs and the fact the RMS could sell copies of Emacs under the GNU.
        Also emacs was full featured enough to be incorporated in many different OS's giving the GNU a wider appeal.

        The basic rule of thumb 25 years ago. If it is free then it is crap. EMacs was free and full featured.

        RMS Success fell on EMacs. If he decided a different license he would still be well kn

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Other people wrote most of emacs including the original standalone version. The GPL and sticking to it (even allowing emacs to fork and not killing off the other branch) is a greater accomplishment.
  • Dear Richard, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:24AM (#33784310) Homepage

    Thank you.

  • I'd have voted for GCC instead, but whatever.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:03PM (#33784814)

      GCC would not have mattered one lick without the license.

      Really, it's just a C compiler. It's important, but rudimentary. Anybody with sufficient programming skills can write one for a given machine (and they do). The license was the stroke of genius. GCC only exists in its current form because of the license. Without it GCC would be just another compiler in the dustbin of history.

      The real important contribution was the counter-culture he started, and that was only able to survive the extremely proprietary world of computers because of the license.

      I don't even like Stallman (I think he's an asshole, frankly), but that's clearly one thing he got very right. It was a brilliant move to use the same copyright laws that were used to steal his (and his compatriates') software in order to ensure their software would be free to use by everyone forever.

      In other words, open source software - GCC included - would likely not exist today without the GPL.

      • by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:50PM (#33785360)

        The BSDs would exist without the GPL. Of course, getting to use GCC helps. Of all the things that RMS is responsible for, GCC is the only one I really use in any meaningful way. I think the majority of GPL software that I use isn't actually GNU or sponsored by the FSF, it just happens to be GPL. But the majority of my platform isn't GPL:
        - FreeBSD is BSD licensed
        - Apache is Apache (basically BSD) licensed
        - PostreSQL uses a modified BSD-style license
        - Perl is dual licensed with either the Artistic License or the GPL, depending on which you want to accept
        - BIND is BSD licensed

        I'm not particularly reliant on any GPL-based software other than GCC. That is the crux of my argument. Don't confuse "open source" with "free software" with the GPL.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pjabardo (977600)
          It is difficult to know what would happen without the GPL but what the parent says does have some merit: the counter culture was very important and it is possible that all those projects are so successful because of this "counter culture". In this sense the Free Software foundation and GPL are Stallman's greatest contribution.
      • by Lennie (16154) on Monday October 04, 2010 @01:20PM (#33785710) Homepage

        He may or may not be an asshole, but it is his attitude what made this possible. Without the attitude nothing would have happend.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday October 04, 2010 @01:26PM (#33785764) Journal

        Actually I'd argue that it isn't the license so much as the man himself. Love him or hate him (I too think he's gone a little too far overboard and gets worse as he ages) his license would be worth exactly jack squat if it weren't for the man's ability to promote himself and the GPL. after all what good would have been the GPL if only he had used it?

        A good example IMHO is the way he'll choose some boring normal proprietary software press conference, which nearly any reporter assigned to is figuring is gonna be as boring and dull as watching paint dry, and at just the right moment holds up one of his little hippy signs with a catchy slogan. If you think about it it is fucking brilliant, as every reporter is gonna lock onto him like a heat seeking missile because he is the only possible controversy in an otherwise boring as hell press release, thus ensuring he and his message gets front row coverage. That is a seriously brilliant piece of promotion right there, which costs him exactly nothing but really gets his point across.

        So I'd say the whole argument of Emacs VS GPL VS GCC would be moot if the man hadn't gotten the word out, and with a non profit copyleft style organization promotion has to be not only damned cheap but damned effective too, and love him or hate him RMS is damned smart when it comes for getting himself and the GPL promoted. And I'd say one could safely argue it was that gift that allowed him to create a FOSS empire from nothing but an idea. So here is to you Stallman, we may not agree on hardly anything, but I give credit where credit is due and you've earned yours. Happy Bday FSF.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by openfrog (897716)

        I don't even like Stallman (I think he's an asshole, frankly), but that's clearly one thing he got very right. ... open source software - GCC included - would likely not exist today without the GPL.

        If you start such a movement and doing so frustrate self-interested grabbers of all kinds, you are naturally going to be the target of abuse and personal attacks on such a scale that you may have, or you may need to already have, a thick skin to merely survive.

        But your post does underline the significance of the accomplishment, so I concur.

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        When I was in early high school, I attended a workshop for bright kids where each of us wrote a compiler. During a week. Not knowing anything about writing compilers beforehand, just being teached the basics of yacc and stuff on the go. Of course, these compilers had hardly any optimization, but they produced working code.

        Stallman didn't have yacc, but he was an experienced programmer with full access to relevant books -- all the theory relevant was already widely known by then. And coding a LALR parser

      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        He didn't start the counterculture though. He just formalized it by sahing "all you hippies have to do it my way". We had tons of free aka open source software before FSF, it just didn't have that socialist license on it.

        The difference is that most people weren't so uptight if some company took the open code and incorporated it.

        I think GNU was a bigger step than FSF, and less nutty. It was the "why are we relying on commercial unix when we could just make our own" moment. They did a lot of good work on
  • Hrmph (Score:5, Funny)

    by egibster (1913920) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:25AM (#33784336) Homepage Journal
    I hate this article because I completely agree with it. I hate you.
  • by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:26AM (#33784340) Homepage Journal

    Which came first, the Foundation or the Beard?
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:26AM (#33784342)
    ...license or legal construction In the history of computing. Easily. It's not even close.



    The Open Source movement owes its existence to it. Many a intellectual property lawsuit has been decided by it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The GPL is the most important license or legal construction In the history of computing. Easily. It's not even close.

      No. Whoever invented the EULA and figured out that software should be licensed instead of sold was a far more important legal construction. That move changed the entire industry to such an extent that almost no software is sold these days. The GPL is only modestly important compared to that monumental legal change.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      License yes, legal construction... well, I don't know it really applies but the whole construction that practically all copyrighted software is licensed, unlike a copyrighted book that is sold is probably the single most important legal clusterfuck ever. If your car manufacturer told you what roads you can drive on, what gas stations to tank at, where to get it serviced while forbidding you to use other spare parts, welding the hood down, refusing to let you sell it and has a kill switch there'd be arevolut

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by arielCo (995647)

      The GPL is the most beneficial license or legal construction In the history of computing.

      RealityMaster above may be right - the limited, non-transferable EULA is terribly important right now; the GPL is a sane[r] alternative. Don't ask me about the "freer" BSD license - I haven't made my mind up about that.

      • Don't ask me about the "freer" BSD license - I haven't made my mind up about that.

        Food for your thoughts then...

        The BSD license is primarily concerned with the freedom of software developers and distributors while the GPL's primary concern is the freedom of the end user, Which group you think is more important will probably determine which license you favor.

        • Everyone's an end user, some end users are developers, some end users are distributors, all developers are end users.*

          Seems straightforward to me.

          *Unless you programmed your computer from scratch with switches, Altair style.

    • Totally agree. FSF laid the foundation of tools for anyone to use to produce cool stuff. It'd have been very hard to get started with proprietary compilers and libraries. They're expensive, and they're all different.
  • by No. 24601 (657888) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:26AM (#33784344)

    Citation, please? I think he worked there and was probably their most famous programmer. But besides that I don't think he held an executive position at that lab.

    • by trb (8509) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:43AM (#33784576)
      Not to diss Stallman, but he was not the director of the AI Lab, and it's hard to say he was their most famous hacker at that time - the AI Lab spawned many great hackers, and especially then, during the early years of Symbolics and LMI. The most famous AI Lab hackers were LISP hackers (at that time - remember, it was a AI Lab.) Gerald Sussman, Guy Steele, JonL White, David Moon, et al.
      • by KlomDark (6370) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:56AM (#33784708) Homepage Journal

        Never heard of any of those guys. Stallman wins.

        • by trb (8509) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:28PM (#33785098)

          I think he worked there and was probably their most famous programmer.

          it's hard to say he was their most famous hacker at that time

          Never heard of any of those guys. Stallman wins.

          Yes, he is their most famous hacker now, in 2010. The context of the discussion is 1985. At that time, he was not their most famous hacker.

      • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:19PM (#33785006)
        Yes, but Stallman was also doing a great amount of Lisp Machine work for LMI. Specifically, Symbolics was trying to shake off a prior agreement to share code with LMI. Stallman duplicated the new features from scratch for LMI, working around the clock. I believe he was their main programmer at the time. He didn't make Lisp history like the others did with Scheme or Common Lisp, but he was deeply a Lisp guy at that time, and wanted the GNU system to support two languages: C and Lisp. In fact, GNU Emacs was written because he wanted a powerful editor, and knew that Lisp was the best way to accomplish that extensibility. Now systems running GNU (Linux) use so many different languages that people have almost forgotten about the Lisp side of things, sadly.
  • I disagree (Score:5, Funny)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:29AM (#33784390)

    His most important contribution is GNU Hurd - it's the gift that keeps on giving.

  • by WED Fan (911325) <akahige.trashmail@net> on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:33AM (#33784436) Homepage Journal
    Looking at the bearded one, holiness to his name, I feel like I need a bath.
  • GCC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schmidt349 (690948) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:34AM (#33784448)

    I have a hard time believing that anything RMS is even partially responsible for is anywhere near as important as GCC, from its humble beginnings as a replacement for CC on UNIX to its present juggernaut Compiler Collection.

    Thanks Richard for leaving your fingerprints on all of my object files! GCC is the awesome.

    • Re:GCC (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:54AM (#33784688)

      GCC would not be important today at all without the license, because it would be proprietary software, therefore the license trumps it in my opinion. They are kinda two faces of the same coin though. Without GCC, the GPL probably would have never taken off at all.

      So he's got two huge contributions, a lot of big ones (Linux was just GNU with Torvald's kernel at first), and then a bunch of crazy wacko rants.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:02PM (#33784804) Journal

      GCC is what it is because of the license. Without the license, it would just be another compiler most likely closed or restricted in some way. That it isn't is because of the license, not because of the code.

      To what do you attribute the Wright brothers plane? The internal combustion engine or the dream to fly? Without the engine there could have been a plane driven by say a rocket, but without the dream their would never have been a plane.

      It can be very hard to truly comprehend just how big Stallman's contribution has been. Freedom is very hard to grasp, if you are used to it.

      In another response to the story about net neutrality I linked the internet to the press and the contribution to freedom that this tech has made. But what is that contribution? The art of reproducing text quickly OR the power of the written word? The capability of human beings to pass on their thoughts to others without ever meeting them?

      Just as the chattering monkey became more human by being able to write down speech, and then more free by being able reproduce it easily and even free'er(?) by being able to transmit what he had for breakfast around the globe (oh okay so it ain't all good), the GNU, FSF etc have given us a degree of freedom that once we couldn't imagine and now can't imagine being without.

      The oldies MIGHT remember machines on which you paid for every single second of access. In which hardware was not owned but leased. Only the very powerful could own a computer and making it doing anything useful cost even more.

      Today, I can own a computer far more powerful, own it completly and use countless pieces of software for free. Not saying I have to, but I can and the fact that I can already means that those who wish to control software/hardware and freedom are restricted in doing so. Good luck MS with their ActiveX and attempts to stop the internet. IE did NOT manage to make the web an MS experience. Can you imagine what MS would have been like if they had IBM mainframe style control of the IBM compatible? If there never had been a Compaq, never had been a Dr-DOS? It would have been the Apple from Hell.

      Trying to explain this alternate reality would be like trying to explain the holocaust (godwin can kiss my hairy butt) in a universe were said holocaust never happened. We escape the complete control of our PC's by IBM, so how can we imagine what the world would have been like with IBM in control?

      And of course Stallman didn't do it all alone. But he has been the most central figure who has stood firm for 25 years. He and everyone else who has helped create the idea of software not as an owned and controlled resource has made the world we live in today. How could countless websites have gotten started without free Apache, free Perl/PHP/Python/etc, free databases yes even free OS'es?

      But isn't MS software as easily available? Yes, BUT and this is a HUGE BUT, without IBM loosing control over the PC, MS would also never have been. MS, the closed source control freak company owes it existence to "free" software/hardware. Proof? No MS on mainframes.

      So yes. GCC is awesome, but it is a minor tool, the AK47 of the freedom movement. It is the fight, not the weapons that matter. The decleration of independe vs the guarilla tactics. The refusal to obey seperation laws rather then choosing a seat in a bus.

      And to those who think free software is not comparable. It isn't. But lack of freedom in small areas can mean the lack of freedom is far larger areas. Wouldn't it be convenient for those who want to control freedom, if printing presses could only be bought with identification? If a website could only be setup with a real ID?

      So thank you Richard Stallman. I would never have the courage to do what you did, but the world is a better place cause you did it. Not perfect, but better. Just that the rest of us must remember that if we take it all for granted, we might loose it all. DMCA, Trusted Computing etc are real treaths and they do NOT go away just because we managed to stop them once.

      • GCC is what it is because of the license. Without the license, it would just be another compiler most likely closed or restricted in some way. That it isn't is because of the license, not because of the code.

        GCC was created by the FSF and was always open source. I think you've overlooked the most important attribute - it's free as in beer.

        And of course Stallman didn't do it all alone. But he has been the most central figure who has stood firm for 25 years. He and everyone else who has helped create the ide

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jc42 (318812)

      I have a hard time believing that anything RMS is even partially responsible for is anywhere near as important as GCC, from its humble beginnings as a replacement for CC on UNIX to its present juggernaut Compiler Collection.

      There is an important symbiotic relationship between the GPL and the GCC. (And also with other "free" software tools, but the GCC is a good poster child.) One explanation came up in a number of projects that I worked on at Digital back in the 1980s and early 1990s. The question kept c

      • I do not think such a legal case would stick. Electronics Arts had a lawsuit some decades back where they claimed they owned all the art created by people using Deluxe Paint belong to them and they lost.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:35AM (#33784470) Homepage
    Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday, dear Richard,
    Happy bir- COPYRIGHT VIOLATION DETECTED - TRANSMISSION TERMINATED [wikipedia.org]
  • Uhm, no! (Score:5, Informative)

    by kenh (9056) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:40AM (#33784548) Homepage Journal

    " He had been the director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Lab.?

    He was a system administrator, not the director of the lab! Minsky, Papert, et al didn't report to him...

    • Re:Uhm, no! (Score:5, Informative)

      by kenh (9056) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:48AM (#33784620) Homepage Journal

      " Tired of seeing software that he and others had written appropriated (without acknowledgment or compensation) by disreputable software companies and then told to pay for software they had written, Stallman took action, creating the foundation."

      That doesn't seem right either - I thought the driving issue was the need to pay a fee to access driver software to modify it to use a product they already bought (I think it was a printer) - as I recall the issue was that software licenses were getting in the way of him doing the work he needed to do. He wasn't against paying for needed software, but in this case (his "tipping point"), but he was being required to pay to fix software he'd already paid for since the the manufacturer wouldn't/couldn't make it work.

  • by schnikies79 (788746) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:41AM (#33784550)

    Now get rid of Stallman and I will actively support you.

    • by openfrog (897716)

      Now get rid of Stallman and I will actively support you.

      Haha, just like Apple needed to get rid of Steve Jobs in order to grow...

      Get used to it, the guy has his character and it is part of the deal.
      You need to have a thick skin when you go out and entertain to slay dragons.

  • Dogma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigredradio (631970) on Monday October 04, 2010 @11:51AM (#33784654) Homepage Journal

    Bethany: What is Stallman like?

    Rufus: He likes to listen to people talk. I remember the old days when we were sittin' around the computer lab. You know, whenever we were goin' on about unimportant shit, He'd always have a smile on his face. His only real beef with programmers is the shit that gets carried out His name. Wars. Bigotry. Mobile Operating Systems. The big one though, is the factioning of the distros. He said, "Linux got it all wrong by takin' a good idea and building a belief structure out of it."

    Bethany: So you're saying that having beliefs is a bad thing?

    Rufus: I just think it's better to have an idea. You can change an idea; changing a belief is trickier. People die for it, people kill for it. The whole of Free software is in jeopardy right now because of the Open Source belief system in this software as a service bullshit. RedHat and SuSE, whether they know it or not, are exploiting that belief, and if they're successful, you, me, all of this ends in a heartbeat. All over a belief.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You, Sir, deserve mod points.

      I at the very least owe you a coke.
    • by openfrog (897716)

      I am really getting tired of this half-assed theory of this being a 'belief' and the implications thereoff, and subsequent appeal to reasonableness.
      You just hear these assertions, never substantiated by anything but inuendo and anecdotes.
      In any movement of this scale, you will have debates about its orientation, tactics, strategy, etc.
      And you will have people who will think strongly about this. So what?...

      Just repeating a lie, aren't you?

  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:00PM (#33784764) Journal

    I am running Gnu-Linux on an NSLU2, a DNS-323, and a SheevaPlug. I have a free compiler on these devices.

    On another computer, I just downloaded MingW and Lighttpd (source and binary) last night.

    I remember when "free software" usually meant crippleware, and there was no way a poor kid eager to write code could get a compiler for free.

    Thanks for your vision, RMS. You changed culture and you helped the future.

  • Thanks RMS.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:01PM (#33784794)

    .. for your vision, contributions, and (and I know I'm not alone in this one).. helping me establish a career.

    I make a living building and maintaining *nix hosts, and it probably wouldn't have happened if I didn't spend my childhood and teenage years playing with free software like Slackware, Debian, gcc, screen, bash, and a million other packages. Of course, a complete thank you list would be long enough to overflow my copy/paste buffer, but as this article is about GNU:

    Thank you RMS! You've inspired millions of us, and pushed humanity forward yet another step.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday October 04, 2010 @12:21PM (#33785028)

    Tired of seeing software that he and others had written appropriated (without acknowledgment or compensation) by disreputable software companies and then told to pay for software they had written, Stallman took action, creating the foundation.

    What a terrible mis-representation of RMS's motivations. The EFF wasn't founded because RMS thought his software being "stolen" - it was created because he was locked out of fixing bugs in software on equipment in the lab where he worked. Read the first chapter of Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. -- For Want of a Printer [faifzilla.org] for a description of that seminal moment.

  • i dont know you well, actually i dont know you at all. but, thank you, really.
  • How's the printer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Trogre (513942) on Monday October 04, 2010 @07:41PM (#33789656) Homepage

    Thanks to RMS for all his (often colourful) advocacy. But has it done him any good - has he managed to get access to the driver for his labs Xerox 9700 yet?

  • Over dramatization (Score:2, Informative)

    by viscous (455489)

    Tired of seeing software that he and others had written appropriated (without acknowledgment or compensation) by disreputable software companies and then told to pay for software they had written, Stallman took action, creating the foundation

    The anonymous contributor needs to get a better grip on reality.

    The software in question was mostly written by programmers who were MIT staff members and students. MIT held the copyright on the software that they developed. MIT subsequently licensed the softwa

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