Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Without Open Source, Free Software Is Just A Bunch Of Freetards!

Alright, I decided to cover one of the previous articles in more depth. In this truly stupid article, entitled Without Free Software, Open Source Would Lose its Meaning, Glyn Moody tries to make the case for a hard-line stance on 'Software Freedom.' Here are the lulzy results.

NOTE: The italicized text contain quotes from Richard Stallman.

The only reason we have a wholly free operating system is because of the movement that said we want an operating system that's wholly free, not 90 percent free.

Open source exists because of a refusal to compromise by the creators of free software programs. The “pragmatism” that Matt lauds is only an option for open source because the people who did all the hard work in creating free software refused to compromise initially.

Bullshit! The first GNU project was not an operating system kernel. It was a compiler! (Although one can make the case that it was a text editor.) Subsequent projects included shells and various Unix utilities, but they all ran atop proprietary (or BSD/MIT) operating systems. While the overcomplex HURD project was faltering, a truly 'free' operating system emerged from the Linux project, which was originally only free for noncommercial use! Talk about no compromises!

Ten years ago, Stallman pointed out the dangers of compromise:

If you don't have freedom as a principle, you can never see a reason not to make an exception. There are constantly going to be times for one reason or another there's some practical convenience in making an exception.

What, you mean like the exception you made to working on top of proprietary operating systems while developing your visionary vaporware microkernel?

Compromise is a slippery slope: once you start down it, there are no obvious places to stop. This plays right into Microsoft's hands: its current strategy is to dilute the meaning of “open source” - classic “embrace, extend, extinguish” - until it becomes just another marketing buzzword, applied routinely, and ultimately with no real value.

So what? You may ask. If, as Matt writes, the whole point is “to go mainstream”, then such blurring of the line separating free software from non-free software is surely a small price to pay to achieve that wider use of open source. It might seem so in the short term, but I don't believe it's a wise strategy in the long term, even from a purely pragmatic viewpoint.

Ahh, the classic slippery slope fallacy rears its ugly head again! The obvious place to stop is when the community decides the perceived drawbacks to further cooperation outweigh the perceived benefits.

Moreover, if the term “open source” becomes devalued, coders and users will become disillusioned, and start to desert it. The former will find the sharing increasingly asymmetric, as their contributions are taken with little given in return

If the coders do not see the value of contributing to a specific project, then they will either find a new project or take the existing code (one of the fundamental definitions of open source is the right to fork) and start a new project. This is what happens right now!

(something that may well happen even to open source companies using the GNU GPL if they demand that contributors cede their copyright, as most currently do).

This problem already happens, and it is dealt with. Even the GNU project insists on copyright, and even they have changed the terms on licenses occasionally. I do remember that there were a lot of complaints about GPLv3.

But, of course, the point is not “to go mainstream”: as Stallman said, it's about having “freedom as a principle.”

If the point is not to go mainstream, then how do you think freedom will be spread?

And because this is how he fights for freedom, without compromise, he is prepared to do and say things that people in the pragmatic world of open source find regrettable – shocking, even. That's partly because it inconveniently makes their job of “going mainstream” harder, and partly because of a genuine distaste for some of Stallman's actions. But what they overlook is that freedom fighters – for that is how Stallman regards himself – have always been so focussed on their larger goals that mundane matters like convenience and good manners tend to fall by the wayside.

Wow! Even Linux Journal admits that RMS is a terrorist!

Ultimately, the reason that free software cannot compromise is because we compromise over any freedom at our peril: there is no such thing as 50% free.

There is also no such thing as 100% free (at least not in the realm of "Free" Software). Even "Free" Software places limits on what someone is free to do with it.

As history teaches us, freedom is not won by “going mainstream”, but by small numbers of stubborn and often annoying monomaniacs that refuse to compromise until they get what they want. The wonderful thing is that we can all share the freedoms they win, whether or not we helped win them, and whether or not we can live up to their high standards of rigour.

The monomaniacs may lead the way to freedom, but they always do so with the masses right behind them. Yes, even the hardline groups have to make SOME compromises. If Free Software evangelists cannot win over the masses, then Free Software is doomed to shrivel-up just as hundreds of other ideologies have done.

Hey! You don't have to take my advice. You go right ahead with your Free Software Foco Theory. I will just sit back and laugh all the way to the release party for Windows 8.


  1. When will people learn not to replay to anything Stallman said.It is well established that he is insane person,and you cant argue with insane persone.

  2. They say ignorance is bliss, but people like you give me a reason to keep laughing, you're stupidity and ridiculously uneducated, uninformed postings have me rolling in the isles every time I read, I suppose companies like Google are "freetards" who have no clue, don't make any money, don't have a share price 12 times higher than Microsoft and will fail and drift off into nothingness right?

    IBM, one of the oldest players in IT ever, are idiots who have no idea what makes sense and money?

    Sun Microsystems are blind and have NO experience in the market?

    Microsoft aren't continually filing software patents to try and stop Open Source Software from gaining any more ground?

    They didn't just release several hundred lines of code for the Linux Kernel to make sure people keep using their server software to run Linux Hosts?

    They're not sending people to Open Source and Linux conferences to make keynotes and try to impress the Open Source Software community?

    They haven't opened an Open Source Software division of Microsoft to try and lure developers back to them from Open Source because they're losing them left right and center?

    The major OEMs haven't already signed agreements with Google to include their future, unreleased, not yet previewed Operating System on their laptops and desktops?

    Well please just pardon me while I ROFLMFAO!

    You actually waste your time writing drivel and bull on this blog of yours about how bad Open Source Software is and yet you accuse "freetards" of having the obsession?

    You sit back and laugh your way to the Windows 8 release party, I'll sit here and continue laughing at you, while watching Microsofts stock price fall every time Ballmer makes a speech, I'll watch Apples stock price rise until it loses Jobsy Boy, at which point it will simply plummet, I'll watch while Windows 7 fails worse than Vista did (I tested it earlier today and it's marginally better than Vista was (Not hard) but miles behind what XP was), killing Microsofts market share and then I'll sit here laughing all the way to the Google Chrome OS release party. Enjoy watching your world burn mate ;)

  3. @above flamer: Just a quick one: If Google Chrome EVER takes microsofts marketshare, i'll buy ya' a ticket to Denmark and buy you a beer at the first bar we come by!

    second: even though his post, according to you, is nothing worth noting, you use a WHOOOOOOOLE lot of text to prove your point. Am i the only one sensing a slight amount of self-denial?

  4. O well this person does not understand the problem.

    Lets say we could live in the world MS wants by there treatment of XBOX360 owners.

    Only parity you can buy hardware from is MS. All software has to pay MS a fee to be used. NO Open Source software is allowed unless its XNA( ie .net)

    No installing different OS. No recycling of console.

    Freedom has to be protected. World without freedom suxs and is even more wasteful.

    We have lived with x86 being the dominate processor due to windows. Now that Linux and Arm are forcing way into market. Intel and AMD are now looking at power effectiveness.

    Basically not backing competition from google basically says you don't care if your laptops have battery life of 30 mins.

    Heck some of the batteries in laptops have charge counters. Ie charge the battery X number of times the battery stops working. You have let this vendor locking slip past. Really how long before everything is locked down.

  5. Soo...

    Update anytime soon? :)

  6. reactosguy

    are you dead?

    haven't seen you on TM Repository for a while. I'm worried.