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2 RMS Books Hit Version 2.0 163

Posted by timothy
from the just-in-time-for-mother's-day dept.
jrepin writes "The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has just released in tandem the second edition of its president and founder Richard Stallman's selected essays, Free Software, Free Society, and his semi-autobiography, Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution."
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2 RMS Books Hit Version 2.0

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  • The Prophet (the Source Be with Him) is needing some benjamins?
  • Where are the free PDF versions? Aren't these books open? ;-)
    • by wondershit (1231886) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @10:54AM (#36063704)
      Here [fsf.org] and here [gnu.org].
      • by perpenso (1613749)

        Here [fsf.org] and here [gnu.org].

        Good. The main pages didn't seem to mention these free version. They seemed to obfuscate the issue with the free to anonymously pay cash comment:

        These books will be available electronically as PDFs but will notably not be distributed in the Amazon Kindle format or for any other proprietary ebook reading platform, because of the Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) those systems impose on users. "This malicious device," says Stallman, "is designed to attack the traditional freedoms of readers: There's th

    • Where are the free PDF versions? Aren't these books open? ;-)

      So, what you're asking is basically: "Where's all the free beer?"

      I agree. The thought has crossed my mind many a time; Some of us are less picky than others...

      Sure, It's awesome when something is free as "in freedom",
      but even more so when it's also free as "in beer".

      I frequently enjoy the freedoms of free software, but where's all the beer it has been in?
      HELLO! The beer is still drinkable! Just because it's got a bit of FLOSS in it
      doesn't mean all of us would turn our nose up at it... so wastef

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        well, doesn't matter if it's harry potter 9, it's going to be available online if someone likes it.

        but this is a plea for money, they need/want people to order the book for cash, for show of support and all that. i mean, they have a wholesalers contact on that page. when the fuck did fsf start doing wholesale discounts and review copies and signing tour agenting for rms? i mean, you get volume discounts from MS. so what the fuck guys, what the fuck? punch back to 1996 or so and I'm using linux because can'

        • by Ironchew (1069966)

          I love the trolling, keep it up.
          But you didn't mention Apple or Steve Jobs nearly as much as you should have. ;)

    • by gerddie (173963)
      Of course you know that the FSF has no problem with selling software [gnu.org] - it is all about "free as in speech" and not about "free as in beer".
      • Of course you know that the FSF has no problem with selling software [gnu.org] - it is all about "free as in speech" and not about "free as in beer".

        Of course. I just thought it was amusing that they were not prominently displaying where to find the free PDFs as they want software publishers to prominently display where to find the source code. I guess to carry the joke further I should ask if the books code with a CD with the LaTex files? ;-)

    • by JamesP (688957)

      Cue the "PDF is a not truly free format" complaint

      Considering it's Stallman he probably wrote them in Emacs in a specially compiled version of Slackware maybe with a GNU Hurd kernel.

      Of course, X is never used, nor a wireless card and email is sent using Mutt or Alpine

      If anyone needs the citation: http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.os.openbsd.misc/134336/focus=134979 [gmane.org]

  • by Meneth (872868)
    I'd like a textual diff between the first and second editions. Any ideas on how to get/make them?
  • YES! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZankerH (1401751)
    Enough with the natty penguins and the wishy-washy "open source" pragmatism. We want the angry, righteous, jealous old testament god of Free Software.
    • by JamesP (688957)

      This is not the right place for that type of complaint, Slashdot probably doesn't work properly on Lynx.

      You also have a hard time commenting on it with wget/curl =P

      It even takes html markup, I mean, that's for the brainwashed masses that use proprietary software, and put up with preposterous stuff as using an x86 processor!

  • I'm wondering what the second edition adds or modifies. It would be hard to top the first one for incisiveness and succinctness.

    And, as I've pointed out earlier... Much as I'd rather live in a country with a constitution than without one, so I'd rather release my works under the GPL than not. The GPL is the constitution that works towards my continued freedom as both an end-user and a developer. The BSD license is the license that allows other people to undermine and eventually destroy my freedom by building proprietary programs on top of mine that have a chance of eventually receiving all the time and attention of the world at large and thereby effectively destroying my freedom.

    Network effects are the single most important factor in the economics of software development. A proprietary program that garners the time and attention of the world encourages the creation of other programs compatible with it, and not a free alternative, even if the proprietary program stemmed from that free alternative. Software is rendered obsolete by no longer functionally participating in the networked ecosystem of software. My 'free' program licensed under an excessively permissive license can be rendered useless by the existence of a proprietary program that was ultimately derived from the free program.

    My continued freedom as a developer requires that I choose a license like the GPL.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:16PM (#36064380)

      ... The GPL is the constitution that works towards my continued freedom as both an end-user and a developer. The BSD license is the license that allows other people to undermine and eventually destroy my freedom by building proprietary programs on top of mine that have a chance of eventually receiving all the time and attention of the world at large and thereby effectively destroying my freedom ...

      No. The BSD type licenses take nothing away from your freedom. You have your source, you can do whatever you want with it. Your network effect argument fails in two ways. First, you *assume* that your software would have become popular like the fork did. Your version, GPL'd or unforked BSD may have never caught on. The real work, the popular work, may have been the proprietary work. For example Apple's cocoa user interface code as opposed to the underlying freebsd code. You work may be the lesser replaceable part of the overall effort. Secondly, the network effect takes nothing away from you. For example linux works regardless of how many copies of ms windows are sold, and people are free to use and contribute to freebsd regardless of how many people use mac os x. There is no evidence to suggest that mac os x has diminished interest in or contributions to freebsd, quite the contrary actually. Mac os x elevated the awareness of and confidence in freebsd.

      Please use the GPL all you care to, that is of course your right. However don't attempt the farcical arguments to deny the greater freedom of the BSD path and the greater charity of the BSD devs. Rather accept the reality of the restrictions of the GPL and argue that their altruistic nature justifies them.

      • by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @01:05PM (#36064754)
        I see merits to both sides, but I at least have to point out some flaws in your argument (which may allow you to strengthen it and we could both benefit, unless you want to keep any insight to yourself of course, that is your right).

        First, you *assume* that your software would have become popular like the fork did. Your version, GPL'd or unforked BSD may have never caught on

        No, he assumes works derived from his work would have become popular. His GPL'd work may have never caught on, but maybe someone else's GPL'd fork would have. The forked popular version benefitted from the unforked one, otherwise it would never have been based on it. But in the GPL scenario, both contributing parties benefit from the popularity. Follow the BSD path and only one would have. It's like if someone else patents an idea you developed before you had a chance to, and now you never get to benefit when the idea takes off.

        You work may be the lesser replaceable part of the overall effort.

        If it's not an important part, why are they using your work? On the other hand, if you realize your work wouldn't be a huge part of a larger application but you still don't want people to re-invent the wheel, you can still do the pragmatic thing and simply use the LGPL license.

        For example linux works regardless of how many copies of ms windows are sold,

        Linux and Windows are developed independently, which is a different argument than freebsd and OS X since they actually share a common base.

        and people are free to use and contribute to freebsd regardless of how many people use mac os x

        But if OS X works fine, why even bother with freebsd? If BSD was under the GPL license, or parts were LGPL, then freebsd would receive as many contributions as the part of OS X that freebsd is based on. As it is now, freebsd and OS X become fragmented, and some fixes in one aren't present in the other.

        Charity is fine but if you want to help everyone, teach a man to fish instead of just giving him fish, he might even be able to improve fishing techniques and pass them on so that we can all fish better.

        • I see merits to both sides, but I at least have to point out some flaws in your argument (which may allow you to strengthen it and we could both benefit, unless you want to keep any insight to yourself of course, that is your right).

          In the spirit of BSD I will share my "insights" with all, both those who share my philosophical beliefs and those who do not. ;-)

          First, you *assume* that your software would have become popular like the fork did. Your version, GPL'd or unforked BSD may have never caught on

          No, he assumes works derived from his work would have become popular ...

          Which is exactly what I meant by "unforked BSD". Again, that is a quite gratuitous assumption, quite the boot strapping.

          ... His GPL'd work may have never caught on, but maybe someone else's GPL'd fork would have. The forked popular version benefitted from the unforked one, otherwise it would never have been based on it. But in the GPL scenario, both contributing parties benefit from the popularity. Follow the BSD path and only one would have.

          However the real point remains, no one is deprived of the benefits of the original work, as the OP was suggesting. As in FreeBSD users and developers are not deprived of their work by Apple's success with Mac OS X. They actually come out ahead given the increase

          • A closer feeding-the-hungry analogy would be the BSD camp is the charity that gives to a country that they know will takes the rice out of the bags with the US labels and repackage the rice into government labeled bags before distribution to the hungry. The GPL camp would be ones offering the rice under conditions, and when the conditions are refused, then no rice for you. Hey, don't blame me, I didn't start this feeding-the-hungry analogy. Perhaps we should just skip the analogies? :-)

            The conditions being, of course, that the government must allow everybody to use the rice to plant their own rice fields if they so choose as well as distribute a brochure describing the best known ways to grow rice. One encourages dependence, the other demands the government foster independence or refuses to help them. Eventually the latter government's people will revolt and replace it with a better one that doesn't object to such eminently reasonable conditions and the whole country will be richer.

            I like

            • by perpenso (1613749)

              A closer feeding-the-hungry analogy would be the BSD camp is the charity that gives to a country that they know will takes the rice out of the bags with the US labels and repackage the rice into government labeled bags before distribution to the hungry. The GPL camp would be ones offering the rice under conditions, and when the conditions are refused, then no rice for you. Hey, don't blame me, I didn't start this feeding-the-hungry analogy. Perhaps we should just skip the analogies? :-)

              The conditions being, of course, that the government must allow everybody to use the rice to plant their own rice fields if they so choose as well as distribute a brochure describing the best known ways to grow rice ...

              No. The controlling condition would be to not replace the bag with the GPL labeling and terms. Since the government refuses this the rice would never get to the hungry. Replanting would only occur in the hypotheticals of the idealists. ;-)

              ... One encourages dependence, the other demands the government foster independence or refuses to help them. Eventually the latter government's people will revolt and replace it with a better one that doesn't object to such eminently reasonable conditions and the whole country will be richer.

              I like these analogies just fine.

              So you are going the Che Gueverra route, its OK to sacrifice some peasants and increase their suffering in order to manufacture a revolution that will promote one's ideology. Apologies if I shocked anyone. I actually read Che's writing, I didn't just buy the t-shirt.

              • So you are going the Che Gueverra route, its OK to sacrifice some peasants and increase their suffering in order to manufacture a revolution that will promote one's ideology. Apologies if I shocked anyone. I actually read Che's writing, I didn't just buy the t-shirt.

                When it comes to effort I'm contributing, you betcha. I want to make sure my efforts are going to something I can support and not going to help a cycle of continued helplessness and dependence. In fact, I'm quite shocked that you think helping people stay helpless and alive is better.

                I rather resent you implying that my choice to not support dependence is the same as a choice to purposely kill people. I'm not the one holding the trigger or refusing food because the conditions require me to allow my people i

                • by perpenso (1613749)

                  So you are going the Che Gueverra route, its OK to sacrifice some peasants and increase their suffering in order to manufacture a revolution that will promote one's ideology. Apologies if I shocked anyone. I actually read Che's writing, I didn't just buy the t-shirt.

                  When it comes to effort I'm contributing, you betcha. I want to make sure my efforts are going to something I can support and not going to help a cycle of continued helplessness and dependence. In fact, I'm quite shocked that you think helping people stay helpless and alive is better ...

                  Actually the reference was not to helpless people. Che advocated instigating violence against peasants that were comfortable and safe enough that they were not interested in socialist revolution. He saw a need to increase their misery and insecurity so that they would welcome revolution. Those who died in the process were merely the price to bring about the socialist state. These ideas of Che's were written in the context of spreading socialism to central and south america.

                  ... I rather resent you implying that my choice to not support dependence is the same as a choice to purposely kill people. I'm not the one holding the trigger or refusing food because the conditions require me to allow my people independence.

                  It was your silly analogy, you cho

                  • Actually the reference was not to helpless people. Che advocated instigating violence against peasants that were comfortable and safe enough that they were not interested in socialist revolution. He saw a need to increase their misery and insecurity so that they would welcome revolution. Those who died in the process were merely the price to bring about the socialist state. These ideas of Che's were written in the context of spreading socialism to central and south america.

                    Peasants who are fat and happy do not need rice. I have no interest in destroying their world. And you are switching and shifting the situation to suit yourself if that's how you meant it.

                    It was your silly analogy, you chose the revolt will make everything better stuff. Sorry if your chosen side didn't quite represent what you expected.

                    My silly analogy is perfectly fine. Your re-interpretation and twisting is not. There is a big difference between witholding help and actively harming.

          • by vegiVamp (518171)

            >> ...As it is now, freebsd and OS X become fragmented, and some fixes in one aren't present in the other.
            > That is untrue. Apple has contributed to FreeBSD. Apple has even contributed code that was formerly proprietary, HFS+ (file system) code for example.

            By saying that the original statement is untrue, you are effectively claiming that *all* fixes Apple made have been pushed back to BSD. I'd like to see some evidence of that, please.

            • by perpenso (1613749)

              >> ...As it is now, freebsd and OS X become fragmented, and some fixes in one aren't present in the other. > That is untrue. Apple has contributed to FreeBSD. Apple has even contributed code that was formerly proprietary, HFS+ (file system) code for example.

              By saying that the original statement is untrue, you are effectively claiming that *all* fixes Apple made have been pushed back to BSD. I'd like to see some evidence of that, please.

              The layer of Mac OS X that uses BSD, Darwin, is itself open sourced by Apple. Not only are there fixes in there, but FreeBSD can take any code at all that they think may be useful. My understanding is that the FreeBSD folks do mine Darwin. Also, some Apple employees have been granted "committer" status for the FreeBSD source.

              What Apple says:
              "The Darwin layer of Mac OS X comprises the kernel, drivers, and BSD portions of the system and is based primarily on open source technologies."
              http://developer.app [apple.com]

      • The real work, the popular work, may have been the proprietary work. For example Apple's cocoa user interface code as opposed to the underlying freebsd code.

        BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

        Yeah.... the "real" work was cocoa and not the entire underlying OS... meh, whatever. If BSD Unix had used a license like the GPL, apple would have had to find some other OS to leach off of -- Or maybe BSD Unix would be a strong competitor in the online serverspace, and smartphone niches that Apple's OSX and Linux fills?

        You act like there's no real-world examples of BSD vs GPL. Your Apple vs Unix vs Linux example disproves your argument! It's not like we have no examples of how BSD can just be gobbled up into a proprietary software, and how GPL software doesn't allow such a thing, and how well each different community is doing as a result... (Note: Even TiVO has to give their changes back to the communtiy, thus enabling ME to make my own TiVO with the same codebase if I wish -- ergo, GPL2 isn't poisonous for hardware makers).

        GPL'd GNU/Linux gets better when it gets used by big players in the software space -- BSD? Well, It just gets used as a base, and is left as it was before hand... Additionally, devs can be sniped from the BSD projects and go to work for the proprietary vendor, further weakening the BSD community project.

        • by perpenso (1613749)

          The real work, the popular work, may have been the proprietary work. For example Apple's cocoa user interface code as opposed to the underlying freebsd code.

          BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

          Yeah.... the "real" work was cocoa and not the entire underlying OS... meh, whatever.

          From the consumer's point of view that is the case. They aren't buying Macs to type "vi letter-to-grandma.txt ; lp letter-to-grandma.txt", they don't even know they had that option. ;-)

          ... If BSD Unix had used a license like the GPL, apple would have had to find some other OS to leach off of -- Or maybe BSD Unix would be a strong competitor in the online serverspace, and smartphone niches that Apple's OSX and Linux fills?

          Actually Linux does not really compete in the smartphone space. The Linux based phones failed and Android phones are no more Linux than Mac OS X is FreeBSD. Android could replace the Linux kernel and few users would know or care, as Apple could replace FreeBSD and few Mac users would know or care. Hell, many Android devs are

      • by Pav (4298)

        BSDers are hard to understand - they're like neighbours who complain of the obligation that borrowing tools and/or asking for help will place upon them. It might seem strange, but if you use peoples resources to build a patio they'll probably expect to be invited over for a barbecue (yes, even if that toolbox was "doing nothing" before you used it). What seems like an imposition to you makes others feel part of a community.

        They may even feel more annoyed if your patio blocks their afternoon sun so eve

      • by Microlith (54737)

        The BSD type licenses take nothing away from your freedom.

        It does if the person who distributed software to me decided to close the source.

        You have your source, you can do whatever you want with it.

        Did I get the source?

        The GPL ensures the first, by answering the second.

        don't attempt the farcical arguments to deny the greater freedom of the BSD path and the greater charity of the BSD devs

        The BSD path has different freedom, one that can constrict and be denied wholly to people down the line. And yes, charity

  • The best part: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @11:41AM (#36064104) Journal

    These were typeset with the FREE TeX and uses the FREE Computer Modern Roman fonts. The previous edition [oreilly.com] was typeset with FrameMaker and uses Adobe's Sabon fonts.

    I had a free (as in torrent) copy of the previous version, but I couldn't read it knowing that it had been typeset with non-FREE software.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:58PM (#36064688) Homepage Journal
    With no exception, ALL of the major groundbreakers in the history of societal freedoms and liberties, were considered fringe and even prosecuted in their time.

    Today, thankfully, we dont have much prosecution. but labeling, despising, outcasting pioneers continue.

    Stallman is no different. what he is bringing forth will underlie the basis of the society tomorrow.
    • Stallman is no different. what he is bringing forth will underlie the basis of the society tomorrow.

      ... or so we hope.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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