Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Open Source Books GNU is Not Unix Software Your Rights Online

2 RMS Books Hit Version 2.0 163

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

2 RMS Books Hit Version 2.0

Comments Filter:
  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @11:48AM (#36063638)
    Where are the free PDF versions? Aren't these books open? ;-)
  • Re:Free as in BSD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Squiddie ( 1942230 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @11:50AM (#36063668)
    It's only restricting your freedom if you want to restrict the users' freedoms. Somehow people have this funny belief that if you take someone else's code, you should give back to the community that you took it from. Weird, huh?
  • Re:Hm... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 08, 2011 @11:51AM (#36063674)

    I think it's more along the lines of he's getting tired of nobody listening to him any more. Of course you can hardly fault people for that, he hasn't said anything worth listening to in almost a decade or more. If the best that Stallman can do to try and remain relevant is continue to whine about people not calling it "GNU/Linux" then he should probably put his fat, smelly self out to pasture.

  • Re:Free as in BSD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by u17 ( 1730558 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @11:51AM (#36063680)
    I'm tired of this sad trolling. GPL advocates never complain about the BSD license. It's only BSD advocates that complain about the GPL. You know what? Just because you want to use other people's code without having to respect their conditions doesn't give you the grounds to demean the GPL, dude.
  • Re:Free as in BSD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tchernobog ( 752560 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @11:56AM (#36063732)

    Troll. If you think that a license does not suit you, do not use it, use another one. Nobody is taking away your freedom as a developer to choose the license you prefer, or to write your own implementation. But as a developer myself, I don't see why you should benefit from my code, my hard work and my creativeness, close-source it, and invest maybe some marketing resources in it to drive me out of the market.

    Fantasy? No. Personal experience. A loss of several thousands of euro from my part. So, keep your BSD license, I'll keep my GPL, thanks.

  • YES! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZankerH ( 1401751 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:11PM (#36063870)
    Enough with the natty penguins and the wishy-washy "open source" pragmatism. We want the angry, righteous, jealous old testament god of Free Software.
  • Re:Hm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:14PM (#36063908)

    I thought his work on the GPL V3, his statements against software patents, and his concerns about non GPL Java VMs and .Net were within the last 10 years and pretty spot on. His recent concerns about cell-phone tracking seemed prescient, too.

  • 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.

  • Re:Free as in BSD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:39PM (#36064090) Homepage

    You know, that could just be because people who use the GPL can freely use any BSD code they want, but people who want to use the BSD license are blocked from using GPL code.

  • Re:Free as in BSD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:42PM (#36064122)

    Somehow people have this funny belief that if you take someone else's code, you should give back to the community that you took it from.

    And this is exactly what makes GPL non-free. It's a great moral to live by, and I fully support it's use, but it's not freedom. Freedom involves letting people chose for themselves.

  • Re:Free as in BSD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @12:48PM (#36064174)
    You're 100 percent right, of course, but because people would rather reflexively defend what they already believe in -- which is their beloved, but restrictive GPL -- you will be attacked. It's not trolling (as you're currently modded as I write this) to say that the GPL has the effect of forcing everyone else to behave with code as the license's authors want. The BSD is neutral on the matter and allows everyone to do whatever THEY want with code. The fact that the "free software" advocates can't understand that they are trying to control others is one of the supreme ironies in IT today.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @01:58PM (#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.
  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Sunday May 08, 2011 @02:05PM (#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.

  • 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.


    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.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner