Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Faux-pen Source Fundamentalists

I was just reading Linux-Mag's interview with Linus Torvalds with regards to Microsoft's latest GPL'd contributions to the Linux kernel.

In it, I found this fabulous quote from Linus which I think echoes David "Lefty" Schlesinger's latest blog posting about the The Real FLOSS Community and the "Faux FLOSS Fundamentalists":

I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.

There are ‘extremists’ in the free software world, but that’s one major reason why I don’t call what I do ‘free software’ any more. I don’t want to be associated with the people for whom it’s about exclusion and hatred.”

It is good to see such prominent FLOSS contributors speaking out against the "Faux-pen Source Fundamentalists" that go around attacking the real FLOSS community members, even going so far as trying to get FLOSS developers/contributors fired.

These zealots may think they are "helping" the FLOSS community, but they are only having a negative effect. A destructive effect.

These people are not interested in improving Linux, they are only interested in stroking their own egos. They want power more than anything else. Power over other people. Power to destroy anyone or anything that does not do what they demand.

These people claim that they are protecting our Freedoms, but they are only trying to become dictators. They have no interest in Freedom unless it is their own version of Freedom, where they reign as supreme dictator and where anyone who disagrees with them is labeled as a "shill" or otherwise demonized.

As Linus puts it, these people are about "exclusion and hatred."

This is not Freedom.

11 comments:

Ryan said...

How about instead of trying to attach RMS and software freedom advocates to those people who hate mono so much, you attribute them to the correct problem.

They are not really supporters of Free Software in my opinion, they are ex-Microsoft users who decided that Open Source development and projects are better than any "M$ Shitware" that ever came out.

Please don't tie that group of fools to the people who started the movement for the freedom that you are currently railing for/against, at the same time.

Jeffrey Stedfast said...

Who's attacking Richard Stallman, here? No one.

Richard Stallman is not someone I consider a "Faux-pen Source Fundamentalist".

Did you not read my blog post?

Did you not read David Schlesinger's blog post?

The "Faux-open Source Fundamentalists" are people who do not contribute to FLOSS at all. They are people who make demands (e.g. demanding that Mono be removed from Ubuntu). They are people who try to get other people fired for disagreeing. They are people who spread libel about FLOSS developers when we don't bend to their demands.

No one is trying to tie those lunatics to the real FLOSS community. If you read what David and I (and Linus) have said, you would see that we (members of the real FLOSS community) are distancing ourselves from this faux group.

Let me explicitly say this one more time: I consider Richard Stallman to be in the real community, not the faux community.

Anonymous said...

You may not be targeting Stallman or the FSF, but I am not so sure Lefty (or Linus) does not either. Some commenters seem to think so.

Before this becomes a new round of RMS-bashing, it would be great if you could actually put a list of these "The Faux-pen Source Fundamentalists" you are thinking of.

Thanks.

Jeffrey Stedfast said...

As far as I can tell, Lefty is not attacking Richard Stallman either. Nor do I get the impression that Lefty feels that Richard Stallman is a Faux-pen Source Fundamentalist.

Lefty's complaint about Stallman was about his sexist remarks. If you read carefully, Lefty attacked the message, not the man.

The people claiming he's attacking Richard Stallman instead of the sexist "joke" do so to try and discredit Lefty. These people are likely part of the Faux-pen Source Fundamentalist group.

I see no evidence that Linus is attacking Richard Stallman either.

As far as your question about who, specifically, I mean when I refer to "Faux-pen Source Fundamentalists", you might try reading: http://opensourcetogo.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-zeal-becomes-zealotry-tawdry-tale.html. Those are the types of people I am talking about.

Alan said...

"I am not so sure Lefty (or Linus) does not either. Some commenters seem to think so."

Who are these commenters who believe that Linus, Lefty and Jeff are all attacking RMS? Is it possible that (at least some of) these commenters are part of the 'faux-pen source' community and are trying to discredit the article by insinuating that it applies to people which it quite clearly does not?

Anonymous said...

@Alan: actually, lefty has come up with a list and wrote an addendum specifically mentioning RMS as /not/ being in that group. That clarifies things.

Anonymous said...

Want power? I have been helping open source, free software, campaigns against software patents, and so on the last ten years or so.

I do not push myself on anyone. I do push the agenda by pushing info to the right people, pointing media to the right individuals, helping with media attention, setting up talks with politicians, and so on.

I have used a few thousands hours and billed zero for this effort. I have never written about my hobby and do not discuss it much with others.

Power? I am aware that I am not alone as a active concerned citizen with no interests in power or money regarding this issue.

Microsoft is a problem because if their market position. This threatens the freedoms I see as important in my life. This is the reason why I do it.

The result of the combined global community pressure is that Microsoft and others like them are behaving less problematic than they used to do.

Negative pressure do work, but it is a problematic area. Negativeness easily makes as much problems as it solves.

Chani said...

ever heard of a song called "vanguard of the masses"? it's by david rovics, and iirc it's free to download. I think you'd like it. :)

of course, I'm still very suspicious of microsoft. they've got quite the record of nastiness, and I'd rather err on the side of caution. but that's *my* choice.

iain said...

"they are only interested in stroking their own egos"

I always took issue with ESR when he said that people worked on free software because it was a great way to boost their ego.

that said i take a lot of issues with most of what ESR says

Jeffrey Stedfast said...

Chani: I'll have to check out that song :-)

Ian McKellar said...

These are they same losers who ran the Amiga user group in the late 90s. They don't produce they complain.

At least we don't have the Mac zealots on our side. Now *those* are some smug arseholes...

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