Free as in Freedom and not as in Beer

  Sir Radfordin 11:21 27 May 2004

Not sure on which forum this is best posted but never mind am sure someone will move it if needed ;)

Out of interest has anyone read the argument of Richard Stallman (RMS) click here as to why Software should be free?

Anyone have any views on the matter?

click here

How many of the people who use Linux have made any kind of payment for it? Those who bought a boxed version was that because you want to make a contribution to the 'project' or because you didn't/couldn't download off the Internet?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:41 27 May 2004

Spend 3+ years developing a programme then give it away free......I fail to see your point. people can be madly idealist living on planet soporific if they want but AFAIK it does not pay the Waitros eshopping bill or Council Tax.

Richard Stallman seems to have a gripe about everything in the world and clearly has too much time on his hands; he is demonstrably barking as well. I sense great anxiety in his demeanour and he needs to see Dr Chill.


  Sir Radfordin 12:52 27 May 2004

Agreement will only be found with RMS where you share his goals and views. It is only because there is proprietary software being developed that his view seems to idealistic. If software development were funded in the same way that other scienfitic research has been then his argument would be a perfectly valid one.

Why do you spend 3+ year developing a programme? In the past it would have been to meet a specific need, and once that need had been met it didn't matter what happened to the code as the creater had maximised the value. However since the Sony Walkman there has been a culture of invoation that 'creates need' rather than 'meets need' - who needed to listen to music whilst walking the streets prior to the Walkman? If you create something for which 'you' don't have a personal need then you will have to find the return some other way - that is done though charging other people to use it.

Whilst I don't fully agree with Stallman's view there can be no denying that if you share his moral view there is nothing wrong with his argument.

  Forum Editor 18:05 27 May 2004

and of course idealism has its place in the scheme of things - I wouldn't dream of arguing otherwise.

This man strikes me as a tad too anxious about too many things, has obviously got far too much free time on his hands, and I sense he might be given a wide berth by pretty well anyone with a grip on reality. As for there being "nothing wrong with his argument" ..............

How long have you got?

  Sir Radfordin 18:10 27 May 2004

How long have I got?

2000 words long!

If you adopt the same moral stance as Stallman surely nothing will be found to be wrong in the claims he is making?

It is only in having a different moral view that disagreemnt comes about. Arguing against Stallman would be more an argument for your own moral view than against his.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:21 27 May 2004

He is still bonkers and doolally-tap.


  Forum Editor 18:21 27 May 2004

of those long summer evenings in the university bar. Happy days, long gone.

  Sir Radfordin 18:24 27 May 2004

Doesn't help when you have a lecturer who is into Philosophy, a Budist and who knows what else. 3 hours spent discussing the difference between truth, values, and facts really is fun!

and this website is run on which server, wouldn't be APACHE by any chance would it?

truth is I think richard is just suffering from a bad dose of rejection having not been invited to join Symbolics when everyone else left the AI lab.
the copyleft principle is a wonderful thing abd in an ideal world I would jump right in but in truth it is born out a government funded/academic world which is simply not the world we live in now.

I would further venture to suggest that most open source development is undertaken by students and in fact represents a demonstration of their abilities which they can use as a CV when they decide to move on into the commercial world (to Transmeta for instance in the case of your man Linus) .Richard just seems to be one of those life-time student types who is never going to leave school, still he IS one of the best Hackers to ever live. (even simonyi would agree with that).

  oresome 19:33 27 May 2004

"who needed to listen to music whilst walking the streets prior to the Walkman?"
Most teenagers in the early 60's with the advent of portable transistor radios, that's who! And we thought we looked really cool. Not sure we actually listened so much as looked the part.

  961 20:02 27 May 2004

This is obviously the post that will draw in all the usual suspects. Including me. And F.E.

The word " bonkers" rings a bell and as for long summer nights long gone I always remember sitting in a bar in Cambridge with a business colleague watching a couple of undergrads chatting up our respective wives.

In the meanwhile, what I want to know is why, in this enlightened age, no one seems able to write music like our friends in the 60's?

Software though, yes

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