First FOSS OS?
Posted Mar 21, 2007 21:40 UTC (Wed) by anonymous1
In reply to: First FOSS OS?
Parent article: The road to freedom in the embedded world
> a trite 9-character slogan won't help you at all
I hope it does. " This didn't mean they would all agree with us, but at least they would pay attention to the arguments. They would give it serious consideration." http://fsfeurope.org/documents/rms-fs-2006-03-09.en.html#...
>Nobody else strives to explain freedom with respect to knowledge?
Yes. Nobody. e.g. Linus says "Me, I just don't care about proprietary software. It's not "evil" or "immoral," it just doesn't matter."
What in effect he is saying is that copyright is not a problem. For me it is a serious problem and somebody needs to talk about it. Have you read Misintrepreting Copyright?
> FSF used to lead by example, now they're mostly shouting
> instructions from the rear. It's depressing to watch.
Well they make 3/4 millon dollars a year. They can take leadership in developing sw. Even assuming the best leadership their contributions will be a drop in the FOSS ocean. (they have high priority projects http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority.html but that is still a drop)
Why was FSF important in 1980s? Becuase the community was relatively very small any technical contributions that they gave were significant. Being in a central place (the MIT) they could act as a clearing house, absorb and send out techinal impovements etc. With the advent of net anybody can do that, and there is no reason why the FOSS community needs them to act in that role.
FSFs importance was never merely technical, it has always been about the spread of the idea of freedom. They had an effect on the licensing terms of BSD, and other important projects. (everybody knows gplv2 is cool).
"Hired in 1986, Bostic had taken on the personal project of porting BSD over to the Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-11 computer. It was during this period, Bostic says, that he came into close interaction with Stallman during Stallman's occasional forays out to the west coast. "I remember vividly arguing copyright with Stallman while he sat at borrowed workstations at CSRG," says Bostic. "We'd go to dinner afterward and continue arguing about copyright over dinner."
The arguments eventually took hold, although not in the way Stallman would have liked. In June, 1989, Berkeley separated its networking code from the rest of the AT&T-owned operating system and distributed it under a University of California license."
The modified BSD license as we know today is also in part due to RMS.
"The University of California's "obnoxious advertising clause" would later prove to be a problem. Looking for a less restrictive alternative to the GPL, some hackers used the University of California, replacing "University of California" with the name of their own instution. The result: free software programs that borrowed from dozens of other programs would have to cite dozens of institutions in advertisements. In 1999, after a decade of lobbying on Stallman's part, the University of California agreed to drop this clause."
"The BSD License Problem" at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html.
RMS wrote a beautiful essay on Free Encylopedia in late 2000 if not earlier. You can see that he might as well have been talking about wikipedia (except that the essay preceded wikipedia).
To sum up. When it was important to develop code, fsf did that. Now it is more important to talk about freedom and they are doing that.
RMS has been clear about this. To paraphrase him "people are spreading gnu+linux but not talking about freedoms. if we dont tell them why gnu+linux is important, if we dont talk about freedoms they will lose the freedoms. i am going to spread the word becuase there are a lot of people spreading the SW"
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