Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 27th Sep 2006 13:59 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Linspire In a move that some may have sensed was coming, Eric S. Raymond - one of the co-founders of the open-source movement - has joined the Freespire Leadership Board. Raymond believes desktop Linux is entering into a critical period, noting that historically, users have shifted operating systems during periods of fundamental changes in hardware platforms. He believes the PC vendors' embrace of 64-bit computing will provide desktop Linux a unique window of opportunity, which if missed, may not come along again for many years.
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If he can't get OEMs to preload
by halfmanhalfamazing on Wed 27th Sep 2006 14:19 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

It's not going to make much difference.

Get the major manufacturers to preload, then a major marketing campaign needs to follow.

Reply Score: 3

RE: If he can't get OEMs to preload
by ealm on Wed 27th Sep 2006 14:33 UTC in reply to "If he can't get OEMs to preload"
ealm Member since:
2005-11-11

Linspire sells OEM all over the world. In USA stores like Wal-Mart, K-mart, Fry's, Amazon... just to name a few.

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I believe he meant someone like Dell, HP... ;)

Reply Score: 3

What does ESR bring to the table?
by porcel on Wed 27th Sep 2006 14:26 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

ESR sure has an extraordinary opinion of himself. I had to laugh when I read this nonsense: "One of the co-founders of the open-source movement."

The "Open-Source" movement did not need to be founded because it existed well before ESR or anyone else tried to give a business-friendly name to it. In fact, it wasn't even ESR himself who coined the term "open source". The only useful thing that ESR did was writing "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", which is a pretty good book in its own terms.

But he is been living off his self-infatuation for too long and needs to be called on it. What can ESR possibly do for Freespire/Linspire? What is significant about him joining anything?

Had this been Linus, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, A. Seigo, Waldo Bastian, T. de Raadt, that would have been interesting and significant.

Reply Score: 5

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

You know I can't figure that one out, either. Other than name recognition from his behavior during the dot bomb era, I fail to see what he has to offer. I don't think that name recognition is as useful outside of Slashdot as the board of Freespire might think. It certainly isn't going to make any large OEM say, "Well now that they have Eric Raymond, I think we can do business with these guys."

The "co-founder" bit was pretty funny. Though compared to the usual deluded self-promotion of Eric Raymond by Eric Raymond I would say that it is pretty tame.

Reply Score: 1

thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

I don't think that name recognition is as useful outside of Slashdot as the board of Freespire might think.

Getting bonus points with the Slashdot crowd would be good for Linspire at this point, but ESR isn't gonna help there. Everyone has already realized that he has absolutely nothing to offer, and has stopped making sense a long time ago.

After his trolling on Fedora lists I'm glad he's found a different path. Linspire and him are a great match: they both don't understand what Free Software is about, and they will both not understand why systems like Fedora, SUSE, Ubuntu and Debian will always be more popular.

Reply Score: 5

bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

"... and they will both not understand why systems like Fedora, SUSE, Ubuntu and Debian will always be more popular."

Even though I am a dedicated Fedora and Ubuntu user, I am not convinced of the ultimate truth of the above statement.

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

His celebrity status gives Freespire a little respect among free software geeks which makes them more willing to recommend it to users.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Sorry, but I think at this point that whilst ESR of 1999, the Open Sources book, the How to Ask Questions FAQ and the Howto be a Hacker Howto might still have credibility among FOSS geeks, the ESR of 2006 lost all credibility among them long before it was officially announced that he was joining Freespire.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The question is... how did he lose it? Because of anti-GPL stance and support for binary drivers, or what?

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

That depends how you define "anti-GPL stance".

It's well known that he's been a longtime proponent of BSD-type licences over GPL ones, which in itself was ironic since he actually switched from one of the BSD's (BSD/OS, I believe) to Linux fairly early on. However, his use of the term "open source" as opposed to "free software" did attract of business(es) to Linux (DESPITE the fact that open source software can be as free(-as-in-beer) as free(-as-in-freedom) software, and free-as-in-freedom software can be as not-free-as-in-beer as open source). But recently his attitude that "if business want to build in DRM and patented, closed-source software, we should lie down and take it"- after all the successes FOSS has achieved by NOT compromising - was the last straw. His shameless self-promotion* coupled with this latest change in direction just broke the camel's back. (*I would guess that more people know about ESR-as-programmer-and-hacker than Marshall Kirk McKusick, for example, despite the fact that MKM wrote large parts of the BSD operating system, and ESR wrote...fetchmail.)

Edited 2006-09-27 16:49

Reply Score: 4

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

No it doesn't. I wouldn't recommend Freespire to users because of Eric Raymond. Eric Raymond is a mindless poseur. I actually see having him anywhere near your company as a sign of impending doom.

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I didn't say all geeks. But I'm sure there are quite a few people who would say it at least makes them believe their will be a solid community forming around it, which means lastability.

You'd think I was trying to say Eric Raymond rocks or something... It'd be like if Arnold Swchartzasomething signed up with some little GOP group: Very few republicans actually think he's credible, they'd simply assume though that that group will be around for a little while.

Reply Score: 1

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

No, you're right, I was much too "me centered" when making my comment. I don't usually extrapolate group behavior from my own opinions, so I have no idea where that came from.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You know I can't figure that one out, either. Other than name recognition from his behavior during the dot bomb era, I fail to see what he has to offer.

I certainly can't figure it out. Since he confidently proclaimed KDE to be dead two or three years ago, and we all know he's right, maybe he'll be able to screw Freespire and Linspire up royally and get them to switch?

His Cathredal and Bazaar book made sense on its own terms, but it seems that ESR is having real, excruciating difficulty trying to think his way through ways in which desktop Linux can reach success. He has continually fumbled around for years about letting people develop proprietary drivers and software on Linux, for free no less (one of the reasons KDE was supposedly dead), for years without thinking of what the point of open source software would be, supporting the existing open source software we have and getting people to write open source drivers. Yes, it's possible to do the latter - it's just a question of demand. His message has become very confused amongst a lot of rhetoric.

The 64-bit thing, I just can't see the opportunity there. Apart from drivers, existing 32-bit software just works on a 64-bit architecture, and it's certainly not the shift that we had from 16 to 32-bit in the 90s. I just can't see where the window of opportunity is. It's not as if a Linux desktop system is going to be the only working 64-bit OS in existence.

Essentially, what's got to happen is that a desktop Linux system is going to have to tick all the boxes in terms of functionality, it's going to have to be given away free and someone is going to have to engineer a business model to allow them to do that. Nothing less will do.

Reply Score: 2

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd rather have Raymond than Stallman...god forbid Stallman starts singing his Free Software song...

http://www.gnu.org/music/free-software-song.ogg

Reply Score: 2

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

I don't see that either would be a good candidate for the board of a business. People should be hired based upon their competence in that position.

Reply Score: 1

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

It's a board position, people never get hired to board positions because of competence. People get hired to boards as a favour from a friends, as rewards for other services or because their name will look good in a press release. Most boards have very little real influence over anything day to day, and as such the position requires very little competence.

Reply Score: 1

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

I think HP is looking to give you a position.

Reply Score: 1

happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

Had this been Linus, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, A. Seigo, Waldo Bastian, T. de Raadt, that would have been interesting and significant.


no, not Theo, i love OpenBSD. i can careless about the others, heck they can join microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What can ESR bring to the table?

An ego the size of a planet?

He certainly has that. But self-important windbag that he may be... he is right, you know.

If the ipod generation can't use an OS for the things they want their computer to do, that OS is not going to take off on the desktop. The problem with appealing to people's better nature is that they often either don't have one, or don't care enough to apply it to the things you would like for them to apply it to.

If Linspire can make devices "just work" that cannot "just work" in other distros for licensing reasons, I say "go for it"!

Nothing wrong with giving new users a stepping stone on the way to settling on a distro they can call their own.

As to his statements about GPL. Well, I happen to like the GPLv2. However, even its most staunch advocates cannot deny that GPL has its problematic side.

There is room for debate about the its relative pros and cons.

Reply Score: 2

well
by davegetrag on Wed 27th Sep 2006 15:14 UTC
davegetrag
Member since:
2006-03-31

At least the link didn't re-direct you to freespires distrowatch page!:)

I use to think that pre-installed was a big issue and a key goal in spreading linux but anymore I realize it is a bad move in general. It is good for those that know linux and want a linux system but not as a system sold to someone who isn't familar with linux and all that entails or else you end up with a unhappy user and a support nightmare.

Reply Score: 3

RE: well
by Sphinx on Wed 27th Sep 2006 15:53 UTC in reply to "well"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I'm beginning to agree, Linux should be all about choice and no one should be making those choices for them.

Reply Score: 2

stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

....or else why would he dilute his reputation by climbing into bed with Michael Robertson?

ESR, write some software and sell it - like we all used to do to make money ;)

Reply Score: 0

macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

you honestly think his "reputation" could sink much lower, after his pretty much continually disgusting rantings on his blog?

(I mean short of his starting to eat babies and all that)

Reply Score: 0

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Disgusting rantings?
They are good. Nice clear freedom-oriented libertarian opinions.

You may not like it, but I do. I won't mention which I like the most. Last time Danes did that "somebody" burned down our embassies.

Reply Score: 2

I don't know
by Windows Sucks on Wed 27th Sep 2006 16:00 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

Why these guys don't get together with a small White Box OEM and sell this on QVC or Home Shopping Network! I am sure they could sell machines with Linspire or Freespire on them if they got one of those slick marketing guys like the one that sells Oxy Clean on TV.

That Oxy Clean guy can sell anything! LOL!

I know Dell sells on QVC and so does tigerdirect. Sirius radio also sells on QVC and HSN.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't know
by jaebird on Wed 27th Sep 2006 17:15 UTC in reply to "I don't know"
jaebird Member since:
2006-09-27

Billy Mays ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I don't know
by Windows Sucks on Wed 27th Sep 2006 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't know"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Yea! I like Billy Mays! Shucks he got me to buy that Oxy Clean more then once! And some super hooks for my pictures also! LOL!

That guy is good. Love how he moves his hands! :-) So serious, yet knowing he is selling you a crock of crap. LOL!

Reply Score: 1

Good for him
by moleskine on Wed 27th Sep 2006 16:10 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

It'd be pretty mean to begrudge ESR his moment in the limelight here. Maybe he could do with a bit of extra dough, too. Who knows. Does it matter?

I'm not sure ESR is right about the move to 64-bit being all that significant. It probably doesn't mean anything to Joe Sixpack, anyway. More important are interoperability and connectivity. Folks do want an OS to which all kinds of peripherals can connect seamlessly and which can play all sorts of streams and formats. Which would you prefer: a 32-bit OS that works with your camera and external players or a 64-bit one that doesn't?

Someone above mentioned various famous names who could have joined the Freespire board instead. Each one of them would bring a large element of politics, alas, imho. At the moment, Linux generally seems to be going through a bad patch with politics which must be draining energies everywhere.

Reply Score: 3

Everybody loves Eric Raymond
by da_Chicken on Wed 27th Sep 2006 16:15 UTC
da_Chicken
Member since:
2006-01-01

It looks like the Linspire people got ESR convinced that Freespire is the only distro where iPods "just work" without having to learn the secret handshake.

http://geekz.co.uk/lovesraymond/archive/eric-buys-an-ipod

Reply Score: 2

WPA-PSK
by nick_h on Wed 27th Sep 2006 11:20 UTC
nick_h
Member since:
2006-02-19

Perhaps ESR can get it working under linux out of the box?

Reply Score: 0

Hopefully he doesn't do more harm than good.
by jamesd on Wed 27th Sep 2006 16:20 UTC
jamesd
Member since:
2006-01-17

Many zellots often let perfect get in the way of good enough, they strive for perfection slowing down forward progress in hopes of getting the next large step that will surely take them into the future with a glorious step, and they never get it all correct so they end up stagnating.

They also spend a great deal of time argueing and fighting for everyone else to wait for the next big step the smart ones take many little steps while still striving for the big one.

I'm also not sure what 64bit brings to the desktop. At least normal everyday users have no need for 64bit, unless they plan to continue to write bloated memory leaking apps, even firefox takes a long time to use 600MB and it still isn't no where close to using its 32 bit address space. Playing videos or animations don't need more than 32bit address space. Yes the OS needs to be 64bit but the userland doesn't not for a desktop system.

Reply Score: 2

Clarification
by JeffS on Wed 27th Sep 2006 16:41 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Eric Raymond was a co-founder of OSI - Open Source Initiative, along with Bruce Perens and others.

Whether ESR himself coined the term "Open Source" or not is not known. But the term "Open Source", did in fact, come from OSI.

The term "Open Source" was a reaction to the less business palatable term "Free Software", being touted by RMS. Also, OSI was a more pragmatic, moderate reaction to the Free Software Foundation.

So, ESR has a history of taking the more pragmatic, business palatable stance on open source software, and thus is probably a good fit at the Freespire board.

What he brings to the table, other than name recognition and geek credibility, I don't know.

Disclaimer: I'm not defending ESR. I, too, think he's arrogant and full of himself, and his hyper Libertarian, pro-Gun views can be over the top (similar to RMS's hyper free software, liberalism views can be over the top). But I did figure that some clarification was in order.

ESR was, in fact, a co-founder of OSI.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Clarification
by Sphinx on Wed 27th Sep 2006 17:01 UTC in reply to "Clarification"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Word, give the brother his props.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Clarification
by Get a Life on Wed 27th Sep 2006 19:39 UTC in reply to "Clarification"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Business-friendly free software did not originate with OSI. Being a co-founder of OSI does not make one a "co-founder of open source movement," when the term "open source" is just a marketing term coined to represent an alternative to the FSF's philosophies that existed well before 1998.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Clarification
by JeffS on Wed 27th Sep 2006 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Clarification"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"Business-friendly free software did not originate with OSI. Being a co-founder of OSI does not make one a "co-founder of open source movement,""

No, but the term "open source" originated with OSI.

" when the term "open source" is just a marketing term coined to represent an alternative to the FSF's philosophies that existed well before 1998."

And really, that was (and is) OSI's purpose - marketing - or giving businesses a warm fuzzy about using "open source software" or "free software", or however you want to call it.

Face it, as brilliant a programmer as Richard Stallman is, and as influential his GNU project, Free Software Foundation and GPL are, his going around yapping about "Free Software" typically repells businesses, and many moderate users who want to just use computers to get things done, or for play.

In geek/programmer terms, just consider OSI and the term "open source" as easy to use and transportable wrapper functions around the more prickely Free Software Foundation and the term "Free Software" API's. ;-)

And, once again, I'm not a big fan of ESR. He's an arrogant blow-hard whose technical knowledge/abilities are drawrfed by those of RMS or Linus Torvalds or Larry Wall or Andrew Morton or Guido Van Rossum or Alan Cox.

Nevetheless, ESR is highly visible, and he's a very good writer (he is very good at that), and he's been a constant advocate for open source. Give him credit for that, and Freespire for recognizing ESR's advocacy and writing abilities.

Edited 2006-09-27 21:41

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Clarification
by Get a Life on Thu 28th Sep 2006 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Clarification"
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes, I'm aware that OSI coined the term "open source." However starting OSI and starting the "open source movement" are different things, because the latter is just a marketing term for something that predates 1998. If I coined the term snafflebleur to mean "open source" and people started calling it "snafflebleur" I wouldn't have started the movement.

It's not a matter of disliking ESR, it's a matter of differentiating between what ESR was part of and what the summary suggests. It's like Al Gore being credited with inventing the Internet. I certainly don't respect Eric, because quite honestly I think he's a faker whose technical skills are dwarfed by a CS intern, and reading his book The Art of UNIX Programming only reinforced that, but I can keep my opinion of him distinct from history.

Being an Internet cheerleader just isn't important for the board of a business. If anything his more nutty positions--that I tend to ignore because they're insignificant to me--make him a target for derision by the mainstream. However he isn't highly visible outside of a comparatively small realm. It's not 1999 anymore. You certainly won't find CNN Money talking about this the way they would Eric Schmidt joining Apple's board of directors.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Clarification
by sbergman27 on Thu 28th Sep 2006 00:18 UTC in reply to "Clarification"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""The term "Open Source" was a reaction to the less business palatable term "Free Software", being touted by RMS."""

Just a small nit. The term "Open Source" was also a reaction to the confusing and ambiguous term "Free Software", being touted by RMS; A problem which has continued to exist to this day.

This is why I use the term "Open Source". It's clear and to the point.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Clarification
by pinky on Thu 28th Sep 2006 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Clarification"
pinky Member since:
2005-07-15

>he term "Open Source" was also a reaction to the confusing and ambiguous term "Free Software",

Only that "Open Source" is much more ambiguous than "Free Software".

That's why I use the term "Free Software". It's clear and to the point.

Let me explain why?
"Open Source" what does you can get from this words? Nothing more than "the sources are open" but this isn't by far enough for the 4 freedoms or the 10 points of the Open Source definition so you have to interpret a lot into the words "open" and "source" to come to the 10 points of the Open Source definition or the the 4 freedoms and if you want you can interprete a lot of other things in the words "open" and "source".

On the other side we have the term "Free Software". Yes, in english the term "free" is ambiguous but one of the ambiguous meanings of "free" is "freedom". So "free" as in freedom is a meaning of "free" everyone can get from the normal linguistic usage. And if you have the right meaning of "free" than "Free Software" together with the 4 freedoms makes perfect sense both logically and linguistic something you can't say from "Open Source" and the 10 points of the definition.
There is another important point. You can translate "Free Software" in many other languages and in this languages "free" often isn't ambiguous. E.g. "logiciels libre" in French, here the term "logiciels libre" and the 4 freedoms makes perfect sens from the beginning and you have the advantage to talk to people in their own language.

"Free Software" have so much to offer:
- logical and linguistic sense of the words.
- shorter and easier definition to remember and understand.
- you can speak to the people in their own language.

So i think "Free Software" (and all its translations) is much better than "Open Source".

Edited 2006-09-28 13:56

Reply Score: 2

Corrections
by Moulinneuf on Thu 28th Sep 2006 07:31 UTC in reply to "Clarification"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_movement

The open source movement is an offshoot of the free software movement that advocates open source software as an alternative label for free software

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

The "open source" label came out of a strategy session[3] held at Palo Alto in reaction to Netscape's January 1998 announcement of a source code release for Navigator. The group of individuals at the session included Christine Peterson who suggested "open source" and also included Todd Anderson, Larry Augustin, Jon Hall, Sam Ockman, and Eric S. Raymond. They used the opportunity before the release of Navigator's source code to free themselves of the ideological and confrontational connotations of the term free software. Netscape listened and released their code as open source under the name of Mozilla.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Initiative

A group of people interested in free software and GNU/Linux decided to introduce a new marketing term for free software, seeking to position it as business-friendly and less ideologically loaded. This led to creating the term "open source" and a schism with Richard Stallman and his Free Software Foundation.

Raymond was president from its founding until February 2005; Russ Nelson replaced him for one month, but after some controversy he resigned and Michael Tiemann became interim president.

"The term "Open Source" was a reaction "

No , it was a marketing tool. Not a reaction against , but a marketing Tool for Free Software and help it gain momentum in the Business world of CTO , CIO and CEO.

"So, ESR has a history of taking the more pragmatic, business palatable stance on open source software"

No , ESR as the history of screwing up VA Linux Systems , Open Source , Free Software and being really shifting on its stance and strategy going with what he perceive to be the Feeling of the moment.

"and thus is probably a good fit at the Freespire board. "

Time will tell , judging from history NO , but he could have changed.

Reply Score: 2

Eric Raymond is the antichrist.
by Quag7 on Thu 28th Sep 2006 07:04 UTC
Quag7
Member since:
2005-07-28

We need to have a standard "I hate Eric Raymond" reply following any story concerning him. Preferably a very well composed attack on the man's character, worth, and so on.

One for Stallman as well.

These would stand in for the many obligatory, standard, sort of re-runny (though highly appreciated) rants about each man every time their name gets mentioned.

Given the status of everything in the world right now, politically, in terms of things that work or don't work right on my computer, it's nice to get down to what is really important - Eric Raymond's guns and Richard Stallman's decidedly non-corporate appearance - just as examples.

We can significantly shorten any thread by pre-emptively posting an immediate rejoinder as the first reply in any discussion concerning these two.

Please consider it.

Perhaps the "I have a strong emotional response to the mention of Eric Raymond's name and I must express my opinion on this matter or I will explode" crowd can gather into sort of a caucus and write up a rant to end all rants on the man. This can then be sent to the editors of all tech news sites for immediate inclusion.

Likewise with Stallman. Perhaps the "I have a strong emotional response to the mention of Eric Raymond's name" crowd can consult with the "I have a strong emotional response to Richard Stallman's name" crowd, and maybe even port some of the criticisms from one rant to the other, since there is probably significant overlap.

I nominate the "I have Bill Gates/Microsoft" crowd as the final copy editors to vet the respective responses for an appropriate amount of bile and insinuations about about the moral character of the subjects involved.

Or perhaps we can just cut through all of this procedural crap and we can nominate individuals to simply compare Stallman and Raymond to Adolf Hitler, right out of the gate (Perhaps some Gnome users would want to do this for Torvalds ever since his regrettable comments about Gnome).

That should hopefully address the issue of copycat invectives against each by cutting right to the chase and Godwinning immediately.

Oh, and if someone should decide to pick this up and run with it, don't forget to mention that both smell.

Apparently everyone but me has stood close to each man, and I have been assured repeatedly that neither bathes, especially Stallman. That's probably important to mention as well. I feel somehow cheated whenever I read anything written about Stallman that doesn't eventually make bold declaratives about the man's hygeine.

Lastly I must add to the chorus of outraged remarks in this discussion that I, too, feel that neither man is appropriate to represent the Open Source / Free Source community, and that we should work together to get people who write really strident comments on tech news sites to be representatives instead.

Because, as this discussion indicates, these folks seem to be far more representative of the free software community at large. And I'm all about putting on an honest face for the world.

Also I bet no one here smells.

Reply Score: 2

davegetrag Member since:
2006-03-31

MAN when was the last time YOU took a shower?

Oh yea, I will take the "swipe at torvalds for the gnome comments" assignment.

Yes you are right, we should have a FOSS project that everyone can share and build on. Something like
RANT ABOUT (fill in the blank) then we could stop duplicating efforts. NAHHHHH wht fun would that be anyway.

Reply Score: 1