Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Dec 2007 16:32 UTC, submitted by lmvaz
OpenBSD Richard Stallman sent a message to OpenBSD-Misc, explaining why he doesn't recommend OpenBSD. "From what I have heard, OpenBSD does not contain non-free software (though I am not sure whether it contains any non-free firmware blobs). However, its ports system does suggest non-free programs, or at least so I was told when I looked for some BSD variant that I could recommend. I therefore exercise my freedom of speech by not including OpenBSD in the list of systems that I recommend to the public." His mail started a huge thread (that's just page 1) and since then he's under a blast of messages from Theo de Raadt and the OpenBSD users. De Raadt replied: "Richard, you are wrong. You said very clearly in your interview that the ports tree contains non-free software. It does not. It is just a scaffold of Makefiles containing URLs, and an occasional patch here or there. You are just plain wrong. And you are not enough of a man to admit that you are wrong. I may be unfriendly at times, but you are a power-misusing hypocritical liar who attacks projects that try harder than any others to only make free software available. Shame on you."
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jtrapp
Member since:
2005-07-06

well ... no, you obviously don't fully understand the GPL. GPL promotes an ensures freedom, because it restricts that which would restrict freedom

George Orwell could not have put it better himself.

Reply Parent Score: 11

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

This has nothing to do with Orwell.

*All* laws are based on restricting freedom of some people so others can have more freedom. The old saying "Your freedom to swing your arms around ends at my nose" is based on this principle.

If you want complete freedom, you want a Darwinian world where might makes right and anything that you can get away with is right. If I'm bigger and stronger than anyone else, then I have the right to hit anyone in the nose. You have the "right" to hit me back, of course, but you won't be able to because I can pound you into power before you even get close.

The GPL is based on the "quid pro quo" principle of "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". If you want to play by those rules, then fine. If not, then fine too -- just don't expect that other people are your development slaves.
The BSD is based on the principle of charity (the only thing asked back is recognition). It is a noble mindset which it would be great if it were universal, but the moment one starts yelling that others leach your software, you're revealing a closet GPL hypocrasy.

I don't know if OpenBSD is or is not "completely free" in Stallman's purist philosophy. But like him or hate him, it is very consistent so if it was a misunderstanding, OpenBSD will be recognized.
But if it isn't, then, so what? If OpenBSD really cared about Stallman's opinion, it'll either create Gobuntu-like fork that allows a purist OpenBSD to be created or it'll go the distance and fix the issues, if there are any, at the expense of it's less pure OpenBSD users.
And if they don't care, they Stallman-type purists aren't their target customers anyway, so it's a waist of breath.

Reply Parent Score: 11

AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"If you want complete freedom, you want a Darwinian world where might makes right and anything that you can get away with is right."

This has nothing to do with Darwin. Darwin *described* a natural process. He did not advocate aping it (badly) in artificially constructed situations. He did not suggest that it has any kind of intrinsic moral significance, as of course it doesn't.

Reply Parent Score: 4

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The GPL is based on the "quid pro quo" principle of "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours".


Actually, it would be, "If I scratch your back, you have to scratch mine." Which, if you think about it, highlights the issue that a lot of people have with the GPL.

Reply Parent Score: 3