“Attacks by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on the GNU General Public License, under which much open source and free software is distributed, have been driven by a fear that the GPL creates a domain of software that Microsoft cannot privatize and control, according to GPL founder Richard Stallman.” Read the report at ZDNews.
Stallman Takes Gates to Task Over GPL
2002-05-01 Open Source 20 Comments
when MS started their Anti-GPL crusade, I think everyone knew, even those that do not like it for their own resons, that MS was FUDDING about because they could not co-opt technology in GPL software as they can in BSD software
“when MS started their Anti-GPL crusade, I think everyone knew, even those that do not like it for their own resons, that MS was FUDDING about because they could not co-opt technology in GPL software as they can in BSD software”
as if Stallman is any better than Bill Gates. Stallman is on an anti anything but GPL crusade that is just as big as Microsoft’s anti-GPL crusade.
After all, this is the guy who once posted flame bait on comp.lang.tcl. Any TCL programmer will remember “Why you should not use TCL” by Richard Stallman. When it comes right down to it, Stallman’s only real gripe with TCL is that it is not GPLd software.
Also remember that this flame war occured before Perl even existed. So it’s not like there were even any other languages available that could do what TCL could do. (I believe Stallman tried to suggest GNU LISP over TCL. But LISP was inferior to TCL, which is probably why LISP never gained any real popularity.)
“(I believe Stallman tried to suggest GNU LISP over TCL. But LISP was inferior to TCL, which is probably why LISP never gained any real popularity.)”
Oops… My bad. I looked up the original post in google groups. It was scheme he was trying to promote. Not LISP. And scheme actually achieved even less popularity than LISP.
Personally, I don’t think all software should be commercial software, nor do I think all software should be free software either.
As for what Bill says, heck .. some people just program at night in their spare time simply because it brings them joy and they love to do it! Not everyone is in it only for the money. Hell, not everyone is CONTROLLED by money like Bill is!!
If you want to write software and charge for it, that’s great .. but don’t slam those who do it as a hobby and give away their program and source. IMHO, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either the free or commercial approach.
When it comes right down to it, Stallman’s only real gripe with TCL is that it is not GPLd software.
Also remember that this flame war occured before Perl even existed.
Hmm, if Perl didn’t exist in 1994, you ought to let me know what I was using then. Indeed, Perl 5, the current incarnation, was released in 1994, about three weeks after this post; Perl itself dates back to 1987. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe Stallman was primarily attacking the licensing of TCL, he was merely reacting to its increasing popularity as an extension language, a task for which he thought it was very ill-suited. Keep in mind, he had no particular extension language of his own that he was pushing at that time, since there was never a “GNU LISP” of which you spoke. (An extension language from GNU did ultimately result from this flamewar, however: Guile, http://www.gnu.org/software/guile/). He was merely pushing Scheme, which, being a very lightweight language, he felt does a much better job than TCL. This man knew his shit, too; after all, he did write Emacs. And the reasoning behind his love of LISP is totally obvious considering he had used LISP machines since the 1970s.
While I don’t disagree that Stallman is often a man of religious stances, I believe you should have read this thread much more carefully and have informed yourself before you too spouted off FUD.
Leave SPACES around the URLs to auto-parse them correctly. No one reads the text below the text form?
“While I don’t disagree that Stallman is often a man of religious stances, I believe you should have read this thread much more carefully and have informed yourself before you too spouted off FUD.”
I did read the thread. Like I said, I corrected myself and said it was Scheme that he was promoting.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe Stallman was primarily attacking the licensing of TCL, he was merely reacting to its increasing popularity as an extension language, a task for which he thought it was very ill-suited.”
He did complaing about what he perceived as technical problems with TCL (which I an many others thing ke was wrong about. And given that TCL became so popular, history suggests he probably was wrong). But I think there was an ulterior motive here besides technical issues. After all, one doesn’t usally troll newsgroups unless they have some kind of axe to grind that is based on principles stronger than not liking the technical design of something.
If Stallman had just written a regular article about the technical problems with TCL, I would be inclined to agree with you that he was simply attacking what he thought was poor technical design. But the fact that he cross-posted it to so many groups and the fact that he was trolling in comp.lang.tcl inclines me to believe he had an axe to grind based on principles (he didn’t like the fact that it wasn’t GPL).
“He was merely pushing Scheme, which, being a very lightweight language, he felt does a much better job than TCL. This man knew his shit, too;”
I’m not dissing Stallman’s technical skills here. He’s the archeypical hacker. I’m sure he has forgotten more about computers than you and I put together will ever know. But it does appear he was wrong about TCL and scheme. After all, TCL is still going strong, and scheme never really gained any popularity. Today, scheme is largely relegated to a teaching language used in CompSci programs to teach basic programming logic.
And is far as Stallman’s “religious stances”, it is no secret that Stallman is against commercial software in general, and is downright militant when it comes to software patents.
This is probably why Microsoft is afraid of him and GPL and why they are so strongly attacking GPL. If it was just some guy or group out there giving away free software, I don’t think Micrsoft would pay much attention. But Stallman isn’t doing that. Stallman is giving away free software and downright attacking Microsoft for selling commercial software. Stallman and FSF engage in lobbying efforts that potentially hurt the commercial software industry. So of course they are a very large target on Microsoft’s radar.
“Hmm, if Perl didn’t exist in 1994, you ought to let me know what I was using then. Indeed, Perl 5, the current incarnation, was released in 1994, about three weeks after this post; Perl itself dates back to 1987.”
Btw… Are you sure that 1994 wasn’t a repost? I could have swarn this post game out long before that. In fact, I could have swarn this post came out long before Torvalds had even released the first Linux kernel.. For some reason I remember this flame war taking place in like 1990 or 1991… Maybe I’m wrong, but it just seems that this was a LOT older than 1994.
I just checked on Google Groups, as well as looking at some web archives containing the thread, and it does seem that Stallman’s initial post was in September of 1994.
I suppose I can definitely see your point about Stallman’s post; he definitely was acting rash and was even at times misinformed when he was slamming TCL. However, keep in mind that RMS often seems every bit as religious about coding standards as he is about licensing issues. His refusal to cooperate with the XEmacs project over minor issues of design are an excellent example of this.
For what it’s worth, here’s a “follow-up” to the original thread, in 1996. It’s the formal announcement of Guile.
Leave SPACES around the URLs to auto-parse them correctly. No one reads the text below the text form?
Just a comment on this topic. I have seen the small print beneath this form, but it is formatted in such a way that most people it. It is written as a paragraph, which starts out “HTML is NOT allowed…”. For someone like me, who doesn’t care to add HTML, they stop reading at that point. A better presentation of this information would be a bulleted list. That way, people would be more inclined to read the entire thing (or at least more of it that they currently do).
I think a better way to present this information and also indicate that there is more information here than just, “We don’t support HTML” would be:
– Supported HTML/UBB codes: / (Bold) and /[i] ([i]Italics)
– Maximum characters: 8000
– To create links to URLs: Leave spaces around the URLs.
– Comment Delay: Comments will not show up immediately
This may not be perfect either, but I think it is terse enough and organized enough that people will read it.
(By the way, this looks goofy in the form. I hope it looks okay after it’s posted.)
Even now that you actually read it all, you were not too careful either.
Btw… Are you sure that 1994 wasn’t a repost? I could have swarn this post game out long before that.
It may have been in 1990 or 1991, but the fact remains that perl has been around since the 80’s.
Just my two cents: I don’t know exactly why Mr. Stallman chose to bash TCL, but I think he is right on the money with what he has said about Microsoft.
I think Microsoft is afraid because Linux and other free oses are becoming better and Microsoft will lose market share to them.
To Illustrate I’ll use myself as an example. I tried Linux back in 1995. I thought it was cool, but took too much work and I had to have a pile of documentation while installing it. Once it was installed, it seemed that nothing was set up and I had to manually get everything going. It was as stable as I had dreamed, but what a pain in the butt.
Today, I can do a full Linux install without any more effort than a Windows install. In some cases, the Linux installers are superior and faster than the Windows ones. Once the system is installed, I have access to tons of free software; some of which is extremely high quality. Some commercial companies, like Adobe and Macromedia, are also rumored to be planning on producing Linux versions of their software because of the demand of their customers (Dreamweaver is the only Windows program that I still miss. If a Linux version were released, I’d grab it in a second).
Tomorrow, Linux will become mature on the desktop and applications will rival those produced for Windows. Commercial companies will produce Linux versions of their software and the end user will finally be able to break away from the data-harvesting, underhanded, folks in Redmond.
Microsoft isn’t stupid, and I think they have every reason to be afraid.
Sorry about formatting my tags incorrectly. Now you know why I never use them.
I hope you get the idea.
This is all hypocrisy. Gates is using GPL’d products in his software right now. Slashdot ran a good article on it a while ago.
Then he pulls that nonsense with IPR in his own EULA (which is more or less FUD as one Slaashdot poster points out):
“”IPR Impairing License” shall mean the GNU General Public License, the GNU Lesser/Library General Public License, and any license that requires in any instance that other software distributed with software subject to such license (a) be disclosed and distributed in source code form; (b) be licensed for purposes of making derivative works; or (c) be redistributable at no charge.
What’s funny is that the GPL and LGPL don’t fall into any of categories (a), (b), or (c). There is nothing in the GPL that puts any sort of limitations on software distributed with the GPL’d software. It only limits linking and derivative code. So, you could take the GPL, re-arrange one sentence without changing the meaning, change the name to “Bob’s Public License”, and then it could not be considered an “IPR Impairing License”, according to Microsoft’s definition.
They are trying to spin the GPL so people think it limits what software you can distribute with GPL’d stuff. They are trying to convince commercial developers that they will have legal problems if they try to get their commercial packages distributed with Linux.”
I would pretty much take anything that dribbles out of his mouth with a grain salt.
HTML is NOT allowed
And then the next sentence lists which HTML codes are allowed?! Perhaps the small print should not be so small and worded a little better?
For me GPL not jut means “free” software but it goes beyond that. The third/developing country got the chance to get the knowledge on software faster with it.
Gate$ may have said it ruins the IT jobs in those country but can anybody give how many of the jobs in IT are conquered by those from the third world? Far less compare to those from developed contry especially US.
And maybe he is now start to lost a brilliant idea as what he do in his early days. He might have boost the IT busines by initiating the concept of source code sharing (or whatever term) with developers. And this cause the mainframe sector lost to PC.
Business with GPL may have to be different from the concept which Window$ is using but it still will create jobs. Let wait and see.
* Maybe Gate$ thought that Linux/GNU (not GPL software) are already in the path of what M$ planned to do and they afraid they will lost to it. If Linux/GNU is not GPLed he might have buy it and groom it or killl it.
1. Bill has been fed bad information about linux, BSD, open source by his lawyer or an assistant.
2. Bill ad-libbed the speech. Very minor preparation.
3. Bill is showing the early signs of Alzheimers( its BSD, bill BSD. say it 3 times before you take the podium. B S D)
4. Bill thought his audience to be such a clueless group of morons that it didn’t matter what he said.
No question about it though, Microsoft is a phenomenal company. They bring in money hand over fist to the tune of $1,000,000,000/month. They have $40,000,000,000 in CASH.
and over 90% profit margin on their products. Yet if Microsoft didn’t not have its hands on so many different things NOBODY would care what Bill Gates had to say.
Buffet doesn’t make the news like Bill.
Sam Walton? nope
You have to go back to the Rockefellors , a hundred years ago to find someone that makes as much news as Bill. Lets hope that Bill does not lose all his hair.
Seriously though I am tired. Tired of Microsoft. Tired of the trials, suits and countersuits. If people want to use Microsoft to the exclusion of all other software, FINE. If companies feel comfortable having to upgrade much much more often should be necessary. FINE Let the people decide with their wallets. I don’t care anymore. If microsoft can buy out every closed source software shop it wants FINE. If Microsoft can use hardware companies like I use rental cars. FINE
Open source cannot be bought out or outlawed by microsoft so I will continue to be able to use my operating systems of choice- Suse and OpenBSD. Lets get on with our lives.
I like the guy! He wants everything! The baby has huge appetite!
What’s the issue? You, as the creator of your own software should have the freedom to incorperate any license you see fit. If you choose to include GPL’d software then you MUST follow its rules or don’t use it. What is the problem, I don’t get it?