A fellow computer addict recently sent me this link detailing Richard Stallman's response to an article entitled The Stallman factor, The FSF wants to proclaim the good news of free software's benefits. Its tactics cause it to miss the mark. Here's my reply [to the addict], which contains enough text I figured I'd blog it.

(from the "fellow addict")
The part near the end [of this article], "Bitkeeper Issue", is kind of interesting, I think.

Quote from the above link
Just consider: the GNU Project starts developing an operating system, and years later Linus Torvalds adds one important piece. The GNU Project says, "Please give our project equal mention," but Linus says, "Don't give them a share of the credit; call the whole thing after my name alone!" Now envision the mindset of a person who can look at these events and accuse the GNU Project of egotism. It takes strong prejudice to misjudge so drastically.

Where does Linus insist that you call Linux "Linux"? Sounds like he wouldn't give a rat's ass if you release your own distrib and call it something else. Even so, if that "one important piece" is the kernel... I'm not sure what other piece Stallman could mean.

Regarding BitKeeper jive, I'd have to get more familiar with BitKeeper, but the whole bit smacks of how, say, couples turn discussions with, um, criticism (if not always criticism of the constructive variety) into arguments. "You think I did something wrong? Well, [biblical reference alert -- Matthew 7:3 if anyone's counting, ever so slightly paraphrased] LOOK AT THE FREAKIN' LOG IN YOUR EYE!!!!" Seems like Stallman's saying, "If you won't play by my rules, I'll make your game illegal! Ha!"

Stallman is pretty weak when it comes to solutions. He points out how things don't jive with his GNU ideals and expects something to come of it merely for having called it out. Calling something GNU/Linux doesn't make Hurd a widely accepted OS, showing Stallman's all about riding coat tails if it'll bring his ideas to light. If Linus's "one thing" is what made Linux more widely accepted than [the incomplete?] Hurd, well, it's no longer an issue of who contributed *more* but who contributed *what* -- and how important that *what* is to the success of the "gestalt".

Furthermore, Stallman's at odds with himself, trying to brand an OS with the GNU nameplate that he himself in his response calls "partially non-free". Sounds like a pretty clear double standard there.