Free software 101, by its (true) father

by | Jun 28, 2007 | Stress Blog | 12 comments

I have been increasingly amazed, appalled, and amused by self-described “libertarians” using proprietary (and, thus, non-free) software.  I also was baffled by Ron Paul saying that there is nothing wrong with Bill Gates and how he made money (as if good old Bill had become rich by creative genius and free market competition).  That was the only truly silly statement I have heard Ron Paul made ever since I start following him (-: I still send him some money though 🙂

Since I have referred to the issue of free vs. non-free software a couple of time on this blog, I thought I would share with you this very good interview of Richard Stallman, the true father of free software (not Linus Torvalds, who only created the Linux kernel, and who has since maintained it with the help of many others).  BTW – RMS’ ideas (“RMS” is how Stallman is often called in the free software community) are also the basis for such things as the Wikipedia.

On a more personal note, I used to work as a software engineer for a while and I coded proprietary win32 applications.  Then, I discovered “Linux” – which really should be called “GNU/Linux” –  by chance, and I later switched to it simply because it was far superior technically to anything the Windows world had to offer (I won’t even go into the Mac thing – its even more pathetic that Windows.  Both are “bloatware” of course, but Mac claims to “think different” while being the exact same crap as Windows, at least until Apple came out with OSX which is, surprize surprize, based on various free software components such as Konqueror and the FreeBSD kernel).

I only gradually discovered the political and social values which made the Linux kernel and the rest of the free software movement possible and now I would never use non-free software again, even if by some miracle a good piece of proprietary software came on the market and even if it was handed out for free (free as in “free beer” is not the same as “free as in freedom”).

I am now a member of both the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Anyway – for those interested in this issue, as I would hope any Libertarian would be, check out the interview of RMS and the links on that page.  It’s a pretty good primer on the subject.