The intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science which aims to create it

Artificial Intelligence Journal

Subscribe to Artificial Intelligence Journal: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get Artificial Intelligence Journal: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Artificial Intelligence Authors: William Schmarzo, Ed Featherston, Dan Blacharski, Corey Roth, Jnan Dash

Article

Happy Anniversary, Richard

Happy Anniversary, Richard

This past Monday was Richard Stallman's 20th anniversary. Twenty years ago he quit his job at MIT and started developing the free GNU operating system.

Twenty years and a complete GNU system suitable for production use has never been released.

Ah, well, Stallman did manage to get the improbable, socially disruptive, anti-capitalist free software movement off the ground and give the world copyleft and the GPL. He's also seen Linux, which he claims is a GNU derivative and should properly be called GNU/Linux, take root.

Success, of course, as we all know from the movie magazines, has its own problems.

Stallman is now fretting about the curse of "popularity" and worrying that the movement isn't really "freeing" people from the bonds of proprietary software and that the unindoctrinated newbies are "merely installing free software alongside" of the old proprietary stuff.

Then there's the little matter of non-free software running on Linux.

Now that puts a real burr under the old warhorse's saddle.

He says, "Users cannot be free while using a non-free program. To free the citizens of cyberspace, we have to replace those non-free programs, not accept them. They are not contributions to our community, they are temptations to settle for continuing non-freedom."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.