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Re: Torvalds' Hatred of Microsoft Critics is a Disease

  • Subject: Re: Torvalds' Hatred of Microsoft Critics is a Disease
  • From: Homer <usenet@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2009 02:38:01 +0100
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Verily I say unto thee, that Marti van Lin spake thusly:

> IMHO Linus is at times a potty mouthed arrogant snob, who doesn't
> give a sh1t about Free Software. He only used the GPL to get feed
> back.

Or like JÃrg Schilling, mistakenly chose a license that he subsequently
found didn't suit his ideologies. IMHO Torvalds is more a "BSD" type
than a "GPL" type, as he seems more than happy for his Open Sauce to be
tainted by DRM and binary blobs (Tivoisation and closed firmware, resp.)

> I am not saying that he is evil or that I hate Linus. All I am saying
> that he is an extremely unpleasant entity at times.

He's a pragmatist. Pragmatism is inherently unpleasant, because it is
palpably deceptive and hypocritical - like politicians and diplomats.
They say one thing, but mean another, with the goal of achieving an
objective whatever the cost - even if that cost is the loss of those
ideals which motivated the objective to begin with.

> I remember that Linus was responsible for the largest Gnome VS KDE
> flamewar ever.

Yes, I remember, but that war has been raging since long before Torvalds
made his crass comments about KDE. Remember, Gnome's inception was a
response to KDE's (then) proprietary Qt toolkit, and the look and feel
of KDE was often criticised for aspiring too much to be like Windows.
The very deep irony is that, as it turns out, there was considerably
more about the design of /Gnome/ that was inspired by Windows, than
anything in KDE:


So whereas I might very well have been inclined to be one of those
throwing flames in KDE's direction in the past, I'm much more inclined
to throw them the other way nowadays.

> What a great "Leader" <NOT>.

Despite his other failings, he is nonetheless a very competent project
manager and programmer. There is no question that without the Linux
kernel, Free Software would not have progressed to where it is today,
even if Linus doesn't really care about that Freedom any more.

> I am not quite sure if we as Free Software activists ought to be
> happy with people like Linus and Miguel de Icaza.

Certainly I'm not, nor am I that enthusiastic about certain other
pragmatists in the Free Software community. The aforementioned are only
two amongst hundreds who are, at the very least, utterly apathetic
towards the threat from Microsoft, and seem more keen to rebuke
Microsoft's critics than rebuke the source of that criticism. A
disproportionately large number of these people seem to have at least a
passing affiliation, if not actual employment, with Novell ... and by
association, the Gnome Foundation. Novell, if we need to be reminded, is
that company which brought Microsoft tax and exclusion to the world of
Free Software. Gnome (or at least it's leader, eagerly assisted by Gnome
contributors) is the organisation which infected Free Software systems
with Microsoft dlls, patents and viral behaviour via Mono and Moonlight.

> Their bad attitude (IMHO) makes me want to drop Linux on a regular
> base

It would take something quite extraordinary for me to want to do that,
since the Linux kernel is far and away the most supported and developed
OS kernel anywhere:


And, despite Torvald's antipathy towards the principles of Freedom, it
is still (mostly) Free, or at least can be made so using Alexandre
Oliva's linux-libre scripts.

Thankfully there's far more to Free Software than just these two
projects, and neither one of them are irreplaceable (or even

> but to be honest, there is not really a good alternative. HURD is not
> stable enough yet. MINIX 3 might be a good candidate, but
> unfortunately it is BSD licensed... damn :-(

There's also Plan 9, which is only GPL incompatible due to it's "choice
of court venue" clause, and GNU/Darwin too, of course.

> I am currently testing the latest nightly build of AROS (Aros
> Research Operating System), a i386 and IA-64 GPL clone of AmigaOS
> 3.1. Native Amiga software runs on it, using the E-UAE emulator.

Although I am very sentimental about the Amiga, AROS is little more than
a curiosity. Interesting, but obscure, and not very useful.

> However, to be honest, I've got myself hooked to Fedora.

The Fedora project is, as ever, undergoing radical change, not only in
terms of the (usual) bleeding-edge software, but also in terms of its
politics ... in a good way. There was a point where I seriously
considered dumping Fedora, but things are now looking very bright
indeed. Their eventual acceptance that Mono is indeed a problem, and the
availability of Gnote as a replacement for Tomboy, combined with the
continued improvement of KDE4 - and Fedora's well-maintained packages of
that DE, means I won't be looking for a new distro any time soon.

> I sincerely hope that GNU/HURD will become "ready to use" in my
> lifetime.

I sincerely hope software evolves far beyond Hurd, Linux, Windows, OS X,
and all the other stale paradigms of current technology, in my
lifetime. If Microsoft ever loses its stranglehold of the industry, that
might actually happen.

> I am not saying that there is something wrong with Linux, but IMHO
> there is something seriously wrong with the architect.

The foundations of modern society are crumbling ("IP" insanity, media
moguls assuming dictatorial control, privacy and other rights revoked,
monopoly; globalisation and expansionism as a de facto business goal),
and rather than fight back and strike out with something new to build a
better future, pragmatists like Torvalds would rather support those who
are causing that foundation to crumble, with platitudes, and rebukes
against those who criticise them, then add insult to injury by vocally
defending binary blobs, DRM, and unethical business practises. If that
isn't betrayal then at the very least it's cowardice, neither of which
will defeat the tyrants that are hell-bent on subjugating us.

> Keep up the good work Homer!

I just voice an opinion. I hope that's enough.


| "Seek not the favour of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest
|  and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not
|  voices, but weigh them." ~ Immanuel Kant

Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel
 02:37:43 up 97 days,  6:35,  5 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.02, 0.02

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