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Re: ESR wishes to retire

On 29 Mar 1999, Adam Di Carlo wrote:

Probably a bad idea to reply now, seeing as I'm quite exhausted, and need
to get up early, but I figure I'm going to do what I always do; say what
needs to be said.

> I think the flame against ESR from Phillip R. Jaenke was a bit harsh.
> Let me address a few issues:

First off, it honestly was NOT intended as a flame! I just have this
problem of coming off as extremely harsh at times. Mainly because I don't
believe in pulling punches. I say what I feel needs to be said, and I
don't try to pretty it up.

> If you don't believe a PR person is important, consider that ESR got
> free software (and even Stallman) more press over the last 14 odd
> months than RMS has managed to do in 20 years.  Has that been good for
> the free software movement -- yes!  I think so, anyhow.  After all,
> the big boys such as Netscape, IBM, etc., are now pouring money and
> effort into free software, and how can that be bad?

Oh, never once have I said that PR people are bad. If it wasn't for PR
people, we wouldn't be where we are today. I will willingly and gladly
admit that. PR is an important part of any movement like this. The problem
is prettying things up too much, and not revealing the real stars; the
people that create what you're talking up.

> RMS is a visionary, a theoretician, radical, consistent, even
> compelling in many ways.  But he's not a pitch man.  Oh, god, he's not
> a pitch man.  He needs to really stop whining about how marginalized,
> get off the Ego, and focus on what matters: guiding the FSF,
> licensing, intellectual property issues, the big stuff.

Definitely agreed. RMS has some issues, I believe, but nothing he can't
overcome if he decides to, I believe. He's a very intelligent person. 

> Sure, ESR has his flaws -- let's catalog them:
>   * doesn't push hard enough for the GPL (Perens is much better in
>     working out licensing details with ISVs, IMHO)

*nods* But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You have to understand,
that even though it conflicts with Debian's views, the GPL is NOT the only
license, and while they may not be totally free, business will accept
those other licenses just as willingly, if not more willingly.
>   * "lone wolf" attitude, giving out approval, for instance, to
>     Apple's recent license w/o communicating with anyone, AFAIK

This is a *SERIOUS* flaw that NO PR person should *EVER* have. You discuss
things with those behind you; those you represent. You don't decide
everything yourself. That was the main point of what I said. ESR is to
uncommunicative. He's more interested in the suits and self-promotion. He
NEEDS to be more interested in the people who created the movement, and
what they want. Not what he wants.

>   * flawed economic model of what free software means to commercial
>     businesses, which I can really only characterize as a "pyramid
>     model"

I can't argue with this, because I really don't understand his model, or
the 'proper' model. Nor do I want to. I don't think in terms of 'how much
is it worth' or 'total cost of ownership' when it comes to this. I think
in terms of 'what's it *really* worth' and 'why should you or I use it?'

> But, still, we all need to recognize the value of the work ESR has
> been doing, and give him some credit -- even if we need to pressure
> him to remove himself from license haggling entirely.

*nods* Agreed heartily. He's done a lot for the movement, but IMHO, most
of it has really been negative from my viewpoint. He talks up 'openness,'
not sharing. Not the people who really make the gears grind. Quite
frankly, I just *DON'T GIVE A DAMN* whether or not it's open. What I care
about is who worked on it. WHY did they work on it. What does it do for
ME? Why should I use it, or even look at it? What are it's *OTHER* merits,
besides the source? 

Anyways, just saying what I feel needs to be said, yet again. I think I'm
going to bed now. ;)

| Phillip R. Jaenke       | "Not all wisdom comes from without;  |
| Head of Unix Systems    |  much wisdom can only come from      |
| Unicent Telecom         |  within. Only you can teach yourself |
| prj@nls.net (RISCy@IRC) |  some of the most important  lessons |
+-------------------------+  of life." --Takes-Many-Roads,       |
Project Head              |              Silent Strider Theurge  |
The Linux RS/6000 Project +--------------------------------------+
-PESTER ME!- PJaenke@unicent.com / 800.319.9250 x4268 -PESTER ME!-
 -=#Linux/<Dr_Willis> Theory I have Never used sendmail :^)=-
 -=#Linux/<Dr_Willis> I use netscapes mail :^)             =-

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