Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman Says Don't Call It 'Open Source'
GNU guru Richard Stallman sent me an e-mail the other day complaining that we erred by saying that the Free Software Foundation, of which he's president, promotes open source software. "We have never supported the idea of 'open source' because that idea denies the importance of users' freedom," he writes. Read on for the dizzying semantics behind Richard's argument, and why I think his obsessive attempts at language control are shooting his own software objectives in the foot.
Believe me when I tell you I'm sympathetic to a big part of Stallman's case. I get that he's hung up on how Linux has stolen all the thunder from GNU, and that he must be ticked Linus Torvalds is the face of open source software when he was the guy beating the drums first, and most loudly.
At the same time, it's clear that his inflexibility is wearing. It's hard to swallow that he seems to beat up people who are honestly trying to cover open source -- excuse me, free software -- worse than those who ignore the stuff entirely.