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Either it’s free or it’s not

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OSS

I used to get a lot of hate mail — a lot. I know, it’s hard to believe. I’m such a nice person. The high point in the wave of defamation was about a year ago, and I made a point of not mentioning it publicly because mean-spirited rejoinders don’t solve any problems. They just create more ill will.

Ninety-nine percent of the malice revolved around a tiny change in one particular package in one particular distro. One default flag could be reversed, and it would provide a tiny measure of safety for inexperienced users.

It wasn’t a patch or a code change or even a feature removal. The flag existed, it could be reversed, the documentation allowed for it, and even encouraged using it. Eventually the change was adopted, the package was updated.

That was over two years ago.

So you can imagine my relative surprise when a rather acerbic blog (with a considerable following) aimed at lampooning a particular segment of Linux users took offense at the reversal … more than a year after it had already been done and forgotten.

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