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We won and we didn't notice

Filed under
Interviews
OSS

Allison has been involved in free software since before Samba and the arrival of Linux, and began to work on Samba early. "I came across the GPL early in my career", he says, "and it immediately struck me as a good idea. I had the honour of having one of my patches (to add position independent code support to GCC on the Sun 386i) rejected by Richard Stallman himself. It always reminds me of that great web-magazine headline from The Onion: 'God answers crippled child's prayer. "No", says God.' With a start like that, I never looked back."

The rejection "wasn't as nasty as it sounds", he says. "The patch was crappy but worked for me. I didn't meet Richard until much, much later. The first time was at a show in Monterey where he stood up and called John Ousterhout 'a parasite' because he'd released a proprietary version of the TCL ToolKit, and Tim O'Reilly 'a parasite' because he wasn't shipping free documentation..."

"I won't say I am friends with Richard, but that's not because I don't like him."

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