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GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project 587

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-their-toys-and-going-home dept.
blozza2070 writes "In a recent posting from Philip Van Hoof, he suggests that GNOME split off from the GNU Project and has proposed a vote. He was informed he will need 10% of members to agree for a vote to be put forth. At the same time, David Schlesinger (on the GNOME Advisory Board) has agreed on a vote. Stormy Peters said she doesn't agree with this, but then gave everyone instructions on how to proceed with a vote. She mentioned that roughly 20 members are needed to agree." The mailing list server is timing out as of this writing, but iTWire has the Cliff's notes.
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GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project

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  • Miguel de Icaza (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:24AM (#30413708)
    What else do you expect from him?
  • Re:Because? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cntThnkofAname (1572875) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:31AM (#30413778)
    This is just off the top of my head, but I would assume that while gnome interacts with many programs in the GNU project it is almost big enough to be a separate project in it's own (like KDE or other DE). This would probably allow for quicker discussions as far as packages and more centralized management. Improving things for developers and the users.
  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated.ema@il> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:34AM (#30413796) Journal

    From reading the article, I'm getting the gist that part of the problem was that some folks on Planet GNOME, de Icaza included, made a lot of mention of proprietary software and relatively little mention of its open-sourced cousins. I got this impression from several points in the article, such as this one:
     

    And in response to Van Hoof's comments about VMware, Stallman said people should not write about their work on Planet GNOME "unless VmWare (sic) becomes free software. GNOME should not provide proprietary software developers with a platform to present non-free software as a good or legitimate thing."

    I think that's a preposterous rule! You mean to tell me that folks who work on open source software, but happen to also work on non-OSS for their employers (Microsoft, VMware, etc) aren't allowed to talk about the work that actually helps them put food on the table and may even HELP make open-source software better?

    I don't know a terrible lot about the open source movement, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, Stallman's an extremist, and that's NOT a good role model to follow.

  • by Stumbles (602007) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:39AM (#30413836)
    So this is just one more step for Gnome to become fully encased with Microsoft technologies. Have at boys.
  • seems right to me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pydev (1683904) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:41AM (#30413846)

    I don't know whether Stallman's latest diatribe is about VMware, Mono, or whatever other thing he happens to be ill informed about these days, but it may be time for Gnome to sever ties with him and GNU. He has contributed a lot, but it looks to me like he's losing touch both with the economics and the technology of free software.

    Stallman should perhaps rather worry about the future of GNU itself; I haven't seen much innovation coming out of the GNU project itself recently, and GNU is getting rather long in the tooth.

  • Re:Because? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:46AM (#30413884) Journal

    iTwire says its because of article by de Icaza that resulted into Stallman protesting and the whole shit hitting the fan.

    Miguel should just go and work for Microsoft.

    Although Moonlight has supported this mode of operation since day one, turning this into a standard way to develop applications was going to take a long time. We would have needed to port Moonlight to Windows and OSX and then we would have to bootstrap the ecosystem of "Silverlight+" applications.

    But having Microsoft stand behind this new model will open the gates to a whole new class of desktop applications for the desktop. The ones that I was dreaming about just two weeks ago.

    This was a big surprise for everyone. For years folks have been asking Microsoft to give Silverlight this capability to build desktop apps and to compete with Air and it is now finally here. This is a case of doing the right thing for users and developers.

    RMS is 100% right on this one. Again.

    Then again, Gnome has always been an ugly desktop.

  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:50AM (#30413916)

    Stallman is consistent about his beliefs. Don't read 3rd hand re-interpretations: proceed directly to the GPL, and to Stallman's presentations, to understand what he said and what he believes.

    Stallman is a visionary, not an "extremenist". Sometimes that means the rest of us need to pay the rent and don't follow his grand visions, but he's consistent and historically very perceptive of the risks of the slippery slopes often presented by people, and their corporations, who don't share that vision. In this case, Silverlight does in fact present some nasty risks to Gnome and free software development. We've seen Microsoft's "embrace and extend" behavior too often to trust them in this case.

  • by Stumbles (602007) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:51AM (#30413922)
    So in other words: the Gnome folks (those who love Microsoft technologies) is telling the FSF folks to get bent. I image Microsoft is very pleased with this new direction with Gnome. I predict in 5 years, perhaps less Microsoft will have maneuvered these short sighted individuals to accepting Microsoft to buy Gnome. By that time it will have forked and these "forward" thinking Gnome folks will have changee the license making it possible. It is unfortunate some of the Gnome folks are so blinded to not realize just the kind of manipulation they have been exposed to; it is the proverbial frog+cold water+a fire.
  • by udippel (562132) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:52AM (#30413926)

    I know RMS is unpopular in /.
    I know Miguel de Icaza is more popular.

    But I also know that I am a fan of Free Software. I'd be too happy Gnome could shed non-free software (like Tomboy notes - based on Mono) instead of priding themselves for functionality. KDE is not much of an alternative, they are hopeless. German engineering, for the sake of engineering, great ideas, but agnostic to the concept of 'user requirements'.
    I might have to go back to xfce?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:53AM (#30413934)

    This is just GNOME sliding further and further into irrelevancy. It's basically a dead project at this point. There is little innovation happening, and most discussion these days is bickering over philosophical issues like in this case.

    Even if it wasn't great when initially released, at least the KDE project was able to get their KDE 4.x releases out and stabilized relatively quickly. They've built a good foundation for future development. GNOME, on the other hand, hasn't seen a major release since GNOME 2.0 in 2002! GNOME 3.0 is basically a bunch of mocks at this point, and even then, the proposed changes are quite minor.

    A lot of people will say, "But GNOME is the main desktop of Ubuntu and Fedora!" Yes, that is true, but it is really only an artifact of history, dating back to when the Qt licensing wasn't as open as it is today (and thus making KDE a less-appealing option). These days, both Ubuntu and Fedora could switch from GNOME to KDE within one release cycle. I predict this will happen soon enough, probably with Ubuntu switching first.

    At some point, the Ubuntu community is going to realize that GNOME has stagnated, and all of the real innovation is happening with the KDE project. It'll take time, but people are already moving over to KDE, especially as the more recent KDE 4.3 and the upcoming KDE Software Compilation 4.4 releases have shown to be of a very high quality.

    KDE is just technically better these days. It is implemented in a better programming language (even C++ is better than the C-and-GObject hellhole), built upon a better GUI toolkit (Qt kicks the fuck out of GTK+), and offers much better desktop applications and a more integrated desktop experience. Unless there are some huge changes within the GNOME community, they will not be able to match KDE's current environment, let alone exceed it.

  • Re:Because? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrNaz (730548) * on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:59AM (#30413972) Homepage

    Rather than Gnome leave GNU, wouldn't it be easier for Richard Stallman to just fork reality? It seems he's always wanted his own.

  • by Device666 (901563) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:00AM (#30413984)
    Richard Stallman is important for the free software movement. However it seems he is losing momentum in inspiring people who are on free software projects. This is a pity. I can partially understand his extremism, because freedom is easily lost. However if freedom has to be defended by dictatorship, there is no freedom either.
  • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:07AM (#30414014) Homepage Journal

    No, the GNOME folks want to decide where they want to go. Puristic or non-puristic.

  • by dragonmantank (992476) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:07AM (#30414020) Homepage
    Have you ever read any of Stallman's rants? Stallman is about the freedom of the /software/, not the end user. He wants all software to be free no matter what the end cost for the user actually is. Why do you think he has a problem with licenses like BSD (which is less restrictive than the GPL)? They give more power the user than the software itself to determine how it can be used. If you take the time to actually read the GPL and some of Stallman's writings, you begin to see that he is a religious zealot who is banging the wardrum for software to forever be 100% free and open. If the user doesn't like that, he doesn't care. As a developer, I personally go for projects that are BSD-based. Yes, there is potential that the code could get locked up in a proprietary stack (MS using the BSD network stack, for example), but as long as it was released under BSD it will forever be open to be used as USERS see fit.
  • by oldhack (1037484) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:08AM (#30414032)

    Dear noob, Stallman is an extremist in the same sense Ghandi is an extremist. Different ideals, though. I mean, the guy started GNU/FSF and spends decades with it, instead of going into the industry and raking it in.

    What are you, born 20 minutes ago?

  • by dschl (57168) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:11AM (#30414052) Homepage

    I don't think that Miguel is all that popular. The last time I saw a long thread with him here, he suffered pretty badly. Making mono a dependency in Gnome exposes the project to unnecessary risk.

    I respect Stallman far more than de Icaza, both for his thoughts and his actions over the years. Stallman is often taken out of context, but he is very consistent, and his statements almost always make sense years later - sometimes prophetically so.

    There are a group of people (mostly affiliated with corporations) who have a hate-on for Stallman, because he values his principles more than he does development speed, ease of use, profits, or being able to use the latest shiny thing from MS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:13AM (#30414054)

    The only thing KDE gets right is sucking less than Gnome. That doesn't mean it isn't shit.

  • ISOified! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:19AM (#30414106)

    > Their position isn't necessarily compatible with your position that
    GNOME should "avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate".

    Do they know what Gnome stands for? What GNU is?

    To me, there's a slow process of takeover by M$ ideals -- the same thing which was done to ISO, but on a much more planned way. ISO needed to be taken asap, or ODF would kill Office. Since OOXML was "approved", ODF was sorta defused (OOXML does not need to be good or even work; in fact, if it appears to work but doesn't, so much the better for M$).

    Gnome has an ubiquitous presence in the Linux world. Taking over Gnome would deal a serious blow on Linux; if things proceed this way, who knows where they aiming? The kernel?

    Things came to a point so bad that the ISO room was full with pro-M$ dudes; it was even physically impossible to enter to vote for Linux (I'm not making this up, as unbelievable as it may seem). This equates in the free collaboration world to forums being crowded -- when a "Maillist appears to be under some sort of dos attack of unknown cause."

    Even the division situation is already a defeat for FOSS: every part has now half developers.

    From the comments above and following here on /., I guess RMS is right; people are talking about software "which puts food on the table", Stallman being a extremist, seceding Planet Gnome so it has nothing to do with GNU ideas... Wow. I mean, wow!

    My view, FWIW, is to go where RMS goes. If not for him, I would have at home the suffering I must endure at work, a M$-only shop.

  • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:24AM (#30414154)

    Stallman is consistent about his beliefs. Don't read 3rd hand re-interpretations: proceed directly to the GPL, and to Stallman's presentations, to understand what he said and what he believes.

    You can read the thread in question to decide whether the characterization above is accurate; it's his posts that seem to have triggered this argument. It looks pretty accurate to me.

    On the other hand, it doesn't look to me like anyone actually took Stallman's recommendation seriously (in terms of actually making any policy changes.) Seems to me like it would be a little silly to make a major organizational change based on the statements of one man who is known for shooting his mouth off.

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:26AM (#30414172)

    What's the point to even consider VMware if you have a range of alternatives which do the same? For those who want everything to be nice and user-friendly, there's VirtualBox. For those who want emulating other architectures, qemu. For when you don't need to pretend that it's a stand-alone system, there's Xen and vserver.

    Using proprietary software may be a reasonable choice if there are no alternatives with feature parity. For VMware, this is not the case.

  • by msclrhd (1211086) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:34AM (#30414248)

    I just wish that the GNOME folks can look at what happened with (ex)FAT, both with TomTom and now with the licensing costs/requirements from Microsoft for what is likely going to happen with the .NET platform and Mono in the future.

  • by Idiomatick (976696) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:48AM (#30414366)
    I respect Stallman and his ideas in the exact same way I respect Ron Paul. He has clearly given it a lot of thought and he has balls enough to say exactly what that is, but mannnn in reality things don't always work that way.
  • Re:Because? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:49AM (#30414374)

    Actually, for a GNU project, he arguably might be right.

    The split proposal assumes he is, actually.

  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:50AM (#30414388) Journal

    The proper form of address for Stallman is "The Hippie Dictator". It's his vision and idealism that created the entire FOSS community and he is its one true patriot and defender and needs to be referred to as such. In this case, he does have a legitimate complaint because some Gnome folks have been discussing their employers closed source products without any comparison/contrast or even reference to any open source alternatives, making it seem as though their employers have the only solution to certain problems. Furthermore as the creator of the FOSS concept, he fills the same role as Linus Torvalds in defining what constitutes FOSS, yet unlike Linus, he is not an absolute dictator that accepts/rejects apps based on his beliefs only.

    Another thing at stake here is the historical efforts by MS to Embrace/Extend/Extinguis that appears to be in play with the Moonlight project, which isn't based on a clean room reverse engineering of the dot net protocols or even abi's. If they were to use published API's to provide the functionality, then the issue would not be as severe but when someone decides to drink the "MS Coolade" and accept their reasoning as right while accepting a paycheck from them, it raises the question of "Conflict of Interest" and follows the Extend/Embrace/Extinguish path that MS has followed in the past.

    From what I've seen of the Moonlight/Mono project, it is in the extend/embrace stage right now by getting the Gnome folks so dependant upon MS Patents, that they're running the real risk of being shut down due to patent violations, which is the final Extinguish stage and they're damn good at playing that game. Oblig Quote "Do you want to play a game?" "It seems the only way to win is not to play at all." /Oblig Quote: That's the situatation as I see it, yet Stallman has been a very lenient dictator in this regards as he's only asking the fools to

    1. Label Moonlight as Proprietary and not base their desktop efforts on it
    2. Expand your discussion of the products to include their OSS alternatives, no matter what state they're in

    neither of these seem to be an onerous request but if they continue to misuses the FOSS label, the only option that will remain is the removal of the Right to declare themselves a FOSS project, thus destroying them as independant from MS in the eyes of the community. To me the only benefit of this actually going to court would be getting the FOSS Foundation declared as the Authoritive Answer to usage of the FOSS Label and Status. If that happens, the final step taken would be the removal of the right to use FOSS project, thus destroying Gnome as a Community Project unless it's completely forked.

    Think about that. If the FOSS foundation revoked the authorization of the Gnome Project to label themselves as a FOSS project, how many Distro's would quit using it? Damn near all of them and I can already hear the screams of rage from the Debian Folks in regards to Gnome because it violates their FREE SOFTWARE TENANTS and COMMITMENT. They might still offer Gnome but it couldn't be in the Base distro anylonger since it wouldn't meet their definition would it?

  • Gnome# (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Requiem18th (742389) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:53AM (#30414406)

    Pretty much so, there is a major push to switch Gnome to C# as it core development language and now that the whole of Gnome is spliting you can bet that .NET will become the core dependency. Remember, MS can void its "promises" over .NET at any moment, the EEE is is progressing well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:53AM (#30414410)

    People cannot close BSD any more than they can close GPL. They cannot close source they haven't written.

    They can use BSD code without having to release *their* code but they cannot close the original code or claim copyright to it. You don't want to share your knowledge, you want to force other people away from their hard work.

    You are no different to Microsoft. Icaza realized that and chose to walk with the morally broke people that bathe regularly.

  • Short memory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:11PM (#30414542)
    I think the newest generations of free software developers take free software for granted.

    They do not know how things went before GNU and Linux were there, when to have an usable development environment you had to pay for an operating system (more expensive if it was a developer-oriented version), a windowing system, a file manager, an office application, a web browser, an email client, a compiler, a debugger, a zip program, a picture viewer, access to the official developer's documentation, and a full set of "Undocumented %s" books. Not to mention any library you might want to use.

    Now they are growing tired of the "free software fundamentalists" because they do not see that what they've accomplished is inseparable from the ideology in which they believed. They just think that for some reason, charitable organizations such as Microsoft, Oracle, Sony and all the hardware manufacturers have an interest in providing them with software free of charge, and with unlimited freedom to use it in whatever way they see fit - and that they will keep doing so forever, even when that harms the sales of their commercial products.

    GNOME will turn away from the FSF, this is obvious, and has been obvious since the first day the Mono affaire began. What will happen after Microsoft will be in control of key components of GNOME, is obvious too.
    An then, hopefully before long, some new RMSes will appear, inspiring a free software movement again.

  • by clang_jangle (975789) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:13PM (#30414556) Journal

    No, BSD doesn't grant openness forever, as it lets people close it.

    This misconception gets repeated a lot, but there's no truth to it whatsoever. BSD-licensed software can be used by anyone for any purpose, but the original code remains free no matter what. There've even been cases of hysterical GNU "developers" thinking they need to re-license BSD-licensed software under the GPL, but it just doesn't work that way.

  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:17PM (#30414596)

    You wouldn't expect MS to promote Gnome even if one MS employee also contributed to Gnome. If you understand that MS can't present Gnome as a superior solution because of marketing you would understand why RMS doesn't want to promote proprietary software. Think about it this way, the existence of VMware and its promotion either hurt free sofware alternative to it or, inhibit the development of one.

    If you want Gnome to promote VMware but don't expect MS to promote Gnome then that just shows your bias.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:24PM (#30414652)
    I am glad this controversy came up because I was not following GNOME development and had no idea how hard they were working to integrate with proprietary "cross-platform technologies" like Silverlight. To me the appeal of Linux is that it *doesn't* rely on the MS model of giving Web applications full access to the OS. The real "benefit" to end users from ActiveX, Silverlight, .NET, etc is they expose the users to all kinds of Trojan horses and malware. If GNOME has drunk the Microsoft kool-aid of doing away with any kind of application sandboxing, then to hell with it.
  • by Urkki (668283) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:26PM (#30414672)

    Yes, I have to agree.

    If you restrict it and keep proprietary software off, then it will become just hobbyist platform.

    Indeed. Just compare *BSD operating systems, with a license very friendly to proprietary software, and Linux, which is GPL and rather unfriendly to proprietary code (just look at the proprietary kernel module mess). It's because of this that almost in almost all commercial cases, the OS is *BSD, while Linux is used almost exclusively by hobbyists such as IBM.

  • Re:Because? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by glodime (1015179) <eric@glodime.com> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:32PM (#30414730) Homepage

    His tantrum basically boils down to "you can't present proprietary software as legitimate". Which is BS. Your own decision on how to do things is your decision, you can NOT tell others that their way of doing things is not legitimate.

    Didn't you just do what you say can't be done in those three sentences?

  • Re:Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:38PM (#30414802) Journal
    The thing to keep in mind about Stallman's "crazy" opinions is the function that they serve among the much large set of opinions that actually control what the software world looks like. Roughly speaking, the software(and availability of hardware support) that will actually be available in the present and immediate future reflects the a weighted average of the present's opinions of what software ought to be.

    There is always going to be a reliable bloc of "all proprietary, all the time" opinions, because that is where the best money is. There will also usually be a reliable supply of "C'mon guys, pragmatic compromise!" opinions; because that is the home of a particularly nice costs/features ratio. "All Free, all the time", by contrast, is a largely thankless ideological position(since it will, at any given time, pay less well than "all proprietary" and be missing features that "pragmatic compromise" has). However, since future software availability reflects(roughly) a weighted average of today's opinions, it has a very important role to play.

    If today's opinions are all "proprietary" or "pragmatic compromise", tomorrow's software landscape will move a bit closer to all proprietary. Each iteration will go the same way. The existence of the zealous(and explicitly ideological) "Free Only" faction helps keep things from drifting steadily in the proprietary direction.
  • Re:Gnome# (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:59PM (#30414972) Journal

    Thank god for KDE, XFCE, etc. Anyone who thinks multiple desktop environments are a waste of effort, this is exactly why we need them.

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:12PM (#30415058) Homepage
    The whole situation amuses me given that the only reason Gnome exists is because back during KDE 1.x days it was "OMG QT is too proprietary!"
  • by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craig@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:17PM (#30415090)

    ... he values his principles more than he does development speed, ease of use, profits, or being able to use the latest shiny thing from MS.

    You hit the nail squarely with that comment: Stallman values ethics more than he does profit, even his own, and the "entrepreneurs" of the world who have a reverse value system utterly despise him for it. Can we agree that Stallman is a talented man who, in some parallel dimension, could have made quite a lot of money for himself? He hasn't though, precisely because he doesn't value that extreme wealth.

    In effect, by consistently adhering to and promoting this ethic for decades, Stallman has been placing the Greater Good well ahead of his own good. He's a helluva lot more like Jesus in that regard than most people I know or have heard about. Stallman is not unique for having this value system; Craig Newmark demonstrably holds the same values. However Stallman is, as you pointed out, rather uniquely consistent in his application of those values. That at least is a trait worth admiring, even if one disagrees with him. Those who do disagree with him, though, need to spend some time in reflection upon their own selfishness. Stallman demonstrates a selflessness that makes Mother Teresa (and her lifelong duplicity) look like a huckster.

    The only thing wrong with Stallman's approach is that, in his zeal to realize this ethical Utopia before he dies, he is resorting to increasingly authoritarian methods when mere education fails to sway people. That appears to be what caused this little rebellion within the GNOME community: it wasn't his free-software ethic that got them riled, it was his willingness to resort to authoritarian measures to realize or preserve it.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:53PM (#30415446) Homepage

    I'd be too happy Gnome could shed non-free software (like Tomboy notes - based on Mono)

    Please explain to me how Tombody and/or Mono are "non-free software."

    The only complaint I know of is that Microsoft (or some other company) may or may not, at some point in the future, exert patents or other intellectual property rights in a way that could make it difficult to distribute Tomboy and/or Mono under an open source license.

    I've got news for you: That's true for all open source software.

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Requiem18th (742389) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:58PM (#30415512)

    >Remember, MS can void its "promises" over .NET at any moment, the EEE is is progressing well.

    No, they can't. If you make a "promise" that causes someone else to take an action, it's the same as having a contract and you can be sued.

    Yes they can, there's a loophole, the promises only apply while they hold the patent, they don't apply if they sell them to some one else like a split company a puppet think tank or a patent troll.

    And there is precedent of MS attempting to do just this. http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=4800 [zdnet.com]

  • Re:Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:00PM (#30415546)

    As for proprietary crap - I use proprietary video drivers almost exclusively.

    But that means that within one year and a half, when you go to your card manufacturer's web site to download the drivers, you'll see your card put in a separate "legacy products" box, and that will mean that you're not getting any more driver updates. Also, at the next big operating system version bump, you'll be likely in danger of being left with no drivers at all.
    Moreover, since the manufacturers of your card won't probably be enthusiastic about the highly dynamic nature of the open source stack your drivers are running in, they will not be the first ones to support the new features offered by innovations on the open source side.

    What I want to say is, that using open source drivers is not necessarily a philosophical/political/religious matter. It can be a very pragmatic way to use the card you paid for as long as you like, and not until its manufacturers decide it's time for you to buy a new one.

  • Re:Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:01PM (#30415554) Homepage

    First, Gnome is a GNU project, not simply a GPL licensed. So, yes, they should agree with the Gnu philosophy [gnu.org], or they're lying. They are allowed to fork and get out GNU, nobody forces them to stay.

    Second:
    "If your approach is better, then time will prove that."

    In a purely technical perspective, that's true. But the GNU philosophy is *not* purely technical, and sustains that access to code is a consumer right. So, by that POV, any proprietary software is worst from the start.

    Stallman needs to STFU. He's ruining free software by trying to make it exist in some kind of walled garden where nobody who uses it can interact with anyone or anything else.

    He's not ruining anything. He's saying what he believes, but doesn't force anyone to follow it. You're the censor here.

  • Just not true... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:05PM (#30415592)

    But don't you see, that just isn't true.

    The newest generation understands the problem with proprietary vendors, at least most of them do. The problem is that GNU is becoming just as hurtful to the movement as those proprietary vendors once were. Instead of permitting branching out and new ideas and new philosophies to extend the movement, GNU is preventing anything that disagrees with their Dogma to speak, or at least, trying to do that here.

    Personally, I absolutely believe that free software philosophy is important, even though I write closed source software to make ends meat. That said, I also believe that an ecosystem with both closed source and open source software coexist isn't a negative thing and that while care must be taken in dealing with those that build closed source software, it isn't a moral imperative that we have open source. Companies aren't evil entities intent on destroying free software becasue they hate RMS' hair style. They are out to make money. As long as they're out to make money, then if free software makes them money, there's no reason they care to dismantle us or harm us. That means they may sometimes be an ally, sometimes an enemy.

    This is all BECAUSE of what came before. Back when free/open software had no place, we needed the extremism and philosophical doctorines to just survive, because no one took us seriously. No one realized there were business models that existed for free software, or that open and closed source could co-exist in an ecosystem. Now they do.

    In my opinion, RMS is wrong for the right reasons (MS is certainly causing some crap, but discussing it isn't going to hurt, and restricting free speech based on dogma is RIDICULOUS) and Miguel is right for the wrong reasons (No, mono isn't that awesome, we don't need to pull this pro-MS crap, but yeah, GNU and FSF are limiting you based on their dogma which is RIDICULOUS).

  • Re:Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by V!NCENT (1105021) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:23PM (#30415760)

    And he's right. Microsoft sets the standard because they have the largest platform (Windows) and they not only get to decide what the spec is, they will also release it after they released the latest Windows version.

    To top that; Microsoft gets to decide if they even should release the latest specs...

    *think... think.... think...*

    We also have better cross platform tools already with Qt4.x... And for everything that's not native code we have webbrowsers...

    *think... think... think...*

    RMS is 100% correct about dumping this redundant piece of locking shittery.

  • Re:Because? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @03:00PM (#30416042)

    Gnash is an open source implementation of a closed source virtual machine (Flash Player). And yet they are largely held up as heroes because they are making it possible to use a full open source environment and still see flash content. How is this any different from what Miguel is doing with Moonlight?

    I guess the difference is that Gnash guys hate Flash with passion, whereas Miguel & friends recommend the technology they work with as reasonable choice for new development.

  • Re:Because? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Urkki (668283) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @03:10PM (#30416120)

    Rather than Gnome leave GNU, wouldn't it be easier for Richard Stallman to just fork reality? It seems he's always wanted his own.

    Mixing non-free software with free software systems is a slippery slope. To work on that slippery slope, as most real-world software development must, an anchor is needed. RMS and FSF are that anchor. Even though I don't agree with them 100%, I realize that my idea of good free software would be impossible if they didn't fight for their ideal and keep everything from sliding down the slippery slope.

    So even if it's sometimes sensible and useful to mix free and non-free, especially from user point of view, I sure hope FSF and everything directly supported by FSF stays pure.

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NickFortune (613926) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @03:15PM (#30416152) Homepage Journal

    Red Hat may very well be screwed, but most of the rest wouldn't be. Especially not Debian.

    It stands to kill the commercial distros, though. Red Hat certainly. Ubuntu, to the extent that it wants to operate in the US market, which is going to be probably the most lucrative for some time to come. The choice would be to pay tribute to Redmond, or to die.

    SUSIE stands to do well as the flagship Microsoft vassal, but I think Microsoft would count it a win if they could bring about Linux' commercial consolidation into one big player with no new companies able to emerge. MS know how to compete with corporations.

    Debian, might survive, although I expect MS lawyers could find ways of bringing pressure to bear on developers, and against Debian as a legal entity. More likely though, they'd be happy simply to see Linux eradicated from the corporate world. What people use on their desktops at work, they tend to want running on the computer at home. If you can dominate corporate America, you can lead the world. At least, I imagine that's the thinking in Redmond anyway.

    I never really fully understood this line of attack on C#/.NET/Mono.

    I never really saw the sense in exposing ourselves to the risk of adopting a technology controlled by an organisation fundamentally opposed to all we stand for, and which offers few benefits, and nothing that can't be gained from other, unencumbered languages and frameworks. It's never seemed like sound strategy to me, except from Microsoft's viewpoint.

    The sensible thing has always been to abandon it.

  • by Rycross (836649) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @03:28PM (#30416268)
    That's begging the question. Those with a "hate-on" for Stallman likely see no moral or ethical dilemma with proprietary software. You're assuming that its imminently clear and universally agreed upon that proprietary software is unethical and immoral, when this is actually not the case.
  • Re:Gnome# (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @04:07PM (#30416662)

    That was perhaps true at 1.x time. At 2.x Gnome invented this thing called usability which the KDE doesn't even nowadays at 4.5 have. The reasons for Gnome existing are still around, they are just different.

  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @04:31PM (#30416882)
    It's his philosophy. Sort of like people who only drive Fords or eat at one place (only much deeper-seated). Stallman's not about to "compromise" (for lack of a better term) his principles that he bases his life and work on. If that is a bother to those in the community, there exist alternatives to simply following something you don't believe in. I admire Stallman for not compromising his principles. I do not disparage people who criticize Stallman's views (unless it's a bunch of fanboi tripe). His philosophy sometimes conflicts with other models, or even other ways of doing business, but like all visionary folks, sometimes that's not such a bad thing in the long run.
  • by toiletsalmon (309546) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @05:02PM (#30417206) Journal

    Stallman has talked about the ethical dilemma for years and as far as I can tell, it exists with all propriety software:

    -I write propriety software.
    -I decide I don't want to support it any more.
    -You "really need" or want to use my software. You paid for it, so you should be able to use it, right?
    -You find a bug that is a "show stopper" for you in some way.
    -You ask me to fix it.
    -I politely tell you to "stuff it".

    Is it ethical to break a license to fix software that you didn't create? Even if I don't care if you fix it, if I don't give you written permission to do so, you are probably still breaking the law. What if fixing the software illegally will help save someone's life in some odd way?

    That's the whole "ethical" dilemma and I agree with him that it is an absurd situation to be in and it makes no practical sense when you take money out of the picture.

  • by Ant P. (974313) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @05:06PM (#30417232) Homepage

    I too once thought this way. Then one day I realised: "Holy fuck, I've got half a gig of RAM and a SSE2 CPU and I'm boycotting Qt3 to save what, 20MB?"

  • Re:Because? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dragonslicer (991472) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @05:21PM (#30417348)

    And Ballmer can go fork himself!

    Isn't one Ballmer enough?

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @07:05PM (#30418144) Homepage

    commercial software developers had to buy a commercial license for QT.

    And I did that. Qt developers need to eat too, and it's not too much to ask for a small, one time fee for the privilege of selling Qt apps. It's just a couple thousand dollars anyway; if your commercial enterprise can't take that, there is something wrong with your business plan.

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:3, Insightful)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @07:48PM (#30418394) Homepage

    But De Icaza has said that mono is implementing bits of .net stuff not covered under the patent covenant. That leaves the mono project open to trouble.

    It leaves it no more open to trouble than any other open source language project that implements things similar to those parts of .NET. That would be pretty much all of them.

    If Microsoft has broad patents on this stuff, they will ensnare far more than Mono.

    If the alleged Microsoft patents are narrow, they will most likely just cover Microsoft's implementation. Independent implementations would be unlikely to do it the same way.

    Given this, I'm not going to worry about it unless people stop talking in vague generalities and name specific patents. Patent records are public documents. Surely one of Mono's opponents could do a search and find the worrisome patents. Also, note that it is a requirement in the US that a patent owner mark their products with the patents they claim cover it. I downloaded the free .NET development tools from Microsoft, and didn't see any patents listed.

  • Re:Because? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @07:53PM (#30418420)
    Wish I had mod points.

    It's sad how people here on /. love to bash RMS, but when it comes to Steve Jobs, they have multiple orgasm.
  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:01PM (#30418988) Homepage

    Gnome was created by GNU guys, the vision and the name belongs to them.

    I suggest DOTNETDesktop or Icaza can come up with a stylish name like Mono/Stereo/Dolby Digital whatever.

    What they want is to ship a freaking Mono desktop and they can't dare to tell it to public yet. As releasing a .NET Clone with GNU license would be really pathetic/impossible, they want to get rid of license.

    IMHO, GNU should get rid of them very quick and support KDE and OpenStep. Yes, the OpenStep which people ignore.

  • by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:08PM (#30419024) Homepage

    If people see that Icaza clown as a representative of Gnome and see those lame "lets trojan the debian" tactics coming from the Gnome camp, they can predict everything regarding to .NET with Gnome.

    First, Gnome must distance themselves from that MS reject, second they should come clean about Tomboy, for what EXACT REASON it was written in .NET and why Gnome team pushed it.

    Even Windows camp and OS X camp started to see Gnome as some kind of a joke especially after this Mono (Made in Mexico) soap opera. Everyone on planet, even 13 year old kids knows you can't replicate a Microsoft technology just like you can't make Cocoa with OpenStep.

    Gnome guys should get rid of trojans in them or I think, the FSF/GNU and FOSS community will get rid of them. Signs are already there.

  • by LizardKing (5245) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:00AM (#30430390)

    Where are those "more people"

    Most of them are still involved in GNOME to some degree, with the exception of Jay Painter who stopped contributing fairly early on.

    why don't they openly protest that Icaza clown who has effectively took over the project and polluting its every bit with Mono?

    Perhaps because Mono isn't "polluting" the GNOME project. It's required for a couple of apps - Tomboy and F-Spot, and there are comparable alternatives that don't rely on Mono. My wife uses a netbook running Ubuntu, and I removed Mono from that for space reasons with no loss in functionality for the GNOME desktop. Similarly, many Linux distributions ship with the GNOME desktop as default, and without Mono.

  • by ynef (995695) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:30AM (#30431394)

    Agreed. There is a lot to be said for a consistent, unified, and integrated desktop experience. For example, a GNOME app will not magically start to use my KDE wallet for storing and retrieving passwords, just because I've managed to put some makeup on it and have it look almost similar to proper KDE applications. Same goes for the underlying systems such as KIO slaves as opposed to GnomeVFS.

    You can get GNOME and KDE apps to play well on the surface, but you miss out on the deep integration offered by choosing just one environment.

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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