For quite a few months we have wondered [1, 2, 3] why Eric Raymond keeps so quiet. In public, he has not said much since he began that big Fedora flame. He apparently still works at the gradually-stagnating Linspire. He is on their board of directors in fact. An article from SJVN recently spoke about an “executive exodus”, but it was not sufficiently specific and it did not name any names.
In any event, today’s news is quite encouraging. Mr. Raymond, who is the mastermind behind the OSI and one of those that are most intimately familiar with Microsoft’s shady past, has spoken out. Seeing the sorts of abuses which Microsoft has recently, tactlessly, and repeatedly demonstrated in its standards race and also bearing in mind what many of us already know, he does not have faith in Microsoft. They haven’t any good faith, either.
They haven’t stopped at pushing a “standard” that is divisive, technically bogus, and an obvious tool of monopoly lock-in; they have resorted to lying, ballot-stuffing, committee-packing, and outright bribery to ram it through the ISO standardization process in ways that violate ISO’s own guidelines wholesale.
This is not behavior that we, as a community, can live with. Despite my previous determination, I find I’m almost ready to recommend that OSI tell Microsoft to ram its licenses up one of its own orifices, even if they are technically OSD compliant. Because what good is it to conform to the letter of OSD if you’re raping its spirit?
Ouch. Strong words. That’s the ESR we know. Will the apologists in the OSI finally listen?