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07.13.09

Is Mono’s Latest Strategy to Vilify Richard Stallman?

Posted in Debian, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU Richard Stallman

Summary: “Move over, Richard, we’ll take it from here” — that’s the sort of message embraced by parts of the Mono community

WE already know, based on pretty extensive evidence, that many Mono fans are also close to Microsoft. That is what makes this whole movement rather detrimental to Microsoft's most potent competitor, namely GNU/Linux.

In prior posts about Mono and Microsoft’s “Community Promise” (CP) [1, 2, 3] we showed that it had changed virtually nothing. If anything, it finally revealed that Mono has indeed patent traps in it, maybe just not at the core. One of the rudest pro-Mono people (from Debian) is being very blunt about it:

Q: Are there patent issues with Mono?

A: Just like any other software, Mono certainly infringes on thousands of stupid software patents. However the Debian policy with patents is to put them in a trash and pee on them, unless they are actively enforced with reasonable chances to win. The situation of Mono is much more comfortable than (for example) that of MP3 decoders, for which patents are actively enforced; it’s just that they are so lame that we choose to ignore them.

Q: Are there specific dangers coming from Microsoft regarding Mono?

A: Microsoft has claimed to possess patents on some Mono compatibility layers with non-standard Microsoft APIs. Not only this is completely irrelevant to GNOME, since nothing in Gtk# and related stuff uses these compatibility layers, but if you know how things work in the patent world, you already understand this is merely FUD. Microsoft has nothing, but claims to have something in order to scare consumers away from Mono. Actually, not enforcing the patents, while knowing they are violated, would make their case very weak in a patent suit. What their behavior shows is that they are very afraid of Mono. It is stealing customers from their best and most advanced product, their lead development framework. There is absolutely zero chance that they are sustaining Mono from behind, since its very existence is going to make them lose a large amount of money.

He even throws a fit at Stallman at the end. This is part of a pattern for him and other proponents of Mono have been doing the same thing ever since Stallman spoke out regarding Mono [1, 2]. One person even used the F word.

Ubuntu is apathetic towards Richard Stallman’s advice [1, 2], but Glyn Moody justifiably distrusts Microsoft on the whole matter. Regarding the CP, he writes:

Now, is it just me, or does Microsoft conspicuously fail to answer its own question? The question was: does it apply to all versions *including* future revision? And Microsoft’s answer is about *existing* versions: so doesn’t that mean it could simply not apply the promise to a future version? Isn’t this the same problem as with the Open Specification Promise? Just asking.

See the comments in GNU/Linux sites to get an impression of how many people reject Mono. It is only a vocal/aggressive minority that seems to be spreading Microsoft inside GNU/Linux, despite opposition from about 3 out of 4 GNU/Linux users (according to a recent poll).

Mono people understand that their attempts to marry Microsoft and Linux are backfiring now that the SFLC and FSF speak out, so Plan B is seemingly to discredit Stallman in person to make his technical assessments go away or be dishonoured. It has gone on for about two weeks. Sam Varghese addresses this issue in a new article where he writes:

Let’s remember that De Icaza has gone on the public record stating that he believes .NET is the “natural upgrade” for GNOME. Here’s a direct quote: “I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET. A lot of people just see .NET as a fantastic upgrade for the development platform from Microsoft.”

GNOME 3.0 is around the corner so he probably won’t have time to realise his dream. What of version 4.0?

Not unrelated to this whole Mono debate may be the fact that some GNOME people have started a campaign to smear Stallman, to the extent of even releasing a private email exchange. But then is not new behaviour from people at the top of GNOME. Anyone who criticises Mono seems to come in for a rough time.

Jason at the Mono Nono Web site correctly predicted that Stallman would suffer the wrath of Microsoft fans for merely daring to reject Mono. By the way, this is not a reference to one particular person because many blogs independently find an opportunity to pile criticisms on Stallman, for whatever reason or statement that he ever made (there is more than one, but the timing and motive are unlikely to be coincidental).

I told you the knives would come out for Stallman.

[...]

The sad thing is, much of the damage is already done. Stallman is facing a concerted attack on his character and competence and stands little chance of coming through it unscathed. Such is the penalty for daring to critize Mono. This garbage is already all over Planet Gnome, Planet Debian, Monologue and spreading.

The Mono Nono Web site also offers this list of reasons to ignore Microsoft’s CP, a clever trick which the ‘mainstream’ press consistently fell for:

If I had to list my concerns around the Promise I would come up with a slightly different list:

1. Standard bits alone are not enough to deliver killer apps. We have several Microsoft emails about limiting the usefulness of what was standardized, so we know they at least discussed this internally.
2. The Community Promise has that restriction that the Open Specification Promise does not. By not extending the Promise to partial implementations, it could “lock out” alternative implementations of the standard. Limited sub-sets of languages are a common practice in the industry for specialized purposes.
3. The Community Promise will constantly be misrepresented as covering the whole of mono – giving a false veneer of security over the non-covered bits (which end up to be the “juicy parts”)
4. The Community Promise only applies to the current version. This could be used by Microsoft to “freeze out” competing implementations. Just update the standard, but not the promise.

Moreover:

Consider that we know for a fact that F-Spot and Banshee, at least, use non-ECMA covered parts of mono. Maybe they will be re-written soon. That’s great. But at the time of the announcement and currently, they were and are not covered by the standard, and so not covered by the agreement.

And lastly:

There are many such internal documents that clearly show Microsoft understands exactly what standardizing parts of .NET means, and how to keep that offering in control and inferior to .NET. If Mono is not “chasing” .NET, then it fails to meet Windows developers expectations. If Mono is “chasing” .NET, then it both runs the risk of anti-competitive tactics on the non-standard parts, and is undertaking a task not likely to succeed.

Many more answers were delivered regarding Mono (even from Microsoft). Now more than ever it is clear that Mono is a trap and thus it must be avoided.

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

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108 Comments

  1. André said,

    July 13, 2009 at 4:42 am

    Gravatar

    Why so negative?

    The only relevant open question for me is why the remaining parts of Mono are not covered yet and when that is about to happen. Someone should approach Microsoft and ask them to cover the rest as well with their promise. .Net is really a platform that deserves more and better attention on other operating systems. Developers need security, and no one likes to port application to Java.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What’s wrong with Java? Be specific.

    Np237 Reply:

    No need to be specific; it’s a giant piece of crap. You’d need to write a book if you want to describe the specifics.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    A better question/request would be: describe how C#/.NET resolves Java issues specifically. The OOP pitfalls (bloat for example) are known to many; interpreted/able languages likewise. I guess what I’m trying to say is that JIT in general has its problems, but why advocate the less mature Mono when Java is Free software and is not associated with a sworn enemy (“Linux is a cancer”)?

    Sabayon User Reply:

    A better question/request would be: describe how C#/.NET resolves Java issues specifically.

    Good thing the people who write things like Python, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Tcl and so on don’t share your dishonest ‘take’ on why tools should be developed.

    I love that bit about the “OOP bloat”, especially coming from someone who isn’t even a developer and IIRC once claimed that Python wasn’t an OO language.

    How desperately excuses must be sought and used when your technical arguments amount to nothing more than FUD. And I say that as someone who doesn’t really care about Mono one way or the other.

  2. Np237 said,

    July 13, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Gravatar

    Using the abundance of comments on trolling sites to find that the “pro-Mono camp” (something that has no meaning anyway) is a vocal minority has to be one of your best acts of bad faith. The very definition of a vocal minority is that the post a lot of comments on troll sites.

    Actually, “vocal“ and “aggressive” are the two adjectives that characterise best your followers. They don’t understand the issues, and they read on some sites with cool names that “Mono is bad” so they are against Mono. They say it loudly, on many places. You can’t ask more from these kiddos.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    As Jason puts it, “Many mono apologists like to portray critics as fanatics, aggressively opposed to anything Microsoft-related.”

    eet Reply:

    Well, YOU are a fanatic, misled by his fanaticism to portray your own critics as paid shills (which doesn’t sound much nicer than ‘fanatics’); up to the point of libel.

    Didn’t you just apologize for your libellous accusations against David Schlesinger and _promise_ not to repeat such irresponsible statements in the future?

    Please act accordingly and stop ‘portraying your critics’ as paid shills.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

    eet Reply:

    That you are taking up again your pseudo-censorship shows that you don’t intend to change your inflammatory style in the slightest.

    I guess that soon you will be simply deleting my comments, as you used to.

    So much for the ‘reformed’ Roy Schestowitz…

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We never deleted any comments, not even yours. Some appeared at a later stage.

    Np237 Reply:

    Indeed. Because it is the case.

    Roy Bixler Reply:

    Microsoft has many detractors and I would say that the fact that many people distrust them is a problem which Microsoft inflicted on itself. That said, Microsoft could resolve some of the questions about the safeness of Mono by clearing up the ambiguities in their Community Promise. The problem of their general lack of trustworthiness would remain and that one would take a long time to resolve if they seriously decided to tackle that issue.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This uncertainty — not just the existence of Mono (control/API, patents) — serves them well. They need to do JAE (just about enough) to ensure Mono sticks with GNU/Linux distributions.

    eet Reply:

    Roy, that you flag my comments, calling be troll, among other things, again is a sign that you don’t intend to change your ways at all. People like you can only be brought to apologize for their insults under the threat of sueing.

    I regard your flagging of readers’ comments (I wasn’t the only one) as censorship.

    And, talking about censorship, you DID delete my comments, you DID filter out any comment posted by ‘eet#’.

    By that you forced me to post under clever pseudonyms like e#et… So, as the next step you blocked my IP and forced me to use free proxy-servers.

    So – what an evil, evil troll, using pseudonyms and proxies…

    Indeed — you dishonest, snivelling hypocrite…

    There is no such thing as a ‘reformed’ Roy Schestowitz. Only whensomeone finally will sue you to bancruptcy will you stop your defamations. I don’t wish this on any human being, but considering what you are doing to others on a daily basis, I wish it on you.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We never deleted any comments, not even yours. Some appeared at a later stage.

    You need to watch your mouth by the way. You violated even Godwin’s law.

    eet Reply:

    Yes, you did. And you blocked my IP also – want to deny that?

    joo Reply:

    eet, use your real name and make a blog, link to it. Come back here, post comments and see if he keeps up his defamation & censorship.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There is no censorship. All his comments eventually appeared.

    joo Reply:

    I’m talking to eet, not you, unless you are eet and you’re arguing with yourself.

  3. Will said,

    July 13, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Gravatar

    I’m not too worried about Stallman.
    Obligatory xkcd reference: http://xkcd.com/225/

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s less than funny when Microsoft sends fronts like CompTIA to smear RMS.

    eet Reply:

    RMS doesn’t need anyone to smear him, he’s capable of doing all that damage himself.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    No kidding.

  4. aranur said,

    July 13, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Gravatar

    I find the fact that some people would keep coming back here despite finding the opinions on this website insulting to his stance rather amusing. Is that some sort of sadistic trait in character?

    twitter Reply:

    They come to harass, nothing more. Take, David “Lefty” Schlesinger, for example. He’s posted to Boycott Novell hundreds of times in the last month, starting with this paranoid attack on Roy. Someone emailed David’s boss about David’s bad behavior, something he explains here. This is a common tactic employed by M$ that Roy has condemned several times. David, on the other hand, has left out important parts of the story and crazily blamed Roy for “Fink’s” behavior as Roy carefully explains here. David’s original behavior on the Ubuntu lists was equally deplorable. “Lefty” has been libeling BN and Roy while defending mono and M$ for at least a year on the Ubuntu lists. If you look at Lefty’s posting activity at Ubuntu (search each month by author like this) you see him participating only on three occasions in the last year, the vast majority in long thread about M$ that are filled with libel for Roy and others. His posting here on Boycott Novell is entirely inflammatory trolling and libelous abuse as anyone can verify for themselves. Classics include calling Roy a liar for correctly observing the LSE tossing Microsoft off their computers, accusing Roy of breaking US securities laws for pointing out that Novell’s Quarterly report is suspicious, and the above paranoia and libel. It is hard to escape the conclusion that “Lefty” is not interested in any constructive conversation here or on the Ubuntu lists and that his purpose is to harass.

    Finally, “Lefty” has done Richard Stallman a great wrong by accusing him of sexism and other vile things while publishing private email. RMS sums up this attack nicely in his email, “I have had very few negative reactions to St IGNUcius in the past; the only one I can remember was from someone who was hostile to begin with.” David “Lefty” Schlesinger has been openly and outrageously hostile to Roy and other people who question mono and M$ for more than a year. Richard Stallman is one of the most published people on the planet, his opinions on sexism are well known. Given David’s libelous past and RMS’s public stance on sexism, I’m not even going to believe David got the words right, much less the intent, until I see a full transcript or video. The whole thing seems to be a deliberate smear and it will soon be forgotten.

    In the mean time, developers at Gran Canaria, who were not interested in character assassination had a great time and especially enjoyed Mr. Stallman’s usual antics. To end on a positive note, here’s RMS auctioning a GNU, here’s part of the St. Ignutious routine and here’s one of the best Free Software Song recordings I’ve seen.

    Sabayon User Reply:

    Funny, this is the first thing that came to mind after I finished reading.

    By the way twitter, you’d have a hard time convincing a brain-damaged rat that your first “libel” link is anything of the sort, so I’ll just assume the rest of your rant is just another one of those sleazy non-sequitur linkfarm diatribes that made you famous on Slashdot, and therefore safely ignored. I can’t begin to count the number of times you were caught pasting a link to something you called X but ended up being Y. Nothing new here, as usual.

    joo Reply:

    Jesus, how far up Roy’s ass is your tongue?

    joo Reply:

    I only got 57 hits on the Google search. How is that “hundreds of times”?

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    How is that “hundreds of times”?

    Willy’s math skills are about as good as Roy’s memory? “Hundreds of times” in base 6?

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    I’m still waiting for you to provide some concrete substantiation of my “libelous past”, Willy, don’t think I’d forgotten. If you avoid answering for too long, people might think you were simply…I dunno…makin’ stuff up, y’ know?

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Come on, Willy, given that I’ve got this “libelous past” you keep telling people about, some substantiation is order here. It’d be a shame if you ignored backing up your own statements for so long that people decided you were just makin’ stuff up or something…

  5. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 14, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Gravatar

    Given David’s libelous past and RMS’s public stance on sexism, I’m not even going to believe David got the words right, much less the intent, until I see a full transcript or video. The whole thing seems to be a deliberate smear and it will soon be forgotten.

    No one who was present at GCDS (as you were not) disputes what Stallman said. It’s not going to be “soon forgotten”, either. And let’s have some support for your claims of a “libelous past”, sockpuppet.

    G. Michaels Reply:

    So much for apologies and such. A post with those many links must have tripped the spam filter, so we’ll assume it was seen and let through.

    Or maybe that fragrance in the air is… *sniff* Eau de Coordination after all.

    Useful idiots can be useful sometimes, if you’re terrified of being held responsible for the tripe you write, feel a tad humiliated and want to exact some good old fashioned petty revenge.

    eet Reply:

    That ‘apology’ disappeared down the the bottom of the site damned fast, too. No prob, given the speed with which Roy shells out ‘articles’.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Yes, the rapid burial of that retraction and apology has not escaped my notice.

    By the bye, I had an email from Jeff Waugh today–I won’t relate the title, but it casts some aspersions on Roy’s intellectual prowess and laments the current plight of his former village, if you know what I mean–and Jeff (unsurprisingly to me) relates a tale completely at odds with Roy’s rendition.

    According to Jeff, the one and only occasion where he spoke with Roy on the phone was as a part of “that moronic OOXML debate”. Jeff specifically says that there was never any discussion between the two of them of Roy’s “unproductive behavior”, nor was there any resolution of Roy’s “bogus accusations”.

    It seems as though “journalist” Roy can’t be trusted to even relate the truth of what he’s directly experienced. Here’s one example. His statement that he contacted Mark Fink at my urging’s another.

    Either Roy’s got a memory like a rusty sieve, or he’s playing dumb. I personally suspect the latter, but I can’t for the life of me work out why he’s so completely inept at it.

    twitter Reply:

    At this point, Lefty, you would do better to admit you are wrong. Roy is an honest journalist that had nothing to do with that letter to your boss and RMS is not a sexist. If you persist in these damaging lies, people will have to assume you are malicious. It this is the letter to your boss that you refer to, you can’t even get straight if it was sent by a Mark Fink or Paige Thompson. How you could claim Roy approves of such things when you are not sure of who did it is beyond me. Libel is a published malicious lie and you have risen to the occasion even by US law.

    Everyone can see the things you have written here and around the web. I’d cut and past some of the worst of it, but you and other people like Eet will probably dismiss it as, “pointless and uninformed propaganda.” Face it, you have wronged two perfectly honest and well respected people with poorly thought out or malicious stories.

    joo Reply:

    Well respected? Roy? That’s funny.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Roy is an honest journalist that had nothing to do with that letter to your boss and RMS is not a sexist.

    In both cases, the evidence says the converse.

    First, we’ve got a digitally signed email from Roy to Mark Fink, sent subsequent to the harassment, in which Roy tells Fink, “I liked what you do, but try to distance yourself from the site to give it credibility. Make it look like a personal gripe while the site keeps it polite.” Roy has never denied sending this, and has never produced any support for his claims that this doesn’t show complicity on his part.

    Second, we’ve got lots of folks, women and men, who heard the same things I did at Gran Canaria and feel the same way that I do. Stallman made a needlessly sexist joke–”EMACS virgins are women who have never used EMACS” and it is a “holy duty” in the “Church of EMACS” to “relieve them of their virginity”–and refused to acknowledge that it could be taken as seriously offensive to women. He played the victim, and refused to consider offering a simple apology. Those actions pretty much speak for themselves, I’m afraid.

    No one’s above criticism when there’s evidence to support that criticism, not me, not you, and not Stallman, who fancies himself a leader of the Free Software movement. If you want to lead, then you need to get into the same century as the folks you’d like to follow you.

    If you persist in these damaging lies, people will have to assume you are malicious.

    People will assume whatever they like. I’ll continue to do what I think is the right thing.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Gosh, the rating system here is broken in a sort of interesting fashion: I click on a star, but when I refresh the page, it shows “(0 votes cast)”.

    Gee, that’s interesting.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Ah, it seems to show up only after a subsequent comment is posted.

    Roy, are you competent to repair your own site…?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s caching. Without it, the server would not cope.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Libel is a published malicious lie and you have risen to the occasion even by US law.

    Dandy, have Roy prove it.

    Willy wants ya to go to court, Roy! Whaddayasay? Wanna play?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I speak for myself. I don’t need to be associated with anything anyone else says. It’s tough enough distancing myself from people who support me but behave in ways I don’t endorse. It’s hard to tell off people when they think they help you.

    joo Reply:

    Willy?

    Sabayon User Reply:

    Willy?

    twitter’s real-life identity. Gordon likes to out him once in a while to keep him honest, just like Roy does to other people.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    It’s hard to tell off people when they think they help you.

    No, it isn’t, it’s not hard at all. It takes character, a quality in which you seem to be sadly lacking, but all one needs to say is:

    “You seem to think you’re helping me, but you’re not. If you want to help me, don’t help me. I insist that you stop, and if you don’t I’ll be obliged to publicly distance myself from you, since your actually damaging my efforts.”

    See? That isn’t so difficult, is it? Maybe you should practice it in front of a mirror in the mornings. Might change your life, Roy!

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    In my first E-mail to “Fink” I denounced him. And to do so to people who take your side is harder than you put it.

    Sabayon User Reply:

    It’s not too far out to think that this is a parallel to the Fink episode, where Roy “keeps it polite” while his gimps insult and attack people. “But he compared me to my hero Richard, what do you want me to do!?”

    Given previous instances of this happening here and elsewhere (a pattern that can be observed, certainly) I wouldn’t put it past them at all.

    Roy’s interactions with twitter and his crew IRC are certainly not those of someone who would like to “tell them off” but can’t because he’s too nice.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    In my first E-mail to “Fink” I denounced him.

    So you say. You’ve never produced any such email, so it’s only your word, and–unfortunately for you–you’ve demonstrated again and again and again that your word is not especially trustworthy. You can’t even manage to remember the circumstances under which you wrote Fink, apparently. Remember telling people that I “told you” to do it?

    When you establish a pattern of bending the truth to suit yourself, and especially when you do it so many times, in ways that are easily found out–like being corrected by Jeff Waugh, who clearly still takes an interest in keeping you honest, too–you pretty much leave yourself in a poor position to make representations, without some solid evidence behind them. Evidence which you don’t seem to have.

    And to do so to people who take your side is harder than you put it.

    I’ve done it, Roy, more than once. It’s not “harder than [I] put it” if you have the maturity usually associated with “adulthood”, a commitment to being truthful and the character to live up to it. You’ve demonstrated to my satisfaction that you don’t have any of those things, I’m afraid. It’s too bad, you’re going to find that you’ve robbed yourself of anything like a worthwhile life in the long run.

    twitter Reply:

    Roy’s not telling me off, Lefty, because I’m right. You can repeat the same malicious lies all day but they are apparent to anyone who looks into it. You know that RMS is not the monster you portray him as and you know that Roy is an honest journalist. Why persist in such obvious lies and libel? Why do you come to Boycott Novell dozens of times a day to repeat them?

    No, I don’t want to go to court. That’s where the people you libel may drag you. I doubt anyone will bother because the damage you do is small. You are perversely protected by the idiocy of your claims.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Roy’s not telling me off, Lefty, because I’m right.

    Yeah, Willy, you’re so “right” that Roy, Paragon of Truth and Defender of FLOSS Purity, possessed by the Courage of his Convictions, caved right in and posted the full retraction and apology for having repeated those claims that you were so “right” about which I dictated to him. Verbatim.

    That’s how right he thinks you are, Willy. Now, there’s a man whose friends can rely on him to back them up. Mm hm.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    David,

    Now you’re not just trolling me but you troll readers too (false accusations against Jose for example). Please refrain from doing this, thank you. That’s just site vandalism.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    …false accusations against Jose for example…

    I’m not sure I understand to what you might be referring, Roy.

    Perhaps you can detail the specific accusations I’ve made against Jose which you feel are false.

    eet Reply:

    Roy, David certainly is right here: you never stand up for anything that would require you to get out of the comfy seat in front of the screen.

    Neither do you stick by your retraction, nor are you honest enough to risk going to court for your ‘beliefs’.

    You are just not a ‘standing-up-for-your-beliefs’ type of person.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    …false accusations against Jose for example…

    Still waiting to see all those “false accusations” you’re so concerned that I’m making, Roy. Are you having difficulty actually turning any up?

    Thought so.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    I’ve pointed out (a few times) that I’m “Still waiting to see all those ‘false accusations’ you’re so concerned that I’m making, Roy.”

    Weirdly, all I seem to be hearing is the sound of crickets.

    Come on, Roy! Bring on those “false accusations”, or admit that I haven’t made them in the first place.

  6. eet said,

    July 14, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Gravatar

    BTW, I think you don’t want to miss the awesomeness of this:
    http://download.banshee-project.org/documents/banshee-gcds-09.pdf

    Looks like Banshee/F-Spot in Ubuntu will be cooler than ever… :p

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Aaron Bockover rocks, and the work he’s doing on Banshee is terrifically impressive. It’s on my list of things to install (which is, as always, a looong list coming home from GUADEC…) It was great to get to hang out with him in Gran Canaria.

    I have to wonder why none of the most prolific “contributers” to this site ever seem to make it to any actual community events–and there are a ton of them in Europe. They talk a lot about the free software community, but they don’t actually seem to be part of it in anything more than a gaseous and metaphysical sort of sense.

    Sabayon User Reply:

    None of them have ever contributed anything other than static and extremism to FOSS, as far as I can see. Contrast that to, say, Shane Coyle or people like you.

    Funny how the toxic attitude can be mapped almost directly to the lack of tangible participation in the community.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> They talk a lot about the free software community, but they don’t actually seem to be part of it in anything more than a gaseous and metaphysical sort of sense.

    It’s called division of labor. Everyone *not* trying to do every task has benefits. Devs appreciate others are manning other software projects and legal matters and other things. Someone has to look for trends and help spread information.

    Occasionally, you do see major software contributors opine on mono. [Eg, http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-06-12-010-35-OS-CY-DV-0035 of http://www.openscenegraph.org/projects/osg and various other projects]

    And how about all the money Microsoft has decided to invest to embrace FOSS? Surely, that pays the salary of at least a few FOSS coders, no? Are these people working into FOSS things that will help Microsoft preserve their monopolies? Most of the community hurts from monopolies. Most end users don’t want unnecessary costs or restrictions.

    >> Aaron Bockover rocks, and the work he’s doing on Banshee is terrifically impressive

    Is that amazingly so? Phenomenal!

    I think many other developers are doing exemplary work technically and in enabling users to avoid monopolies and restrictions.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    It’s called division of labor.

    No, actually it’s called “a transparent dodge”, Jose. If you folks are so deeply concerned about “looking for trends” and “spreading information”, don’t you don’t think that community-based conferences like FOSDEM and the Desktop Summit and LinuxTag and a host of others are good places to do that…? If you were truly concerned about the community’s use of Mono, wouldn’t you be talking to the people in the community who are using Mono?

    Have you ever been to a community conference? Has Roy?

    No, what’s done here is more like “inventing trends” and “spreading disinformation”, and as I said in my blog posting, it’s got nothing to do with community.

    Sabayon User Reply:

    Someone has to look for trends and help spread information.

    FOSS is a meritocracy, not a verbosity contest or a talking heads club. It’s certainly not your private little ideological experiment.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    …it’s got nothing to do with community.

    And just so Jose doesn’t get confused, my gripe with Roy and this site has really got nothing to do with Mono, either.

    If you folks had taken up DRM as a cause, or “Tivoisation”, or anything else, and used the same strategies to attempt to advance your “argument” (for lack of a better term) around those as you do around Mono, I’d still be saying pretty much the same things.

    It’s like I said: you’ve all gotten so caught up in your cause that you’ve lost and sense of perspective about folks disagreeing with you.

    The irony of you all shouting about “freedom” while denying anyone who holds even a slightly different opinion a fair say–by marginalizing them with various defamations, by putting snarky little red “editorials” after their comments (a fate which Willy never seems to suffer, somehow), but recasting comments they made in complete contradiction to the facts, by misreporting events, and one and on–is incredible. I used that word in its literal sense: I simply can scarcely credit it, I can barely believe that it’s true.

    Yet, as I say, there’s the evidence. What’s one to do?

    He who hunts monsters must be careful not to become a monster himself in the process.

    —Friedrich Nietzsche

    Jose_X Reply:

    [Sabayon User] >> FOSS is a meritocracy, not a verbosity contest or a talking heads club. It’s certainly not your private little ideological experiment.

    What does that have to do with what I said?

    Do FOSS devs not value those that help make news accessible? Do they not value legal eagles looking out for their rights?

    And why are you here?

    Meritocracy means that if what is posted on this or any other site is garbage, it will be ignored; however, like FOSS, anyone can keep working on their project, eg, trying to improve it.

    Also this is not “my” project. I think knowing about threats is very important before one makes significant investments. I think a lot of legitimate material is posted here, and I find myself contributing periodically (frequently on some days).

    [David "Lefty" Schlesinger] >> don’t you don’t think that community-based conferences like FOSDEM and the Desktop Summit and LinuxTag and a host of others are good places to do that…?

    I’d guess Roy (and me personally) gets good bang for buck from here.

    [David "Lefty" Schlesinger] >> If you were truly concerned about the community’s use of Mono, wouldn’t you be talking to the people in the community who are using Mono?

    Well, many have come here saying they use mono and given their opinions. Many have posted in blogs saying they use mono. [OK, not "many" but "some"]

    I could do more about mono, but there is only so much time available for these activities in a day and there are many distractions besides mono. I think I get decent bang for buck, in part by participating here. Mono is one of many topics relevant to the growth and preservation of FOSS.

    [David "Lefty" Schlesinger] >> Have you ever been to a community conference?

    No, but I am sure you want to follow this up with something. I can’t wait.

    [David "Lefty" Schlesinger] >> No, what’s done here is more like “inventing trends” and “spreading disinformation”, and as I said in my blog posting, it’s got nothing to do with community.

    Sure. That’s it. Invented trends is primarily what you find here. Do you really believe what you are saying or did I misunderstand you just now?

    Disinformation occurs in any discussion. IMO, you have spread plenty of disinformation (or short-sighted analysis, damaging opinions, etc) around here. So what implications do you want to draw from this if I am correct?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> If you folks had taken up DRM as a cause, or “Tivoisation”, or anything else, and used the same strategies to attempt to advance your “argument” (for lack of a better term) around those as you do around Mono, I’d still be saying pretty much the same things.
    >> The irony of you all shouting about “freedom” while denying anyone who holds even a slightly different opinion a fair say–by marginalizing them with various defamations, by putting snarky little red “editorials” after their comments (a fate which Willy never seems to suffer, somehow), but recasting comments they made in complete contradiction to the facts, by misreporting events, and one and on–is incredible.

    You know better than to draw up a bunch of generalities.

    Please specify comments (quoting works best) and leave your correction.

    Since Roy returned a few days back there have likely been tens of blog postings and hundreds of replies to these. Did you have any of these in mind when making your generalizations.

    For example, I just posted many things against software patents.

    Of this following sample of 8 comments written today, what proportion would you say fits your generalities. Please specify.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69657
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69663
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69321
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69643
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69648
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69652
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69675
    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/#comment-69700

    And the very comment to which I am replying potentially suggests that “lefty” himself might be in the business of attacking people/messengers rather than replying to messages. [Yes, I also have read some of your recent commentary (some might say defamation) on ... Stallman, another messenger.]

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    No, but I am sure you want to follow this up with something. I can’t wait.

    Well, if you’d actually come to, say, the Desktop Summit, you’d have learned that this site seems to be pretty universally viewed by those in attendance as a joke, a cesspool, and the last thing that would pass for a “source of news”. Roy is likewise viewed, to put it kindly, as a duplicitous snake.

    People have read my blog entry on my interactions here. The folks in attendance, literally every single one I spoke to who’d read the story, and there were many, many, many of them who sought me out to comment positively on it–I received literally not one single negative comment–viewed my report as being the truth.

    We have disagreements about Mono ourselves, but we know how to settle them: different distros for different folks, and apt (or yum or rm or whatever) is your friend. If you have an irrational fear of Mono under your bed, you don’t want to use Ubuntu. Try your hand at Gentoo if you’ve got the chops, go the “Linux From Scratch” route if you want to get your “Junior Hacker” merit badge, but defaming people, disrupting their lives, telling outright lies and only backing down when someone is right of the verge of taking a very sharp and credible stick to you does not generally score you points in the real FLOSS development community.

    We view these things as technical disagreements, and we seek technical solutions to them. That’s where you folks go off the track.

    As a case in point, a table full of FSF stickers of a variety of sorts were left on a table outside the main hall in the Alfredo Kraus Auditorio. While stickers of a variety of sorts (including Mono ones) were snapped up, the folks using the FSF stickers seemed to be in a definite minority, and there were about as many still out on the table by the time the conference moved to the College on Wednesday, after which point they seemed to vanish, never to reappear again.

    Anyone who came to the Desktop Summit and ran down Miguel de Icaza the way you folks do would be deplored and ignored and shunned. That’s because making things personal is bad for community. We understand that; you folks don’t have a clue about it.

    That says that you’re out of touch with reality, hereJose. You sit at your computers, and you spin your little libels, but you have no idea of what’s really going on in the community, what people are saying, who people are, or where things are going.

    It’s a truism that you can’t really get to know someone through chat or email, that you really need to meet face-to-face to actually get to understand someone. It’s a truism because it’s true, Jose. You’d like to deny that, but you’re flying in the face of the experience of everyone who’s ever actually been to a conference.

    Hope that was worth waiting for, Mr. Armchair General.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Please try and keep up.

    You know better than to draw up a bunch of generalities.

    Jose, you can find examples of all of these things in comments to which I’ve replied on this site in the past two days. Note I said “you all”, speaking of the site in general.

    Did you have any of these in mind when making your generalizations.

    Deliberately obtuse much?

    “lefty” himself might be in the business of attacking people/messengers rather than replying to messages. [Yes, I also have read some of your recent commentary (some might say defamation) on ... Stallman, another messenger.]

    Note that, at no point have I decried anything but Stallman’s message and behavior. Is Stallman’s message somehow above criticism, when it’s divisive, demeaning and offensive? Look at the evidence, Jose, there’s plenty out there.

    And some might say it’s a strawberry cheesecake sundae, and you can sing it to the tune of “Diddy-wah-diddy”, but they’d be wrong.

    Remember, Jose: the truth is an absolute defense against charges of defamation. That’s a lesson Roy might do well to learn, too.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> People have read my blog entry on my interactions here. The folks in attendance, literally every single one I spoke to who’d read the story, and there were many, many, many of them who sought me out to comment positively on it–I received literally not one single negative comment–viewed my report as being the truth.

    If you present the link here, you might get comments from those that disagree (assuming you are not removing comments you don’t like — which I figure you are not doing, but who knows).

    It would also help to present your evidence that a large percentage of attendees agreed with you (about ?).

    Your email exchange with Stallman and a related piece suggests to me that you are confused about what is shown by particular evidence.

    >> We have disagreements about Mono ourselves, but we know how to settle them: different distros for different folks, and apt (or yum or rm or whatever) is your friend.

    That is certainly true. People change distros. Take this example: http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-07-04-006-35-OS-UB-0023

    >> If you have an irrational fear of Mono under your bed, you don’t want to use Ubuntu.

    Irrational? Now are you spreading misinformation knowingly or unknowingly?

    >> but defaming people, disrupting their lives, telling outright lies and only backing down when someone is right of the verge of taking a very sharp and credible stick to you does not generally score you points in the real FLOSS development community.

    Since it can be argued you are doing just this, I hope you were about to back this opinion of yours with actual quotes (extensive quoting appears to be due here to demonstrate your claim).

    I would prefer you focus on me if you are clumping me into your generalities; however, pick anyone to clump in there and quote them.

    When you did the Stallman email postings, I almost thought you were working to make Stallman look good. I don’t see how you draw your conclusions to be quite honest.

    Privately, it has been suggested to me you are a dishonest troll (but said in nicer words I think). People sometimes get this impression when they see samples of your opinions and then what you base them on. I know you are not 100% off, but you are starting to look to me to be much more in the troll category than in the confused or in the correct category.

    >> That’s because making things personal is bad for community.

    I generally agree with this.

    >> That says that you’re out of touch with reality, hereJose.

    What says this? How did you reach this conclusion? What did I say to make you think this? And of all the things I have said?

    >> You sit at your computers, and you spin your little libels, but you have no idea of what’s really going on in the community, what people are saying, who people are, or where things are going.

    Are you imagining things again? Do you really want me to list the last 100 things I posted to this site?

    >> You’d like to deny that, but you’re flying in the face of the experience of everyone who’s ever actually been to a conference.

    You have lost me here. Again, do you want to look at the last 100 things I have written here?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Jose, you can find examples of all of these things in comments to which I’ve replied on this site in the past two days. Note I said “you all”, speaking of the site in general.

    No, I actually prefer you refresh my mind since I haven’t read everything that has been posted here.

    >> Is Stallman’s message somehow above criticism,

    Of course not. You don’t like the GPL I take it.

    >> .. when it’s divisive, demeaning and offensive? Look at the evidence, Jose, there’s plenty out there.

    You have called him out of touch and a harm, same sort of thing you are saying right now about BN readers who ..?? (not sure who is being clumped into the BN bin)

    And your evidence? Your evidence showed no such thing as Stallman explained in his replies to your emails. Your conclusions that he demeans women did not follow from what others commented about that event or about Stallman in general.

    Do you want to present alternative evidence? What I have heard from Stallman (quotes and videos) and seen as links on some site of his suggests nothing like what you say.

    I don’t like to speak for anyone. As is I almost feel dirty here. I’m saying that your conclusions did not follow from the evidence you presented in this case.

    I also disagree with your assessment of mono. Irrational? Please.

    Did you read this from an earlier comment: http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-06-12-010-35-OS-CY-DV-0035

    Why don’t you reply to comments about substance (eg, what the Microsoft Patent Promise achieves) rather than engage in people attack as you are doing here? Note, you are spending time in your conclusions about what people do or think, rather than focus on this or that message.

    >> Remember, Jose: the truth is an absolute defense against charges of defamation

    OK.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    I’m losing patience with you, Jose. Again.

    If you present the link here…

    Don’t be disingenuous, Jose. It’s been discussed several times, numerous times, I’d say, on Roy’s IRC. Here, I’ll spare you the psychic pain of just clicking on my name and attempting to scroll about six entries down unassisted.

    Irrational? Now are you spreading misinformation knowingly or unknowingly?

    In my estimation, knowing what I know about the Mono project, patent law, and how companies deal with infringement, your concerns about Mono are irrational.

    Privately, it has been suggested to me you are a dishonest troll…

    Oh, well, that’s a funny thing: privately, it’s been suggested to me that you’re a logorrheic halfwit who couldn’t stick to a coherent line of argument if his very life depended on it, but I didn’t think that added much to our conversation. Feel better now?

    As for the rest, I think my meaning is quite clear: your views–the ones you’ve expressed in this thread about the function you claim this site fulfills–do not reflect those of the actual community at large, as represented at the Desktop Summit. If you’d been there and asked around, “What do you think about the reporting on BoycottNovell.com?”, you’d have gotten an earful.

    None of it would have made you happy.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    You don’t like the GPL I take it.

    You take it wrong, I use GPL-licensed software all the time. I’ve released things under the LGPL. I don’t think it’s all that well-written, but it’s got wide acceptance and it’s pretty well-understood at this point.

    The GPL v3 is entirely another story. In my view, the process was flawed, elements got in there which have no business in a software license (e.g section 6), and it’s highly problematic for devices, like cell phones, which are subject to a whole host of government regulations. The FCC certifies a combination of hardware and software when it certifies a phone, and there are additional constraints on the phone’s operation that must be fulfilled, e.g. E911. The GPL v3 looks very troublesome with regard to such devices. Some folks at the SFLC have agreed with me that there are issues here.

    Of course, you probably wouldn’t know about any of that, would you, Jose?

    Remember, when you make an assumption, you and an ass out of you and umption!

    –Samuel L. Jackson as “Mitch Hennessey” in The Long Kiss Goodnight

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    And your evidence? Your evidence showed no such thing as Stallman explained in his replies to your emails. Your conclusions that he demeans women did not follow from what others commented about that event or about Stallman in general.

    Oh. Hm. Jose’s having difficulty finding the evidence.

    How about this?

    Or this?

    Or this?

    Perhaps this, from the head of the GNOME Marketing group?

    Or this, from an authentic woman attendee at the Desktop Summit!

    Or this?

    These are all folks who were there. You weren’t. You’ve never been to a community conference of any sort. So, let’s quit fooling around, hm?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Of course, you probably wouldn’t know about any of that, would you, Jose?

    About tivoization?

    [I think I am close to dropping this thread...]

    >> Remember, when you make an assumption, you and an ass out of you and umption!

    It’s normal to make assumptions. We all do it all the time. Much of what we believe to be facts are things we have never verified first hand. Almost any statement comes with a context supported by many assumptions. This is why public discussion is so valuable. We agree on this and on many other things, I am su… I assume.

    ;-)

    I asked whether you liked the GPL in order to mention something since you said you were critical of Stallman’s views… [so I picked a view].

    I don’t like this conversation too much. I entered into it because I don’t want the information on this site to be written off with a wave of the hand (through generalities and opinions based on misrepresentations). I probably should not worry. BN will keep going and people will point to things here positive or negative.

    Anyway, let me look at the links you just posted.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Yawn. I am really getting bored.

    Well, I’m sorry if being pressed to back up your claims about “division of labor” in a concrete way is proving so tiresome to you here.

    I’m also sorry if you find the evidence, which you specifically requested, of a widespread negative reaction to Stallman’s sexist remarks by those actually present at GCDS too tedious for you.

    I understand, Jose. I know how much ennui can ensue from actually being faced with an inability to justify the statements you’ve been making. Well, I don’t know, really, since I don’t do that, particularly, but I empathize.

    I surely do.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    This is why public discussion is so valuable. We agree on this and on many other things, I am su… I assume.

    Not when it veers into unsupported claims that I’m attacking Stallman himself rather than his specifically sexist remarks, or similarly unsupported claims that I’m only bringing up the sexist remarks because I don’t like what Stallman said about Mono.

    That’s not valuable at all.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    I don’t like this conversation too much.

    I’ll bet you don’t.

    Ever hear the one about the broken-down prizefighter? Three rounds in, he’s been getting beaten to a pulp; the bell finally rings, and he manages to stagger back to his corner. “Well, you’ve really got him worried now!” the cornerman says.

    “No kidding…” mumbles the fighter, though a very fat lip.

    “Yeah,” says the cornerman, “he’s afraid he’s gonna kill you!”

    Jose_X Reply:

    OK, David. I re-read what you wrote and tried to remain neutral.

    I really don’t know what was said.

    If the intention was sarcasm/spoof/etc and the audience missed it, I have no way to know.

    Stallman ended the emails as follows
    >> The cult of the Virgin of Emacs is simply intended as a joke about the cult of the Virgin Mary. I assure anyone who perceived derogatory meanings in it that I did not intend them.

    I get the impression your characterization is off, but I don’t know.

    FWIW, here is his site: http://stallman.org/ . I noticed he strongly recommended this book: http://lifelongactivist.com/ (by a female author); and made this joke: “Remember the Shoe Bomber? Wait till they catch the Bra Bomber and start requiring all women passengers to remove their bras” in reaction to this http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/23/why-is-the-tsa-takin.html . There was also a link to this http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/25/BA2812HVK3.DTL&tsp=1 . These were part of a large section that covered all sorts of pov and events.

    In a cursory glance, I did not find too much else to suggest a focus on or bias based on sex.

    If you have sex X, then you naturally can’t speak 100% for people of sex Y. [We can't speak 100% for anyone but ourselves, actually.] It’s also natural to be curious or intrigued in some ways and to identify with some differences. Being sexist is mostly about attributing things that don’t follow nature but follow social (and similar) biases and discriminate [not sure what I just said]. [Looked at one definition just now and the focus was on "gender" rather than "sex".]

    Anyway.

    >> You’ve never been to a community conference of any sort. So, let’s quit fooling around, hm?

    I almost have to laugh. As if I was claiming otherwise.

    Stallman aside, I was more interested in the generalizations you made about the comments and participants of this website.

    Of course, I’m not that interested, but I didn’t like the generalizations because generalizations are easy to use to try and build a convincing argument to discredit messengers to avoid dealing with messages.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Well, I’m sorry if being pressed to back up your claims about “division of labor” in a concrete way is proving so tiresome to you here.

    What? Are you denying the value in division of labor?

    I am bored over the focus on generalities and attacks. Let’s get specific.. though I’m actually also bored of posting comments today.

    >> I’m also sorry if you find the evidence, which you specifically requested, of a widespread negative reaction to Stallman’s sexist remarks by those actually present at GCDS too tedious for you.

    I am sure there were a lot more people that the few links you posted, not all of which (I don’t think) were by people that attended.

    In any case, it’s one thing to give primary accounts of a particular event. OK, I understand your point over this incident, but it’s a very different thing to make sweeping generalities about people here and not back that. When you generalize, you have to do much more than find a few examples. You have to show a pattern. Of course, when you are so vague and don’t quote, what can I say.

    And I don’t like this topic of judging people. It happens, but I think we should always try to steer towards the messages. OK, so you can provide your links. I’ll come back to this thread tomorrow I suppose.

    >> I understand, Jose. I know how much ennui can ensue from actually being faced with an inability to justify the statements you’ve been making. Well, I don’t know, really, since I don’t do that, particularly, but I empathize.

    This stupidity is boring as well. It’s inaccurate to say the least.

    >> Not when it veers into unsupported claims that I’m attacking Stallman himself rather than his specifically sexist remarks, or similarly unsupported claims that I’m only bringing up the sexist remarks because I don’t like what Stallman said about Mono.

    This is a legitimate concern. If you posted this to be precise, thanks, because there are so many subtopics being thrown around.

    I am tired, but I found this statement I made:
    “Your conclusions that he demeans women did not follow from what others commented about that event or about Stallman in general.”

    Maybe I made some others, but I didn’t find them right now (you would help your case by quoting me).

    I got the impression you were making this suggestion about Stallman. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go back and reread to find a quote.

    Maybe all you ever stated or implied was that this one episode was ugly but made no generalizations or comments about Stallman’s person. Perhaps I misread or assumed too much. I’ll try and get the courage to check later.

    >> Yeah,” says the cornerman, “he’s afraid he’s gonna kill you!”

    Well, you haven’t lost your sense of humor. I appreciate that now because I am fatigued (really.. I was not trying to insult you before).

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> “Your conclusions that he demeans women did not follow from what others commented about that event or about Stallman in general.”

    I have gotten the impression that there may have been a misunderstanding. I also have not seen enough to know that most of those people that were there and apparently agree with you made a convincing argument where we could feel comfortable calling Stallman sexist.

    This is what I meant with this statement.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    What? Are you denying the value in division of labor?

    Not at all. As I’ve said several times, I’m asserting that the “labor” you’ve “divided” out on this site is neither valued nor held in esteem by anyone with whom I spoke at the Desktop Summit, something which is a strong symptom supporting my claim that you’re completely out of touch with the actual FLOSS community. Was I somehow unclear?

    …not all of which (I don’t think) were by people that attended…

    I think you think incorrectly, sir. Except for the very first “overview” link, all the posters were at GCDS.

    When you generalize, you have to do much more than find a few examples. You have to show a pattern.

    Do a search on the comments I’ve made in the past two days. Read them.

    “Your conclusions that he demeans women did not follow from what others commented about that event or about Stallman in general.”

    What part of “people who were there were very offended and women in particular who were there felt demeaned” are you having difficulty in grasping. That means that people found it offensive and demeaning, see? Stallman’s “explanations” never even acknowledge that. He actively denies the possibility, because “no one’s ever complained before.” Maybe people were too polite, or felt that he was too much of a “notable figure” to say something. Maybe some have complained and had their complaints ignored as mine were, but dropped the matter at that point.

    Well, you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

    Huh. And nameless people have been telling me that my “problem” is that I don’t have a sense of humor over on my blog. Go figure.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    I have gotten the impression that there may have been a misunderstanding.

    Indeed: the misunderstanding was on Stallman’s part in believing it was funny or acceptable to engage in that sort of so-called “humor” as part of a keynote at a major conference.

    He said that “EMAC virgins are women who have never used EMACS” and that, in the “Church of EMACS”, “it is a holy duty to relieve them of that virginity“.

    I see several problems here: first, it paints women, as opposed to men, as needing particular assistance with technology. This is pretty standard tripe.

    Second, the idea that “us guys” have a “holy duty” to “relieve” women of their “virginity”? Maybe you can explain exactly how I’m “misunderstanding” that, because I was taught to say “May I?” first.

    You find that amusing, Jose? Can you summon up a dim sense of why someone might find that offensive and a woman in particular might be made uncomfortable, especially when she’s in a context where there are literally 40 guys attending for each woman present?

    If you have trouble grasping the issue here, maybe you’ll prefer to try this one:

    Imagine an alternate universe, close to ours, in which Richard Stallman decides to poke “gentle fun” at Confucianism rather than Catholicism. Accordingly, halfway through his keynote, he dresses up as Fu Manchu, complete with a coolie hat (made from a computer disk, of course). Why, it’s the “beloved” ConGNUcius, come to read to us from the “Analects of EMACS”, which he does in an accent lifted out of a Charlie Chan movie:

    “Ah, so, ConGNUcius say, man who install ploplietely plogram soon wind up slaving on lailload! Miclosoft make velly, velly bad demand! No license-ee, no ploglam-ee! Ploglam want be flee!”

    Still “gentle humor”, right? We still having fun? Anyone offended? Do I not get to be offended, or complain about it, if I’m not Asian?

    Just wonderin’. And feel free to chime in anytime, Willy or Roy, Jose could surely use the assist. I know you’re out there, thinkin’ them deep thoughts.

  7. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Gravatar

    I think many other developers are doing exemplary work technically and in enabling users to avoid monopolies and restrictions.

    Indeed?

    Like who?

    Jose_X Reply:

    I would say many could be found in just a single group: contributors to the Linux kernel.

    I’m not sure what you are asking though?

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    You’re going to need to be more specific than that, Jose. I’m looking for many specific developers who are doing work that directly enables users to avoid monopolies and restrictions. That was your claim.

    Don’t just wave your hand in the direction of the kernel. By making Linux more available to a broad range of users in a vastly more accessible and reliable form, and giving them a choice (which might or might not include Mono, patent-encumbered codecs, where allowable by local law, etc.) that’s neither WIndows nor OS X, Ubuntu does a ton to “enable users to avoid monopolies and restrictions”. Why, my Mom can reclaim her iPod! (I’m gonna set her up with Banshee, if only to vex you.)

    You guys are so focused on one particular potential and arguable restriction, and you’re so totally and monomaniacally obsessed with it, that–as I’ve been saying–you’ve lost any sense of rational overall perspective here.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> You guys are so focused on one particular potential and arguable restriction, and you’re so totally and monomaniacally obsessed with it, that–as I’ve been saying–you’ve lost any sense of rational overall perspective here.

    Many topics are discussed here.

    The links I mentioned above are about software patents.

    I’m holding this conversation with your but truly can’t wait for it to end.

    >> Don’t just wave your hand in the direction of the kernel.

    Are you suggesting few such people exist?

    The Linux kernel is one of the greatest threats to Microsoft’s monopolies. It isn’t everything by a long shot, but surely between a GPL successful kernel and not having one, end users have gained much.

    >> Ubuntu does a ton to “enable users to avoid monopolies and restrictions”.

    I think this is one reason why many people have not been too negatively critical of them and do support most of what has been accomplished. Of course, much MUCH more has been done by the rest of the community (however you define community, chances are) that is unrelated to Ubuntu or Canonical, but that is a different and unrelated issue.

    Spreading mono is not something I generally like even if patents were not an issue. If you are counting on software patents being gutted soon, then you should no longer worry about any Microsoft patent protection requirements and mono can be forked.

    >> I’m gonna set her up with Banshee, if only to vex you

    I never expected you to stop there. Keep vexing me. Go, lefty, go!

    >> You guys are so focused on one particular potential and arguable restriction, and you’re so totally and monomaniacally obsessed with it, that–as I’ve been saying–you’ve lost any sense of rational overall perspective here.

    Yawn. I am really getting bored.

    If you want to discuss specifics, let’s do so. I stopped thinking your conclusions and opinions are something I am likely to be able to trust on its face value (at least wrt certain topics).

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    he links I mentioned above are about software patents.

    A subject totally unrelated to the matter at hand, which is–since it seems to have escaped you–the degree to which this site is out of touch with the actual FLOSS development community and its concerns.

    You claim you’re too busy performing the important services of “looking for trends” and “spreading information” to attend actual conferences.

    I’m telling you that if you did attend the Desktop Summit and told folks there about these important services this site provides, you’d be laughed at. Mercilessly. Further, you’d likely be buying and drinking your beer all by yourself the entire week.

    So, please don’t try to divert the discussion away from the obvious points that you’re simply incapable of responding to. It’s a dodge, and an obvious one.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    …contributors to the Linux kernel…

    Can you name some major contributors to the kernel, Jose? Say, 10 of them? I know about five times that many of them, personally, and I see them at the Collaboration Summit and the Linux Symposium most years.

    Of course, no one associated with this site has ever been asked to participate in the Collaboration Summit (not surprising, given the level of “collaboration” going on around here) and I’ll bet that no one’s gone to Linux Symposium, either.

    I’ve presented at the Linux Symposium, Jose. My paper is in the Proceedings. I’ve been going to the Collaboration Summit as long as there’s been a Collaboration Summit.

    Can I assume that you’ve, perhaps, heard of the Linux Symposium and the Collaboration Summit…?

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Evidently the denizens of this site are completely unfamiliar with two of the most important events in the community.

    Allow me to enlighten you.

    The Linux Symposium is the longest-running community event around. Structured as an academic conference, submissions are selected by a peer-review jury, and are published in the event’s Proceedings. The ratio of submissions rejected to those accepted is, last I heard, about thirty to one. The folks who select the papers are widely acknowledged to be among the most important participants in the FLOSS community.

    The Collaboration Summit is an invitation-only event sponsored annually by the Linux Foundation (and I hope you’ve heard of them). It attracts about 600-700 of the people who are most widely recognized as being important participants in and contributors to that community.

    It’s shocking that people who are so active on a site that purports to be “locating trends” and “providing information” is so completely ignorant about the actual community in which they’re purportedly locating those trends and to whom they’re allegedly providing information.

    But, as I’ve said, your perception of what this site accomplishes is completely at odds with what the folks who attend these events actually think about it.

    Chips_B_Malroy Reply:

    Ah the actual conferences, and speeches given by the TROLL Lefty. He (mac user) tries to promote himself once again. I would not walk across the street to listen to one of your speeches. Unless I wanted to protest you, of course. Just like your website is a waste of time, unless one is into hate. Plenty of that there.

  8. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m not sure what you are asking though?

    Oh. I assumed when you made that claim that you actually had something particular in mind, rather than just a bunch of words that you thought sounded somehow pleasant.

    Maybe you weren’t sure what you were saying in the first place, hm?

    If you can’t keep up with the conversation, it’s probably best not to try to join in at all…

    —Anthony Hopkins as “Hannibal Lecter” in Hannibal

    twitter Reply:

    I liked your other quote better.

    He who hunts monsters must be careful not to become a monster himself in the process.

    You should listen to yourself.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Well, it’s surely better than listening to you, WIlly. More educational, too.

    I guess Willy’s not a Nietzsche fan. Tom and Jerry cartoons more your speed?

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> Well, if you’d actually come to, say, the Desktop Summit,

    Was this comment above an attempt to drive me into a place where I would be more vulnerable to being charmed by some of these people attending?

    If so, I think you misjudge me. While I do really like that comradery to some extent, I voluntarily left various such environments because I don’t code for money in the sense some developers do. I have no significant shortage from where I am right now of what I really like: intellectual stimulation balanced such that a large number of people end up winning.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Was this comment above an attempt to drive me into a place where I would be more vulnerable to being charmed by some of these people attending?

    No, it’s to point out that if you have never interacted in that sort of an environment with folks who are part of the community, then you’re out of touch. You imagine that this site is about “looking for trends” and “providing information”, and people there would be more likely to tell you that it’s about being disruptive, dishonest bores and all it provides is occasional inadvertent amusement at your own collective expenses.

    I voluntarily left various such environments because I don’t code for money in the sense some developers do…

    Oh, so you think only coders go to these events. I see.

    So, you wouldn’t know about the documenters, the artists, the user experience folks, the marketers, the administrators, and the end users who also attend such events.

    (I’m also just a bit curious as to how one “voluntarily leaves such environments” when one has never been in such environments. But that’s in keeping with the ignorance displayed in that response. Do you actually code at all, Jose? And plenty of folks who attended, by the way, earn little or no money from their FLOSS coding activities–another fact well-known to folks in the community, but evidently a complete surprise to you–so it’s doubly unclear to me what your point here is.)

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> No, it’s to point out that if you have never interacted in that sort of an environment with folks who are part of the community, then you’re out of touch.

    Those that attend such events are a small part of the community in terms of numbers.

    >> You imagine that this site is about “looking for trends” and “providing information”

    Not just this site. There are many trends. I was speaking about news sites and blogs in general.

    >> Oh, so you think only coders go to these events. I see.

    I don’t think that by a long shot.

    I was asking if you thought I would be influenced by attending such a site. This is developers I was talking about. The discussion was about developers at these gatherings.

    >> I’m also just a bit curious as to how one “voluntarily leaves such environments” when one has never been in such environments.

    So to make myself clear, I am talking about environments where there is significant of focus on development issues by people with some level of access or expertise beyond what you might call average. Today, I don’t work doing any sort of software development or rubbing shoulders with those that do. I was, however, in such an environment at one point in time. I know people that are very competent and some of them do not care too much for closed vs open source issues. I value many things about such an environment, but not enough to have stayed. The Internet has opened up a whole new world for developers.

    >> Do you actually code at all, Jose?

    Yes, when I find the time. My coding contributions would be minimal at this point in time (I do have code not published, some contributed patches, code studies, a couple bug reports based on implementations not meeting ISO specs, etc).

    I don’t mind answering this, but this has nothing to do with the other comments or discussion here about, eg, software patents. People that contribute to this site and other sites might not be developers. Being a developer is not a requirement by any means (PJ of groklaw and many others are not devs, eg). Developers that do post have made a number of misstatements here, for example. [-- Just making this clear. I'd rather avoid attempts to knock the messenger to avoid the message.]

    If you have code you would like me to look at, go ahead and point to it. I have no interest in mono, but I would look at most other things (especially C).

    >> so it’s doubly unclear to me what your point here is.

    Yes, I’m aware of that. Hopefully, this comment helps clarify that a bit.

  9. Jose_X said,

    July 14, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Gravatar

    >> > I’m not sure what you are asking though?

    >> Oh. I assumed when you made that claim that you actually had something particular in mind

    Do you want names?

    Do you want me to list these names because you doubt that such people exist?

    I already stated that the Linux kernel itself is generally a great software project from the user pov (that’s my opinion). Heavy contributors to it are potentially all generally fulfilling what I stated earlier (about helping users avoid monopolies, etc).

    Anyway, this people worship is not something I like. The topic has veered from discussing patents and other things to talking about people.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Do you want me to list these names because you doubt that such people exist?

    Oh, not at all, Jose. I wanted to ascertain whether you had the slightest actual idea of what you were talking about, or if you were just indulging in pleasant-sounding (and self-serving) hand-waving.

    Thanks for making it clear that it was the latter.

    So, you’re just dissing the fine work that Aaron Bockover and folks have done on Banshee without really knowing what you’re talking about. Glad we cleared that up.

    (My point being, just to keep things on track, that if you had any actual involvement in the community, you might be able to provide something remotely resembling an actual answer to the question.)

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> (My point being, just to keep things on track, that if you had any actual involvement in the community, you might be able to provide something remotely resembling an actual answer to the question.)

    Then I still don’t understand your comment. Why don’t you give an example so that I have a better idea about what you are saying?

    I presume from your talk that you think I can’t but that you can give an example of people that contribute to breaking free of monopolies etc.

    So will you help me figure out what you are talking about?

    eet Reply:

    Jose, you should have gotten out of this conversation with some grace while you still could.

    Anyway, I can’t help quoting
    “Are you denying the value in division of labor?”

    What? You can’t seriously view your obsession/hobby/mudslinging as labour? Well, in that case I should label my having to correct the lies and inaccuracies on this website as labour, too! Who would have thought, verbal brawls on the software equivalent of a UFO-sightings-website are work for the community… NOT!

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Then I still don’t understand your comment. Why don’t you give an example so that I have a better idea about what you are saying?

    This is astounding, Jose.

    Okay, one last time, very, very slowly. If you don’t get it this time, I can offer no further assistance and shall have to–regretfully–write you off as “ineducable”. Life’s too short, I’m afraid.

    I complimented Aaron Bockover’s work on Banshee.

    You sneered at it, saying that there were “many other developers are doing exemplary work technically and in enabling users to avoid monopolies and restrictions”.

    I asked you who those developers you were talking about were.

    After another round of “I don’t get it!” in which you asked whether I was denying such people existed, you waved in the general direction of “contributors to the Linux kernel”.

    This is such a broad and unspecific answer that I probed a little further to see whether you could, say, identify specific current contributors to the kernel, like Andrew Morton (whom I know), Greg K-H (whom I know), Ted Ts’o (whom I know), Matt Locke (whom I know and who’s worked for me), etc. I wondered whether you might be able to identify specific features or improvements that had “enabling users to avoid monopolies and restrictions”. Again, you can cite nothing specific.

    Now–pay close attention, Jose, here’s where the rubber meets the road–if you were actually active in the community, and not so gosh-darned busy around here (and I use you as an example of the sort of person who populates this place, Roy and Willy and the rest are no different) with that “division of labor” you’ve selected for yourselves, and gotten out from behind the computer and gone to a conference that such people attend, you might actually have had real honest-to-gosh encounters with the folks in whose general direction you can only vaguely wave. You might know something aobut them and their work and their concerns.

    Still with me?

    By the same token, if you were really serious about making a reasoned case about Mono not being installed in Ubuntu, why wouldn’t you attend the Desktop Summit, where you could try to make a reasoned case to the folks who make the decisions? Mark Shuttleworth (whom I know) was there, we chatted for a bit… Miguel had other commitments, but there were plenty of Mono folks there as well.

    Okay, take a deep breath, we’re getting close.

    Since you don’t actually know any of these folks, and they’re not hard to get to know if you want to, you don’t actually understand what motivates them and what they think about these issues. The concerns you assert they have are not the concerns they have.

    Okay, we’re almost at the finish line.

    Now, if you came to GCDS and made the comment that you made to me to someone else as the two of you exited the presentation, sneering at Aaron’s Banshee work when they called it “awesome” because “contributors to the kernel”, whom you couldn’t name, were doing more in “enabling users to avoid monopolies and restrictions”, none of which you could identify, people would–and I say this without undue exaggeration–probably treat you as though you were possessed of some sort of malignant insanity.

    Do you grasp my point at all?

  10. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 15, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Gravatar

    Those that attend such events are a small part of the community in terms of numbers.

    You’re flat-out wrong, Jose. They are a very large part and important part of the community, and they very strongly tend to also be those who are making the greatest volume of contributions.

    Since you’ve never attended a conference, you wouldn’t know that, though. Instead, you just make up a bogus “statistic” (i.e. “a small part of the community in terms of numbers”).

    So, show your work, Jose. When you say “a small part of the community in terms of numbers”, what do you mean? Where’s your support for that?

  11. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 15, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Gravatar

    Boy, what a coward you are, Roy! You post an article calling me a troll on the basis that I use a Mac, but you won’t let anyone comment on your statements.

    It’s really wonderful to see the kind of commitment to truth and “healthy debate” you bring to this site. I’m surprised you haven’t been nominated for the Pulitzer, frankly.

    joo Reply:

    Why again did you go for the “apology” from Roy instead of suing him?

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    Because that’s standard procedure in such cases. If I were to simply go straight to court without giving Roy the opportunity to correct his misstatements, that would show “litigiousness” and bad faith on my part.

    By the same token, if it becomes apparent that Roy’s retraction and apology were made in bad faith–and Roy has managed to make a pretty god case in support of that in what seems like record time to me–then the retraction and apology become null and void, and actually would count as points against him if I subsequently decided to actually come down on him anyway.

    David "Lefty" Schlesinger Reply:

    The courts really hate it when people are shown to be lying through their teeth. They’re funny that way.

    joo Reply:

    If you do end up suing him, see if you can get the court proceedings streamed on the net using Silverlight.

  12. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 15, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    Those very same people are systematically gaming the comment ratings….

    That’s a lie, Roy. Trot out your evidence. Show your work.

  13. David "Lefty" Schlesinger said,

    July 15, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Gravatar

    (Oh, and it’s cute to have an “Add your comment” link on the front page, but no comment box in the article when you click on it. Nice touch.)

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