Summary: Brandon Lozza on the past 6 months’ attacks on Richard Stallman and against Free software
Everyone loves Time-lines! Here is my own account of attacks towards Richard Stallman and people critical of Mono. I am approaching this from the belief that there has been increased hostility towards Richard Stallman since his public statements towards Mono. At the same time I am also highlighting some of the attacks towards people who are critical of Mono as this has also increased.
This is an incomplete list currently and a changelog will be created upon modifications detailing exactly what has been added or modified. Other people are free to e-mail me or leave comments suggesting additions.
Note: I am aware RMS has been attacked since the 80’s but I’m not going back that far in time and my angle is based upon the Mono issues.
June 11th to June 17th:
- A discussion between Richard Stallman and I emerged as a result of reading “Ubuntu is Censoring Opposition to Mono by Default” written by Roy Schestowitz of Boycott Novell. I explained to Richard about various mono applications being used to replace well established applications with no defects. We both agreed on the patent dangers of relying on C#. He told me he would mention this at GUADEC (Part of the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit).
July 5th 2009:
- Richard Stallman gives his speech at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit (GUADEC). The C# and Mono dangers were explained for the first time in public by RMS.
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger writes “A Good GCDS Beginning (with significant disappointment)” on his blog attacking Richard Stallman for being “sexist” for making a joke.
July 6th 2009:
- Is it a coincidence that the day after RMS publicly explains C# and Mono dangers at a talk, Microsoft uses their “Evangelism is War” playbook? Port25 Author Peter Galli announces that Microsoft will be applying the applicable patents for C# under Microsoft’s Community Promise (site uses ASP, eww).
From Evangelism is War:
“We do this by understanding the barriers that might otherwise prevent the developer from adopting our standards, and removing them; by understanding the inducements that might facilitate the developer’s adoption of our standards, and providing them; by understanding the arguments of our competition, and countering them.”
July 8th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger writes “Emailing Richard Stallman“, an email exchange with Richard Stallman demanding a public apology for making a joke which people attributed to being “sexist”. This was done so “at the encouragement of a couple of friends”. Could this be Miguel De Icaza, or other members of Team Mono or Microsoft? It is in my (the authors) opinion and many others that in doing so he is pressing the issue to commit what is known as an “ad hominem attack“.
- It would be critical to Microsoft, Team Mono and other companies that want to subvert free software for unpaid labour that Richard Stallman no longer has a positive image.
July 13th 2009:
- Roy Schestowitz of Boycott Novell writes “Is Mono’s Latest Strategy to Vilify Richard Stallman?” linking Team Mono to an effort to vilify Richard Stallman for warning against Mono and C#. This is a theory that a lot of people have supported prior to Roy writing an article on it.
July 14th 2009:
- Roy Schestowitz of BN writes “Another Angle on Personal Attacks from Mono” which has more information on the ad hominem attacks coming from Team Mono. Including attacks on Mono-nono, Groklaw and more.
August 25th 2009:
- Ecom2009 finally managed to upload a video of David “Lefty” Schlesinger’s talk on “Governance for Mobile Handset OS” which can be viewed here. In this talk David makes the same sort of comments that someone could view as “sexist”. Rank Hypocrisy? I guess since it was “in the past” it doesn’t count?
- The comment is as follows “You can’t go and tell your mom ‘Well it’s really easy all you have to do is run uh config and then say make all and then make cle..’ no – it’s not going to work it’s not a workable model. “. I don’t know what Lefty is talking about, I know plenty of moms who can compile source code and do.
September 19 2009:
- Allegedly Richard Stallman was asked about David “Lefty” Schlesinger during a Q&A and Lefty was brushed off as a “troll-like enemy of the free software movement”. I can’t speak for Richard but I believe this statement shows he is aware of the trolling Lefty has perpetrated over the years.
September 30th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes a vast array of attack articles on his secret website Boycott Boycott Novell (which he makes public at a later time).
- The Articles include “Anti-Mono, Anti-Woman?” – Lefty links anti-mono resentment to sexist behavior as an attempt to alienate people from being anti-mono.
October 1st 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger (who doesn’t have ties with Bruce Byfield) writes “A Quick Note…” and in it mentions an e-mail he received from Bruce Byfield. Apparently Miguel De Icaza spilled the beans to Bruce Byfield that Lefty was working on an attack site called “Boycott Boycott Novell”.
- It is interesting to note that David Schlesinger and Miguel De Icaza are close enough that Miguel knew about the attack site before it came online. Obviously the two share common goals.
- Another interesting point is that Lefty mentions the site has been in the works for about a month prior which would put it’s creation in September or perhaps even August if he isn’t being accurate enough.
October 4th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes “Terminology Wars I: Linux versus GNU/Linux” which attacks Richard Stallman’s insistence that Linux be referred to as GNU/Linux. He even posts a little update to attack Linux-libre – an
effort to remove non-free code from the Linux kernel.
October 5th 2009:
- Richard Stallman publishes “Lest CodePlex Perplex” on FSF.org where he writes about Microsoft’s CodePlex organization which is run by current MS employees, ex-MS employees and an apologist known as Miguel De Icaza. Among the things Richard talks about, he debunks Microsoft’s theory that you can’t make money from free software.
- Miguel De Icaza, seemingly offended by being called a Microsoft Apologist – wrote his own article on his blog. It was called “World Views” and it compared Richard Stallman to George Bush rallying his base. He also continued to be an apologist for Microsoft by saying “I merely happen to have a different perspective on Microsoft than he has. I know that there are great people working for the company, and I know many people inside Microsoft that are steering the company towards being a community citizen. I have blogged about this for the last few years.”
October 6th 2009:
- Ed Ropple writes a guest column for Boycott Boycott Novell (Published by David “Lefty” Schlesinger) called “It’s a Party Out Here! (Guest Column)” which contains nothing but a long rant against the Free Software Foundation.
- One of the interesting things Ed says is an insult towards gNewSense. “All five of you who are actually using gNewSense are probably happy with your glorious “free” operating systems, unsullied by the eeeeeeeeeeevil Micro$oft3 taint of Mono.” – Ed Ropple
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger also publishes “Another User Contribution” from an anonymous author which is simply a digitally modified image turning Richard Stallman into “Tsar Richard the Terrible”.
October 11th 2009:
- Published on my own blog regarding David “Lefty” Schlesinger also being sexist (if you follow the same logic). The article was “Lefty makes sexist comments at LUG RADIO LIVE USA 2008” and it gained quite a large number of trolls attacking me instead.
- Among the trolls Lefty published his own defence claiming he would not apologize unless someone who was offended asked him to.
“I’d point out that no one who was present at LUG Radio Live USA, neither attendants nor organizers, has asked me to apologize, but if someone had told me they were offended by those particular comments, I certainly would have done so.” – Lefty
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes “And Another Thing!” which attacks the FSF’s Windows 7 sins campaign. He claims the site looks like something circa 1997. It is starting to look like Lefty is another Microsoft apologist. I find this complaint amusing considering Lefty doesn’t know too much about web development himself. It took him a month to get Joomla running and his Extinct Marsupial harassment/blackmail site (warning Pornography) also looks like something that comes from 1997.
October 14th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger also writes “Back to the Past” an attack article which puts Apple Software (a proprietary software company) in positive light and which tries to link advocates of free software and sexist behaviour. What triggered this was an article written by Bruce Byfield called “Writing about FOSS sexism” that made him support this stance.
-Note: On his website the article claims to be from October 1st 2009 but Bruce’s article is dated October 9th 2009. I am going by his “last modified” date as it seems the most likely to be correct.
October 20th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes another attack article “Terminology Wars II: ‘Free’ as in ‘Open Source’“. Lefty appears to be disgruntled at the fact that Richard Stallman, who works for the Free Software foundation, might not like Free Software being referred to under another name. Perhaps it’s the job of the President of the Free Software Foundation to think that way? I dunno.
November 4th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes the results of a biased poll he was conducting (biased based on the type of visitor who would frequently visit his site). The page titled “Results of our Latest Poll“. 104 People claim Richard Stallman hurts free software. 16 people say he helps it and 11 people say he has no effect. If you go over his various polls they all look pretty much the same as the people agreeing with him already visit Boycott Boycott Novell.
December 13 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes “Richard Stallman Calls for Planet GNOME Changes” which attacks Richard Stallman for suggesting that Planet GNOME not be used to promote proprietary software. This is the same issue which caused discussion of a GNU and Gnome split.
December 14th 2009:
- David “Lefty” Schlesinger publishes “If Proprietary Software is ‘Illegitimate’, Why is the FSF Funded by It?“. It attacks a mailing list posting Richard Stallman made regarding funding. RMS had said “These are worthy causes, but I would not encourage anyone to use non-free software even to get money to give to a worthy cause.”
December 18th 2009:
- I wrote an article called “Corporate Funding FSF vs GNOME” as a response to David Lefty Schlesinger’s “If Proprietary Software is ‘Illegitimate’, Why is the FSF Funded by It?” and I compared the Free Software Foundations setup for donations and funding to the Gnome Foundation. After research I discovered that Gnome was set-up in such a way that allowed Lobbyists to infect the organization. While the FSF is set-up in a way where they accept funding but also state that accepting donations does not condone the actions of the company that makes it. This in effect would not conflict with what RMS had said regarding accepting corporate funding. Lefty misses this point because Lobbyists aren’t paid to disagree with their agendas.
December 27th 2009:
- I published “Evangelism is War: The Mono/Moonlight Agenda” where I went over old court documents from the Comes vs Microsoft case. I draw parallels regarding their old ‘Evangelism is War’ plans with their current actions towards Mono and Moonlight and attempt to prove that Mono is a good thing for Microsoft because it pushes their standards instead of alternative standards. █
2010-01-11: Created Article