10.06.09

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Miguel de Icaza Compares Richard Stallman to George Bush

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s VP carries on spinning to discredit the father of Free(dom) software

THOSE who read Richard Stallman’s political blog will know that he is no friend of George Bush; in fact, Stallman is a truthful activist for peace. That peace, however, is constantly being disrupted by aggressors. In the technical world — like in politics — there are usually a bunch of thugs whose actions alone speak for themselves (see Comes vs Microsoft for example).

But following Stallman’s correct (and exceedingly polite) characterisation of Novell's Miguel de Icaza as a Microsoft apologist, Miguel comes up with this public daemonisation of Stallman:

Richard Stallman frequently conjures bogeymen to rally his base. Sometimes it is Microsoft, sometimes he makes up facts and sometimes he even attacks his own community [1]. His language is filled with simple, George W Bush-eque terms like Good vs Evil, Us vs Them.

Let’s examine this ludicrous claim. Just in the last month or so, Microsoft attacked GNU/Linux quite openly (or got exposed). Miguel de Icaza is being delusional if he is not paying attention to Microsoft’s patent attacks on GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (not always via third parties, as TomTom clearly shows). Perhaps he also refuses to see what goes on at Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Why would de Icaza smear the father of the Free software movement and defend his colleagues at Microsoft instead? Well, the answer is contained therein.

In Twitter, Novell’s de Icaza is also calling Stallman “misinformed” instead of looking at the mirror. Who among those two is actually examining evidence and which one sticks his head in the sand? Watch this new coverage from LinuxCon (finally available to non-subscribers of LWN.net):

Keith Bergelt, CEO of the Open Invention Network (OIN), described the circumstances which led the company to recently purchase 22 Microsoft patents, as part of a talk at the first LinuxCon. While the circumstances surrounding that purchase were quite interesting—and indicative of Microsoft’s patent strategy—he also described the mission of OIN as a protector of Linux from patent trolls. Because patents are likely to be a threat to Linux for a long time to come, organizations like OIN are needed to allow Linux development to continue with as few patent impediments as possible.

Here is Heise’s coverage of the latest argument between Stallman and Novell’s VP.

In a posting on his FSF blog, Richard Stallman has attacked Microsoft’s creation of the CodePlex Foundation and dubbed Miguel de Icaza an “apologist” for Microsoft. De Icaza has responded in his own blog comparing Stallman’s language to that of George W Bush, and defending the foundation as “great way of helping steer Microsoft in the right direction”.

Jason at Mono-Nono has responded as well, defending Stallman of course. He rightly shows that Novell’s de Icaza is using straw man arguments and spin:

This is a bit of a funny point. Mr. de Icaza loves to imply or outright state that those people critical of Microsoft are afraid of Microsoft.

This is so foolish I can scarcely understand why Mr. de Icaza loves this line of argument so. Understand this, when I criticize Nickelback, it’s not because I am afraid of them. It is because they suck.

When people criticize Microsoft, it is not because of fear. It is because they are tired of vendor lock-in, overpriced and insecure software, hindering the industry, illegal behavior, lies and slander against projects they devote time and effort to, and so many — many — other offenses that Microsoft has committed, and continues to commit.

“Fear” is not even a factor.

But, I guess the desire to attack the opponent by hinting he is a coward (or fear-monger) is too strong to overcome.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything” – Mark Twain

One thing you will notice if you pay attention to Team Mono rhetoric like I do, is that it is rarely even logically consistent with itself.

For example, one of the big defense points that came out when the Microsoft CodePlex Foundation was announced is that it was an independent body, it was only because things needed to be set up so quickly that it was so heavily staffed by Microsoft people, and so forth.

A lot of Miguel de Icaza’s arguments sound not so much different from Microsoft’s party line. Maybe he spent too much time in the Redmond campus where he is a regular visitor.

Ostrich
Keeping one’s head out of the sand

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