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Timeline of Free/Livre/Libre Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not quite what the corporate media likes to tell people

What if I told you it all started in 1983 and not 1991?

Summary: Our research into the history (and present) of Free software continues; at the moment it is our foremost interest and our subject of focus

THE Free Software timeline, maintained and constantly updated by figosdev (last updated yesterday), helps put in perspective what happened over the years and the decades. New leaks help do the same. We just want to have a better understanding/grasp of what happened and what is still happening. The present and future certainly depend on the past.

“The interest in the topics we cover is certainly there.”Yesterday we published about 8,000 E-mails from Debian’s ‘elevated’ (and secretive) community. Mark Shuttleworth shows up there more than a dozen times and we’ve found nothing really unsavoury in these E-mails (we studied many hundreds of these). One might ask, however, “aren’t ordinary Debian Developers allowed to see what happens ‘higher up’?” Transparency is certainly possible. We’ve found not much gossip or sensitive details in these E-mails; however we’ve learned a lot about the early days of Debian. It’s good to have these in the public domain.

We’re currently exploring a number of other angles. There are answers to particular questions which need further evidence and some of that is work in progress. We appreciate readers’ patience and support. Moral support is very important. We don’t mean to disparage but to understand. Truth has always been of utmost value. Due to the P.R. industry [sic] truth has long been elusive. We’re very transparent about our processes and communications; the pastes in the latest IRC logs also reveal parts of E-mails. Sometimes we rub out names in the interest of privacy/anonymity. That seems sensible (protecting sources).

Techrights readership keeps growing. The interest in the topics we cover is certainly there. Our baseline readership is about 3,000 per article (direct views, not RSS or multi-post pages), sometimes 10k, sometimes even 150k (earlier this month). And that’s just in the first week (not long-term statistics). But what matters is accuracy, not readership. We’re very rarely proven wrong. We very rarely need to correct/amend articles.

“For the time being we’re mostly done with research into IBM’s past and the EPO scandals have quieted down (not that they’re resolved).”On our “TODO” list right about now is publication of older material that can shed light on suppressed matters/issues in the GNU/Linux community. For the time being we’re mostly done with research into IBM’s past and the EPO scandals have quieted down (not that they’re resolved). Regarding software patents, there’s no sign of resurgence and in Daily Links we habitually add stories about such patents perishing in American courts. So we shelve those aside, so to speak, unless or until there’s something major to report (a change in pattern). The recent FRAND ruling in the UK is not particularly interesting. Lots of blog/media coverage about that, mostly by law firms looking to make a buck/quid/euro.

“We’re happy to see what Bruce Perens has to say this month and his huge number of Debian-Private E-mails reveal him or ‘expose’ him as a reasonable person who habitually speaks to Richard Stallman and promotes Free (as in Freedom) software.”As promised, over the next few weeks we’ll publish more findings about the past and present of Free/livre/libre software. We’re happy to see what Bruce Perens has to say this month and his huge number of Debian-Private E-mails reveal him or ‘expose’ him as a reasonable person who habitually speaks to Richard Stallman and promotes Free (as in Freedom) software. As figosdev put it some hours ago: “He does a great job describing the problems, and people should pay attention to that. But his solutions have some of the same problems that Open Source do with regards to Free Software — and he says things like two similar licenses in a set of 3 makes it more like 2.5 licenses because you don’t have to learn three completely different ones. That’s true on a certain level, but mostly 3 licenses are three licenses if you change a word or sometimes a semicolon. So sharing substantial text (in a legal document like that) — even if he has a point, it won’t have the effect he claims — not for people who are actually going to learn the license. I suspect he will clarify that later as I’m sure he knows better and doesn’t gain from misleading on that.”

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