Tuesday, April 20, 2021 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Richard M. Stallman


Founder of the Free Software movement, the GNU project, the Free Software Foundation, and the League for Programming Freedom.
Richard M. Stallman
I have not seen anyone assume that all the citizens of New York are guilty of murder, violence, robbery, perjury, or writing proprietary software.
Stallman quotes
Hundreds of thousands of babies are born every day. While the whole phenomenon is menacing, one of them by itself is not newsworthy. Nor is it a difficult achievement--even some fish can do it. (Now, if you were a seahorse, it would be more interesting, since it would be the male that gave birth.) ...These birth announcements also spread the myth that having a baby is something to be proud of, which fuels natalist pressure, which leads to pollution, extinction of wildlife, poverty, and ultimately mass starvation.
Stallman
…when I do this, some people think that it's because I want my ego to be fed, right? Of course, I'm not saying -- I'm not asking you to call it "Stallmanix," right? [Laughter]




Stallman Richard M. quotes
If we are content with knowledge as a commodity, accessible only through a computerized bureaucracy, we can simply let companies provide it. But if we want to keep human knowledge open and freely available to humanity, we have to do the work to make it available that way. We have to write a free encyclopedia.
Stallman Richard M.
Even I, the only man in the world who can get angry from looking at a picture of a penguin, find this bad news.
Richard M. Stallman quotes
Calling the whole system "Linux" leads people to think that the system's development was started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. That is what most users seem to think. The occasional few users that do know about the GNU Project often think we played a secondary role--for example, they say to me, 'Of course I know about GNU--GNU developed some tools that are part of Linux.'
Richard M. Stallman
If you focus your mind on the freedom and community that you can build by staying firm, you will find the strength to do it. "Stand for something, or you will fall for nothing."
And if cynics ridicule freedom, ridicule community...if "hard nosed realists" say that profit is the only ideal...just ignore them, and use copyleft all the same.
Stallman Richard M. quotes
Radical groups in the 1960s developed a reputation for factionalism: organizations split because of disagreements on details of strategy, and then treated each other as enemies. Or at least, such is the image people have of them, whether or not it was true.
The relationship between the Free Software movement and the Open Source movement is just the opposite of that picture. We disagree on the basic principles, but agree more or less on the practical recommendations. So we can and do work together on many specific projects. 'We don't think of the Open Source movement as an enemy. The enemy is proprietary software.
Stallman
To avoid horrible confusion, please pronounce the G in the word GNU when it is the name of this project.
Stallman Richard M.
All intellectual property rights are just licenses granted by society because it was thought, rightly or wrongly, that society as a whole would benefit by granting them. But in any particular situation, we have to ask: are we really better off granting such license? What kind of act are we licensing a person to do?
Richard M. Stallman
The most powerful programming language is Lisp. If you don't know Lisp (or its variant, Scheme), you don't know what it means for a programming language to be powerful and elegant. Once you learn Lisp, you will understand what is lacking in most other languages.
When you start a Lisp system, it enters a read-eval-print loop. Most other languages have nothing comparable to read, nothing comparable to eval, and nothing comparable to print. What gaping deficiencies!




Richard M. Stallman quotes
It's clear that other problems such as religious fundamentalism, overpopulation, damage to the environment, and the domination of business over government, science, thought, and society, are much bigger than non-free software. But many other people are already working on them, and I don't have any great aptitude or ideas for how to address them. So it seems best for me to keep working on the issue of free software. Besides, free software does counter one aspect of business domination of society.
Richard M. Stallman
Prior art is as effective as US soldiers in Iraq: They control the ground they stand on, and nothing more. I used to say Vietnam, but, well, you know...
Stallman quotes
We are not against the Open Source movement, but we don't want to be lumped in with them. We acknowledge that they have contributed to our community, but we created this community, and we want people to know this. We want people to associate our achievements with our values and our philosophy, not with theirs. We want to be heard, not obscured behind a group with different views. To prevent people from thinking we are part of them, we take pains to avoid using the word "open" to describe free software, or its contrary, "closed", in talking about non-free software.
Stallman Richard M.
To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master. And in the area of computing, freedom means not using proprietary software.
Stallman Richard M. quotes
People sometimes ask me if it is a sin in the Church of Emacs to use vi. Using a free version of vi is not a sin; it is a penance. So happy hacking.
Richard M. Stallman
Odious ideas are not entitled to hide from criticism behind the human shield of their believers' feelings.
Richard M. Stallman quotes
Free software permits students to learn how software works. Some students, on reaching their teens, want to learn everything there is to know about their computer and its software. They are intensely curious to read the source code of the programs that they use every day. To learn to write good code, students need to read lots of code and write lots of code. They need to read and understand real programs that people really use. Only free software permits this.
Proprietary software rejects their thirst for knowledge: it says, “The knowledge you want is a secret—learning is forbidden!” Free software encourages everyone to learn. The free software community rejects the “priesthood of technology”, which keeps the general public in ignorance of how technology works; we encourage students of any age and situation to read the source code and learn as much as they want to know. Schools that use free software will enable gifted programming students to advance.
Richard M. Stallman
Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn't all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.
Stallman Richard M.
Programming is not a science. Programming is a craft.


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