Live in the ideal a dervish: free software, the father of Richard Stallman

cloud network hunting note: IT outside people who do not know Bill Gates, I’m afraid IT is difficult to become a millionaire; And IT circles, if anyone does not know Richard Stallman, I’m afraid the “IT” would be the name of the cat. Although gates created unprecedented software empire, but in the history of the development of software, Richard Stallman’s contribution to the larger, he is the leader of the free software movement, is worthy of the uncrowned king!

in March 1985, the American free software fighter Richard Stallman (RMS) published the famous GNU manifesto, has a history of the 30th anniversary of the up to now. And he himself also because the declaration of a word is known: software, is not only the user controls the program, and program control of the user.

times produce freedom god

60 s to 80 s last century, ushered in the world’s first computer operating system, Unix, it is composed of the American telephone and telegraph company (A.T. & amp; T) owned by bell LABS, and the joint development of a global university, in particular with the university of California, Berkeley. According to a 1956 A.T. & amp; T representative to end an agreement with the us department of justice antitrust litigation, free to share code between researchers and students. But in 1982, A.T. & amp; T. disintegrated, the agreement is terminated. Subsequently, A.T. & amp; T closed source Unix code on one hand, on the other hand, make its commercialization in order to get maximum interests. It annoyed the programming community work personnel, including the RMS, this man, in their 20 s is a software developer, then employed by artificial intelligence laboratory at the Massachusetts institute of technology (MIT), the specialty is engaged in the software development work.

in the face of proprietary software unscrupulous invasion, the RMS are deeply disturbed, this anxiety continued into his own lab. Laboratory of xerox printers in the case of run out of paper or paperboard become inefficient, he wants to by changing the printer driver to solve this problem. But the lack of driver source code, simply do not know how to start. It brought him a lot of feelings, he can’t even string GaiZhe, for others to do the same thing, more can’t lost MIT hacker spirit, keep curiosity, pay attention to team cooperation spirit, uphold the interests of small things, is great fun. Then in 1983, he launched the GNU project, trying to create a Unix substitute, and will be published their ideas in the two newsgroups on the BBS. On the BBS, he is written like this: “as long as I have enough money, I will hire a few people, part-time or full-time, salary is not high, but I believe that someone has same interests with me, the location of the place help mankind in is more important than making money.”

a person’s fight

in March 1985, the RMS in Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Software Tools published the GNU manifesto. He reads: “in order to get rid of the bondage of non-free software, can rightfully using the computer, I decided to develop a number of free software. Later, worry about MIT will pose some rules let me give up the GNU project, I’ll quit altogether.” RMS released this nearly 4500 words of the declaration are actually trying to find some like-minded friends, together with his free sharing similar to the Unix operating system, and try to make it protected by law.

the GNU manifesto looks be like simple clear, be clear at a glance, but between the lines reveal the personality characteristics of RMS, stubborn, aggressive, never compromise. He used a word to state characteristics of the project is: “the user can enjoy full freedom in the operating system, to change the system, also can ask the programmer to modify or related company. That is to say, the user is no longer dominated by have the source code project or company, they are the masters rather than the slaves of the program.” Declaration of the language is very humor, it is early hackers peculiar style. Take name, GNU is “GNU’s Not Unix” recursive acronym, RMS announced the GNU should be pronounced “guh – NOO” in which “g” should be stressed, a avoid confused with new word (note: cloud network editor king hunting GNU meaning in the English language as wildebeests, pronunciation is the same as the new).

the RMS is the first person to realize the importance of free software. He knew that once held by business groups control of computer technology and method, the user is inevitably dependent on these groups, and he cannot allow this kind of trend of development. Most computer users have now rely on some of the company’s proprietary code, Apple, Facebook, and Google are among them. These companies to provide software to the user what kind of condition, we don’t know, also will not stop, but it really make people angry; As a user, it can’t according to their own needs, preferences and personal values to modify the program! Use RMS’s words: “software, is not only the user control program, and program in the control of the user.”

so, here, “free software” is not the price of freedom is free, but to use the software is free for all users, it is the key to understanding the RMS career. Published in the GNU manifesto after a few months, then he founded the Free Software Foundation (the Free Software Foundation). “I when the GNU project was introduced in 1983, everyone in the use of proprietary software,” he said over the telephone, “because when you almost can’t find the computer can run free software.”

after wind and rain is the rainbow

but now, after 30 years, thanks to the RMS of the free software movement, the computer has been available. We can even see the direct result of countless resulting: GNU/Linux operating system, office software LibreOffice, GIMP and browser IceCat image editing software. But different from we usually use Microsoft Office Office software, Photoshop image software, as well as Google and Microsoft’s Internet explorer browser. Now, applicable to all software program and provide new software users to use free time come, there are more than 8000 packages in the free software foundation is incorporated into the project scope. Although with proprietary counterparts, such programs are often not so popular. But recently, the problem of privatization gradually heating up, enterprise and government, the media culture and commerce to strengthen the control, all of which led to the benefits of free software.

in the GNU manifesto, the biggest innovation is named as “Mr Right” (Copyleft, as copyright belongs to the left, etc.) of the rights and interests protection items, it appeared in 1989 in the general public license (GNU GPL) and software in the relevant provisions. Increase the zc rights clause, the free software in addition to allowing users according to their own willingness to use, study, change and share the zc rights clause asks the user modified more derivative works the same way of authorization release in order to give back to society; But not in any way for any conceal, A.T. & amp; T. monopolised Unix copyright is a negative example. RMS ideas borrowed from the existing copyright law, the difference is that the law pay more attention to the interests of the users rather than the author. The RMS wrote:

the GNU does not belong to public industry, anyone can modify and redistribute GNU, but dealers can’t way to limit its redistribution process. That is, it cannot be reduced to a private. I have to make sure that all the GNU versions are free to use.

a Copyleft license is different from other software license. Everyone should know the last century the late 80 s the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, the Berkeley Software Distribution), and the difference between a Copyleft license is that it does not restrict product modifications. Such license nicknamed “tolerance software license”, they allow the user to use resources under the agreement, and be included in the private version of the software, also the software can be released in the form of closed source for commercial interests. (but the GPL license allows developers to get some interests; WordPress publishing platform is a powerful proof.)

parted ways with their established foundation

in 1911, Linnaeus bin, the first Kurt (Linus Torvalds) released the Linux kernel (Linux kernel), which ushered in the world’s first full free software operating system. In the computer operating system, “the kernel” mainly some basic functions, such as memory management, event scheduling and synchronization, etc. The GNU Hurd operating system kernel has been developing, but haven’t release stable version. Its developers Jeb Boniakowski told me: “there is a Finnish children… Read some books about the operating system, and then see GNU swearing says, ‘damn, these people would only faffing, lack of kernel (kernel) is the key, please. ‘so he cracked a Linux. Linux completely at that time is not on the way, you can even use manufactured, efforts to describe it. But, also can’t completely deny it, after all, it really did let users “free of charge and free communication”. Now, combining with the Linux kernel and the GNU project, a lot of RMS design program, like a text editor, compiler and debugger, and other tools and utilities, etc., and can run on a computer, also can be arbitrary change, spread? Although we are used to the abbreviation for Linux GNU/Linux systems, but the whole word is more accurate.

although the free software movement performance, but also generates a internal divisions, even led to the “open source”. Netscape issued in 1994, netscape communications company (the Navigator), suddenly hit the market, testified that the arrival of the era of computer economy, also caused the industry inside and outside all sorts of mixed’s. By 1998, the network began to explosive development, but at this time of netscape in “browser wars” to compete with Microsoft’s Internet explorer browser, market share has fallen dramatically. In order to save the market, netscape communications corporation decided to open a browser source code, from a broader developer community to absorb ideas to innovation. For netscape the move, council for the promotion of the new Open Source (the Open Source Initiative) specially held a meeting, called on all developers “to subvert the past when the advocacy of” free software “educational attitude and adversary, claims to find the right position in the business. Netscape’s business case is a living example.” RMS is not invited to the meeting, the same year at the summit also didn’t invite him.

is in fact the so-called “business case” advocates the development of proprietary software. They tried to free software with Berkeley BSD license and the factory MIT license, launching products to cater to the market taste. Then, open-source software will allow users to view and modify the source code, just like the use of free software, the difference is that there is no restrictions on the degree of sharing and scope. In fact, the open source movement to call the company “allied” in order to realize the proprietary products and commercialized, the continuous efforts of all people, can contribute to a standardization of the whole. RMS told me, “one who advocates” open source “is to get a business interests, this is their words!” , companies that sell open source principles, he added, “often encouraged our community violate Copyleft provisions when offering free software.” In this way, the RMS parted ways with established their foundation.

“technology enthusiasts” chose market

Tim O ‘reilly (Tim O ‘Reilly), are entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, is now the most representative characters in the open source movement. In the interview, he told me that, in fact, the open source software license more freedom than the GNU general public license, because it is without any restrictions on the use of source code. “In my opinion, Berkeley style licenses can create more value for the world, more moral force,” he said, “in the RMS, he feels is in the old testament prophet, there are too many ‘can’t, can’t’. Berkeley style, by contrast, is more close to the Christian philosophy, for example, ‘love your neighbor; Create value for the world. Let people according to their own intend to do want to do! ‘”

although look is patented products and open source software developers have the upper hand, but the influence of the RMS to developers is very big still. When I interview people around him, say he is a very strange uncle of love, easy to lose his temper. They will turn the eyeball, like what’s missing important information quickly added, “but he did a lot of things are all right.” I told the RMS, I interview the developers are really respect him, appreciate his work, and even some, he changed their fate. But they seem to not do what you say, at least they have iPhone. “I don’t understand them,” he said, “if it doesn’t even have the consciousness of defending their rights, they have no right soon.”