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Re: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

 
 
A.M. Kuchling
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      08-28-2003
On 28 Aug 2003 04:17:56 -0700,
Paul Boddie <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> P.S. And the reason why many people find ESR to be offensive or just
> plain inappropriate is that one gets the feeling that he wants you to
> buy into his whole agenda, whether or not that involves running around
> with a firearm in the woods dressed as Obi-Wan or Yoda.


For me the big problem with the recent statement is that it doesn't look
very professional, coming from the president of a group. It should have
been written more formally and without the invective, and having Star Wars
references simply scream "loser in a basement".

It's really a pity that open source has no really effective spokesperson at
this time.

* RMS is unbending in his convictions whether large (such as the value
of free software) or small (the whole GNU/Linux naming thing).
I admire his resolution, but it hampers his effectiveness
as a speaker to mainstream media and businesses.

* ESR started out pretty well: "CatB", whatever its flaws might be,
is a useful set of observations. Some bits of them might have
been anticipated by others, but he was the first to assemble them all
together and there are new ideas in there. (I found the idea of
project spaces to be new and illuminating.)

But... none of the followup essays were as notable, and he hasn't
developed anything very impressive (fetchmail is useful, but not
tremendously impressive). Worst, now he seems to be rewriting the
world to match his views. NTK is reliably snarky about it, but also
dead-on: see the second item in "Hard News" at
http://www.ntk.net/2003/06/06/.

* Linus does a pretty good job as a public speaker, and he doesn't have
any of RMS's or ESR's baggage, but he's also not very interested
in the job. (The same goes for Guido.)

The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO. He has the technical background
of working on a non-trivial project (Debian), yet writes and presents in a
style that doesn't attract attention and doesn't let irrelevancies intrude.
Compare his commentary on SCO (http://www.perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html)
with ESR's counterblast. (To be fair, ESR's analysis of the code is also
pretty good; the OSI letter is where it becomes unacceptable.)

Here's hoping Perens' group, Global Technology Policy Institute, becomes a
success.

--amk
 
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Damien Wyart
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      08-28-2003
* "A.M. Kuchling" <(E-Mail Removed)> in comp.lang.python:
> * ESR started out pretty well: "CatB", whatever its flaws might
> be, is a useful set of observations. [...] But... none of the
> followup essays were as notable, and he hasn't developed anything
> very impressive (fetchmail is useful, but not tremendously
> impressive).


What about his forthcoming "taoup"* ? Proofreading by several important
people from the Unix world should make it quite solid, I think. And
there is a section about Python...

* http://catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/

--
Damien Wyart
 
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Terry Reedy
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      08-28-2003

"A.M. Kuchling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On 28 Aug 2003 04:17:56 -0700,


> It's really a pity that open source has no really effective

spokesperson at
> this time.


> * Linus does a pretty good job as a public speaker, and he

doesn't have
> any of RMS's or ESR's baggage, but he's also not very

interested
> in the job. (The same goes for Guido.)


He may get drawn into it more anyway. Nothing like being kicked in
the pants to stir up a little adrenalin. Here is his take on SCO's
dog show:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,1227128,00.asp
(much shorter than the Perens analysis). Key line: "They are smoking
crack".

> The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO. He has the technical

background
> of working on a non-trivial project (Debian), yet writes and

presents in a
> style that doesn't attract attention and doesn't let irrelevancies

intrude.
> Compare his commentary on SCO

(http://www.perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html)
> with ESR's counterblast. (To be fair, ESR's analysis of the code is

also
> pretty good; the OSI letter is where it becomes unacceptable.)


Revolutionary movements need both firebrands and sober analysts.

The SCO suit will prompt me to keep better 'audit trails' than I might
of overwise.

Prediction: If Torvalds and Perens are correct in what they said and
the courts (including the 'court of public opinion') agree, Linux and
the Open Source Movement will emerge stronger for the SCO challenge.

Terry J. Reedy


 
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Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters
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      08-28-2003
"A.M. Kuchling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote previously:
|* RMS is unbending in his convictions...
|* ESR started out pretty well[*]: "CatB", whatever its flaws might be...
|* Linus ...not very interested in the job.
|The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO...

Bruce is great! (And Andrew is right on in his characterizations).

But somehow my money is on the law professors, e.g. Eben Moglen,
Lawrence Lessig, etc. They are not nearly so active, nor so "leaderly."
But I think the real battles are (must be) in courtrooms and
legislatures, not (anymore) on developers' mailing lists. It only does
limited good to have "working code" if the cops will knock down your
doors because that code violates the IP regime that Hollywood and MS
bought from congress (and from WIPO).

Yours, Lulu...
[*] Btw., I had not even know just how crazy ESR had gotten lately. Not
a shred of independence or thought seems to remain. He reads straight
off of Faux News or the RNC, e.g.:
http://armedndangerous.blogspot.com/...s_archive.html

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A.M. Kuchling
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      08-30-2003
On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 17:03:14 +0200,
Damien Wyart <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> What about his forthcoming "taoup"* ? Proofreading by several important
> people from the Unix world should make it quite solid, I think. And


I read a few of the early chapters a long time ago and quite liked it,
though there were occasional flashes of smugness and "we invented the
Internet" grandiosity. At some point I'll get around to reading the whole
thing.

--amk
 
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Terry Reedy
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      08-30-2003

"A.M. Kuchling" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 17:03:14 +0200,
> Damien Wyart <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > What about his forthcoming "taoup"* ? Proofreading by several

important
> > people from the Unix world should make it quite solid, I think.

And
>
> I read a few of the early chapters a long time ago and quite liked

it,
> though there were occasional flashes of smugness and "we invented

the
> Internet" grandiosity. At some point I'll get around to reading the

whole
> thing.


He switches from Part 1 Context (Philosophy, History, Other OSes) to
Part 2 Design at chapter 4. One could easily skip some of 1 and
perhaps all of 2 and 3. I am up to 11 of 20 and have learned quite a
bit. And the price is right for the online copy
http://catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/html/index.html

Terry


 
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Aahz
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      08-30-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
A.M. Kuchling <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO. He has the technical
>background of working on a non-trivial project (Debian), yet
>writes and presents in a style that doesn't attract attention and
>doesn't let irrelevancies intrude. Compare his commentary on SCO
>(http://www.perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html) with ESR's counterblast.
>(To be fair, ESR's analysis of the code is also pretty good; the OSI
>letter is where it becomes unacceptable.)


OTOH, Perens is also (like me a self-described asshole. When I saw
him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
community. Linus and Guido are obvious counter-examples in some
respects, but as you point out, they're not really interested in a
spokesmodel position.
--
Aahz ((E-Mail Removed)) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
with useful practice. --Aahz
 
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John J. Lee
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      09-02-2003
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Aahz) writes:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,

[...]
> OTOH, Perens is also (like me a self-described asshole. When I saw
> him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
> that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
> community.

[...]

Why?


John
 
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Geoff Gerrietts
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      09-02-2003
Quoting John J. Lee ((E-Mail Removed)):
> (E-Mail Removed) (Aahz) writes:
>
> > In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,

> [...]
> > OTOH, Perens is also (like me a self-described asshole. When I saw
> > him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
> > that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
> > community.

> [...]
>
> Why?


I think the sentiment is just a variant on the "politicians always
lie" theme. Open source is socio-political, and so it's the
charismatics that succeed. "Asshole" is one manifestation of a strong
personality.

--G.

--
Geoff Gerrietts <geoff at gerrietts dot net> http://www.gerrietts.net/
"Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the
systematic organization of hatreds." --Henry Adams

 
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Cliff Wells
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      09-02-2003
On Tue, 2003-09-02 at 15:09, John J. Lee wrote:
> (E-Mail Removed) (Aahz) writes:
>
> > In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,

> [...]
> > OTOH, Perens is also (like me a self-described asshole. When I saw
> > him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
> > that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
> > community.

> [...]
>
> Why?



I think it's a less eloquent version of the George Bernard Shaw quote:

"A reasonably thinking man expects to adapt to nature. An unreasonably
thinking man expects nature to adapt to him. Thus, all progress is made
by unreasonable men."

Substitute "asshole" for "unreasonable" and the sentiment is similar.


Regards,

--
Cliff Wells, Software Engineer
Logiplex Corporation (www.logiplex.net)
(503) 978-6726 (800) 735-0555


 
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