FSF members meeting
Eben Moglen's talk and commentary alone made membership worthwhile. Best of all was an unplanned commentary he made on legal strategy and how FSF has worked to leverage their own unique position and corporate partners to make an effective approach to handling both SCO's suit and MS's support of same.
Honestly Stallman was pretty forgettable, his lecture was on why software patents are bad. Basicaly he made a case for how difficult patents are to use, however none of his examples was specific to software. He's against software patents, but advocates them for all other technology. He explains that software is different (yes this is what he's been saying about software generally since he gnu was founded).
Ohh yes and IBM is bad because they have software patents. According to Richard, yes it's nice that they're using these for leverage toward things that are good for 'us'.
I raised my feelings about the (lack of) quality in the gnu toolchain, what I and others find to be poor planning in feature changes and release / version coordination, Clearly all of the fsf directors (except Richard) got what I was saying, gnu has turned into something of a beast in the hands of some sometimes overzealous, feature happy programmers.
Now honestly these are not issues that FSF has a great deal of control on. But the question had come up about what is FSF's place in actual generation of software, and this has been rather a pet peeve of mine for awhile.
The answers were interesting. Stallman of course corrected me that gnu is the system not the toolchain <doh>.
Moglen caught the gist right off, however, Again I was impressed. He said yes packaging is a pain, but it's also a solved problem and 'distributions' as we know them will probably disappear in 2-3 years.
Stallman then went off on yes and if 'fsf' does a project to improve consistency and establishes a centralized packaging system then we (they?) get to dictate that it's all free and would only used to support an all free distribution.
Honestly this guy just doesn't give up. Half my point was about the fact that gnu software has rapidly become Linux-centric and highly non-portable.
Yes I care about licenses, but the reason I care is that good licenses enable good software. Beyond that I mostly care a helluva lot more about portability and sotware that works and is bug free than saving the world for purely GPL/fsf's idea of free.
Trust me BSD users care just as much about their definition of 'free'.
Ohh and this was a *great* way to spend a day. I heartily recommend everyone here go sign up for fsf membership, they do good work and they have some pretty tall orders on their plates these days, and they made it very clear that direct membership support is key to continued success of the fsf.http://member.fsf.org Current Mood: mixed