Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Who's who and who cares

In regard to my earlier post, I am going to expound on the world of Open Source. Specifically some of the so-called luminaries in that world. Let's take a look at four of the big names; Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, and Eric Raymond (to be known as Linus, RMS, Perens & ESR respectively). We'll start in the middle.

RMS: What can be said about him that hasn't already been said? Here's my opinion on him. He's an extremist fruitcake who is a vital part of the whole software industry. He's so far out on his end of the spectrum that he balances things out. While he can be exasperating at times, he is probably the most important person in the Open Source world. Score: B-

Perens: Bruce is very good at starting projects. Often the projects he starts are good ones that could be very beneficial to the world at large. However, I have not seen him actually complete anything. That's not to say he has never completed something, just that I've not seen it. He does have some very good ideas and has been good for the Open Source world on whole, though. Score: C-

ERS: $DEITY don't get me started. Well, I already got myself started so here goes. ESR is very smart (as are all of the people on this rant) and has had some good ideas (The Cathedral and the Bazaar, for one) but he's done almost as much to hurt Open Source as to help it. He doesn't know where to draw the line between an IT/IS professional and a flaming zealot. Honestly, I know a number of people who would be much better "spokesman" that he is. Score: D

Linus: Now we come to the only one of these guys that I have actually met. It was just a short face-to-face after one of the sessions of USENIX back in the mid-90's. Linus is one of the most mellow people I know in this industry. It seems that part of being an uber-techie is having an explosive personality. This doesn't mean Linus has never flamed away. If you look through some of the lists he's on you can find some very chestnut warming posts. But he doesn't let his non-techie life get to mixed up with his techie life. Plus, there are many people who look at him in an almost godlike way. Most people finding themselves in this kind of power situation would be prone to believing the press and assuming godlike attitudes. Linus has been able to keep a level head amongst the adulation for over a decade now. This is an admirable quality. Score: A+

Well, there' my first OPA post. And remember, I am always right!


  1. I agree with all of the above.

    By the way, your new, clothed picture reminds me of RMS. Sorry... :)

  2. Joe's picture is his RMS "It's GNU/Linux!!!" face. Oh, and "Pronounce the slash!!!"

  3. Heh, after you guys mentioned it I can see it also. My son took that one. He said to make the scariest face I could. I think it's time to get a normal looking picture on here. Maybe this weekend.