Stallman wrote Emacs, GCC, and numerous other free programs. While at the MIT AI Lab, he famously single-handedly cloned the output of the entire Symbolics programming team, making his work directly available to Symbolics' competitor, Lisp Machines Incorporated. This was in response to Symbolics' decision to stop sharing their source code with the AI Lab. "I was going to punish Symbolics if it was the last thing I did," Stallman said . Another formative event was the sale of Gosling Emacs by James Gosling to UniPress, who then successfully forced Stallman to stop distributing the Gosling source code that Stallman had previously received permission to incorporate into Emacs. Stallman's response to this turn of events was the GPL.
Stallman can be aggressive towards competing projects. Jamie Zawinski complained that he unfairly stifled news of Lucid Emacs , and Cédric Beust wrote a critique describing Stallman's leadership failure at the time. Ulrich Drepper accused Stallman of attempting a hostile takeover of glibc . In 1994, when he was promoting Guile, Stallman posted a diatribe against Tcl to comp.lang.tcl. He insists that most Linux distributions should be called GNU/Linux .
As an INTP , Stallman doesn't understand the desire that most people have for ritual . He reasons ruthlessly about the operations and viability of complex systems. Humanity is the system of greatest interest to him, and he often divests himself of social norms and in order to study it. His habit of ignoring social protocols has ruffled many a feather. In the 80's, his lecture engagement at Texas Instruments was abruptly canceled as a result of his discussing nasal sex with plants over dinner, as such talk was deemed by management to be inappropriate to the level of professionalism they maintained. On another occassion, Stallman wrote a facetious reply to a baby announcement on a mailing list and requested an end to baby announcements on the list, leaving several other readers taken aback . During his tenure at the MIT AI Lab, his colleagues began secretly going to dinners without inviting Stallman. Stallman has also becom rather well-known for personal habits that shock and provoke. He has been known to pick his nose and eat his boogers in the middle of an interview , and snack on toe jam during a filmed conference presentation . At the 1999 LinuxWorld Convention and Expo, Stallman called John Ousterhout a parasite on the free software community , allegedly while eating his own dandruff .
Apart Stallman's atypical behaviour in social settings is accompanied by atypical views on many issues. He is opposed to most laws regulating sexual behaviour, including "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia ", and is skeptical of the claim that pedophilia harms children .
In spite to the free-love nature of the GPL, and contrary to his own outer appearance, Stallman was not a hippie: