Version 23 of Richard Stallman

Updated 2014-05-10 13:44:07 by RLE

Richard Stallman , AKA RMS, is the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU project. He is also the author of the GPL.

Reading

Richard Stallman Answers Your Questions slashdot, 2013-01-17
Free as in Freedom (pdf) , Sam Williams, 2002-03: Available online in its entirety
My Lisp Experiences and the Development of GNU Emacs , Richard Stallman, 2002
How free is open? An interview with Richard M. Stallman , Cameron Laird, 2004
Richard Stallman on the Hacker Spirit at MIT , Glyn Moody, 2013-09-30
Richard Stallman on the Painful Birth of GNU , Glyn Moody, 2013-10-02
Richard Stallman: High School Misfit, Symbol of Free Software, MacArthur-Certified Genius
Open And Shut , by Richard Poynder 2006-03-21

Video

How to Learn to Program
in which RMS does an uncannily good impression of gwlester

Description

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 .

Personality

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 become rather well-known for personal habits that shock and provoke. It is asserted that he has been known to pick his nose and eat his boogers in the middle of an interview (RLE: note, read the linked "booger" archive entry carefully, the assertion is third-person hearsay, so make up your own mind how much you believe it to be true), 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 .

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:

"The world is a certain way. They wanted to believe in a fairy-tale. But at the time, there was a nice thing about them. which is that they wanted people to love each other and not hurt each other, which I thought was a good thing. But all told, I couldn’t be part of that. I didn’t want to get involved with the use of drugs, which I thought of as scary and dangerous and foolish. And clearly, they had no idea of caution. They were taking crazy risks because they didn’t understand that they could be hurt. I’d read that-supposedly–young people don’t believe they can die. Well, that never happened to me. I can’t understand how anyone can not believe that he can die." ref

After meeting Stallman, dave winer , wrote that he was empathetic and "a lot more aware than most people ".

Trivia

RMS was a vocal critic of the mouse

Good Clean Fun

Speaking Engagement Info Packet
in which Stallman empathizes with the plight of parrots
Stallman is looking for love
Soulja Boy Dance, MIT Style
"Giving the Linus Torvalds award to the Free Software Foundation is sort of like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Fleet"
Dancing with a gnu
sexy!

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/Giuseppe_Craffonara_Christus.jpg/184px-Giuseppe_Craffonara_Christus.jpg

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http://i.stack.imgur.com/6xRKP.jpg