Richard is a tremendous hacker, but he's a lousy salesman. I'm not a big fan of salespeople in general, but guys like DHH have proved that it's not enough to be a great hacker if you want your code and ideas to flourish. You need to understand that marketing really does matter.
Glad to hear he's lightened up a bit over the years, though. Maybe GNU will finally see a rebranding. GNU is such an ugly logo.
A few years ago I asked Duane Bibby to do some artwork for The GNU C Reference Manual. I rather like his whimsical approach on the gnu...
If GNU wants to brand itself to anyone other than hardcore hackers, it’s probably going to need the kind of logo that hardcore hackers will complain is generic and corporate-looking. The 1975–era homebrew esthetic is exactly the kind of surface feature that people dismiss RMS for. (Not that he’d necessarily be super popular even if he were a charismatic Lawrence Lessig type, but it couldn’t hurt.)
I wasn't aware that GNU tools had a marketing problem, since they're all over the place, even in business worlds. Leave the marketing to the distros and programmer employees.
I mean... are you saying that Stallman's code and ideas haven't flourished? Everyone who uses the internet in a day is participating in Stallman's vision.
I'd be happy if they just dropped the hard 'g' pronunciation.
I've taken on occasion to calling it LNU, not GNU. The L is for "Linux kernel", to give proper credit to the Linux kernel for turning GNU from just a set of third party tools you installed on your proprietary Unix system into a complete system.
If I want to be formal, I call it LNU/Linux.