Since a lot of people here seemed to have an emotional reaction to Jobs' passing, I had no desire to say anything here. But now the topic is Stallman, and for whatever reason, people are wanting to discuss his comments.
I (and probably most people I know) don't think Stallman's comments are a big deal. Steve was known for acting cruelly to people; apparently acted like a sociopath. If he treated people like shit when he was alive, then it's not the end of the world when someone says a few less-than-respectful things about him when he's gone.
When confronted with the death of someone he disliked, I doubt Steve would be so sentimental. (At least not inwardly.)
Stallman is also a sociopath by your definition then; remember his comments in some mailing list when someone announced they had had a child. There are plenty of other examples. Richard Stallman is an asshole. A brilliant and useful asshole, but an asocial asshole incapable of basic empathy nonetheless.
I don't admire either of them (though I'd give more credit to Stallman for fighting the good and difficult fight all these years), but it seems to me that Stallman's supporters behave exactly the way they claim Jobs' supporters do - by eulogizing and finding excuses for the ugly sides of their heroes and claiming "the others" are a cult.
History is full of brilliant and useful assholes. both Jobs and Stallman should be given their rightful due and called on their failings. But neither of them should be casting aspersions about the other (not that Jobs can do that anymore). At some level they are fundamentally the same.
I can't find that comment:(
It’s impossible to ignore the effects he has in his role and they are terrible.
But more to the point, Stallman does not just want open-source software. He wants free software, and just based on my informal observations, his ideas of free software seem to be losing traction these days. Yeah, there's a lot of open-source software, but BSD, Apache, MIT and other open-source-but-not-free licenses are taking the lion's share.
Even among projects that do use GPL, they mostly seem to prefer v2 rather than the more-free GPL3 and AGPL.
He thinks the Open Source movement misses the point, but he has no problems accepting their software as Free.
Do you honestly believe that his comments help push for more free software? I don’t.
I think that claiming to know what someone else wants falls in the same category as speaking on their behalf - something that should only be done in very limited circumstances.
It is the sort of position that can only be publicly lead by someone who is more than a little eccentric. Anyone else would not be able to walk their own walk.
I'm glad someone says the things he says and I think it would be a loss if nobody said these things anymore. He's as much a visionary as Steve Jobs was, only his vision does not get carried out be a multi-billion dollar company, so he needs to keep spreading it with his mouth. He doesn't care about selling the vision, because that doesn't work in a world where many people believe Ayn Rand is someone with deep insight in how the world could and should be organised.
it's just a social concept (one of many) of how we humans should organise our interactions with regards to software.
I believe it's an useful concept and probably so do you. For god's sake, we don't need a spokesperson!
RMS has been saying very public things about Apple for almost 30 years. If he met Steve Jobs in person, he would not have hesitated to say much, much worse.
So.. did you say this to his face ?
Edit: I'll leave this up, downvote away. I made my comment on the basis of the first part - "If they've got anything to say to Steve they should've said it to HIS FACE when he was alive."
RMS's statement lacked any class or tact, and I will be more than willing to tell RMS what I think of his comments should I ever meet him in person.
As I have no doubt RMS would have told Jobs what he thought directly as he has done this in the past with many people. I remember him getting an award and in his speech speaking his mind about the people giving him the award (it was an opensource conference) about using the word opensource etc... He's not shy to insult whoever contradicts his views.