Words by c.z.robertson

Eric Raymond's abuse of power?

2000-10-18 02:00:00 UTC

Recently I found myself reading the latest edition of The Hacker's Dictionary. I looked in particular at the entry on Linux and I saw something that made me slightly uncomfortable. Eric Raymond had mentioned Richard Stallman's attempts to get people to refer to the OS as a whole (rather than just the kernel) as "GNU/Linux", and had dismissed it, and the philosophy behind it, as only a minority position.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's right, but I was concerned because he has an interest in promoting open-source at the expense of Free Software, and because in the past he has been very critical of Stallman (often beyond what I would consider gentlemanly).

In general I wonder whether having Eric Raymond (or indeed, any one person) as the maintainer of one of the more influential guides to hacker culture is a good thing, or a safe thing.