We need to have Theo de Rant around...

Story: Broadcom Driver Dispute Uglier Than NecessaryTotal Replies: 8
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Apr 07, 2007
6:08 AM EDT
...to remind us of what good de-facto leaders we've got in the GNU and Linux camps.

I read through major chunks of that exchange myself, and came to largely the same conclusions. Theo's fulminations seemed to have an undertone of, "We don't use the GPL; why should you?" as well as a determination to turn the topic towards something other than the "accidentally deliberate borrowing", something where he could presume the moral high ground. I've seen the same tactics used by guilty children and children-inside, often with arguments which amount to "I stole it fair and square!"

This provides a sharp contrast with Richard Stallman, who, in equivalent situations, usually proceeds to calmly belabor and explain his point until he's sure that you either understand his position or are trying hard not to. Not that Richard, or his people skills, are perfect by any means; but, with Theo around for contrast, it's easier to see how Richard's usually calm manner and deeply-reasoned convictions have helped make GNU/FSF an emerging force.

Apr 07, 2007
6:24 AM EDT
And Richard doesn't call you ugly names. BTW, I nearly inserted a line about how Theo's behavior reminds me of marital counselees I've dealt with. ;-)

Apr 07, 2007
11:05 AM EDT
Besides his argument that the linux developer should have contacted Marcus directly, not publicly on a mailing list, to spare him the public attention. Well, if he hadn't overreacted so severely, I and many others would never have heard about this story. It could have been resolved calmly and quietly among the involved parties.

Bob T

Apr 08, 2007
5:18 AM EDT
When Theo yells out as he does (recently its target was Intel and that company which has just joined the LF), it's pretty much justified and it's effective. Michael Larabel is trying similar things with ATI, but he's too polite, IMHO.

Apr 08, 2007
10:57 AM EDT
Effective? Not. Hysterical hissy fits and insults don't win people over. It drives them away. The real heroes of FOSS are the ones who use patience, persistence, and persuasion to get things done.


Apr 08, 2007
11:31 AM EDT
@tuxchick: Does that viewpoint apply to Microsoft?


Apr 08, 2007
11:37 AM EDT
> Does that viewpoint apply to Microsoft?

No heros at Microsoft tuxtom. You should know that by now.

Apr 08, 2007
4:09 PM EDT
Don't burst my bubble, Jim.

Interestingly, this "controversy" is already referenced on Theo's wikipedia page with a link back to Lxer.

Apr 08, 2007
4:46 PM EDT
tuxtom, when you're the biggest and richest gorilla, you can get away with an awful lot of poor behavior. :)

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