Richard Stallman


Stallman is the heart of the Free Software Foundation and the reason for the GNU in GNU/Linux. He represents a certain purity and conviction that is hard to get in our industry these days.

I sit strongly on the GPL side of the GPL vs MIT license debate. Software that use GPL licenses are like life forms that contain genes, in the sense that the license carries the promise that the software can evolve and take new forms, while continuing to be open and accessible. MIT-based Licenses don't ensure their own survival in the same way.

I see Popper's Paradox of Intolerance as another valid reason to favour a GPL license over MIT: Free software can remain free and thrive only if it is intolerant of non-freeness.

I admire Stallman because of his unrelenting desire to stand by his principles. He sees the dark side of technology, Black Mirror style, and history invariably shows him to have called it correctly, time and again.