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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday March 28 2021, @05:23AM   Printer-friendly

Red Hat pulls Free Software Foundation funding over Richard Stallman's return:

The chorus of disapproval over Richard M Stallman, founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), rejoining the organisation has intensified as Linux giant Red Hat confirmed it was pulling funding.

Stallman announced he had returned to the FSF's Board of Directors last weekend – news that has not gone down well with all in the community and Red Hat is the latest to register its dismay.

CTO Chris Wright tweeted overnight: "I am really outraged by FSF's decision to reinstate RMS. At a moment in time where diversity and inclusion awareness is growing, this is a step backwards."

Describing itself as "appalled" at the return of Stallman to the FSF board of directors "considering the circumstances of Richard Stallman's original resignation in 2019," Red Hat said it decided to act.

"We are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Red Hat contributors have told us they no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or backed events, and we stand behind them," said Red Hat.

[...] Red Hat's step marks an escalation in the war of words over Stallman's return. As both a long-time donor and contributor of code, the IBM-owned company's action might well give the FSF pause for thought in a way that thousands of outraged tweets might not.

FSF president Geoffrey Knauth stated his intention yesterday "to resign as an FSF officer, director, and voting member as soon as there is a clear path for new leadership."

Red Hat statement about Richard Stallman's return to the Free Software Foundation board


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @07:43PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @07:43PM (#1130408)

    of all the branches, CS ends up with the greatest share of people with a diagnosis or personality disturbance.

    What branches? Of engineering?

    With CS, you had a field that attracted people with far more ability to understand what is going on in a machine that in people. And understanding machines is a great skill in that field. After what was likely a traumatic experience in high school, studying CS led to an unremarkable but satisfying career with middle-class pay as a programmer. Of other applied engineering disciplines, I guess mechanical engineering is similar in the amount of art that goes into the practice, but the problems and solutions are far more predictable, and antipatterns are less accepted. Programming positions have always had some access path to people without formal education in the field, that is far more rare in the classical engineering disciplines.

    People in CS kept in contact, built their subculture, created public pools for tools that anyone could use. And kept to themselves. Years later, the dotcom bubble, the mobile bubble, the advertising^Wspyware bubble have led to *starting* 6 figure salaries for code slingers. Some of the tool pools were flush with cash donated by grateful projects who got a commercial start with their free tools. Where pretty much every other industry in this country is under pressure, there is upside and demand in programming. "The people have no bread? Why don't they learn to program!" became a popular catchword.

    The promise of easy money and the lack of formal skills demanded by employers is what got the pretenders coming out of the woodwork. Pretenders who had much better social skills than technical skills. Bringing back the social order of high school, ejecting technical people from the tool pools and squandering their funding. These "Fraggles" know that the dumb "Doozers" will feel obligated to continue programming tools for free as they kick down on them.

    How can programmers turn the ship around? They could grow a pair and not care if people are or play offended. They could have a strong professional society that sets standards. There's the ACM, but I think they're entirely academic. I joined the IEEE, who have practicing engineers as members, besides academics.

    I'm not holding my breath that things will improve markedly anytime soon, unless the bubble meets its overdue end. I am content that I saved my pennies while the taking was good, and cannot be cancelled.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @07:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 28 2021, @07:59PM (#1130412)

    Not just programming. The sciences too - especially on the academic side where being "balanced" is rewarded as opposed to being actually capable.