Friday, 25 September 2009

Richard Mathew Stallman

If you love free software you will definitely know Richard Mathew Stallman a.k.a RMS. He founded the Free Software Foundation and also started the GNU project into which the Linux kernel was inserted to form the GNU/Linux OS. Everybody in Free software world agrees that RMS is a legend but many (including me) do not share all his ideologies . First of all it was the insistence by RMS that Linux must be called GNU/Linux, then the idea that software must be free and being open source is not enough. I think RMS also said something bad at the Gran Canaria desktop summit. I can't really remember but he somehow derived fun in disrespecting women. The latest from RMS is his outlash at Miguel De Icaza the mono project's leader and the founder of the Gnome project. RMS described De Icaza as a traitor to the free software community.

I believe RMS is now not as useful to the free software community as Miguel De Icaza. Agreed RMS and co. were the pioneers and the pace setters but he also really need to understand when to step aside and give room for fresh minds with fresh ideas. We are no longer in the 70s, we do not use mainframes anymore. The computer today is a productivity tool not a research-only machine. We need to see beyond the petty politics and rivalry and concentrate on what is of value to developers and end-users. I think that is what De Icaza understood but RMS did not.
Microsoft remains relevant in the software world not because they create the best software but because they create the easiest-to-use software. RMS! the days of coding everything in C using emacs are over. Yeah you did a great job, Miguel and co. are only building on the foundations you laid, but you should seriously start thinking about retiring. Because these days you are writing less and less code (if at all you are writing any) and talking more and more trash. The days of getting accolades just for hating Microsoft are over.

This is what Miguel had to say in response to RMS

"I want to say that God loves all creatures. From the formidable elephant to the tiniest ant. And that includes Richard Stallman.As for me, I think that there is a world of possibility, and if Richard wants to discuss how we can improve the pool of open source/free software in the world he has my email address.

Love, Miguel."

Don't worry if I am too harsh Richard. We still love our grand daddies even if they grow senile.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Investing In The Dark Continent

I came across this presentation in one of the many blogs I randomly read. It was a presentation made by Euvin Naidoo at the TED global 2007 in Arusha Tanzania. Euvin argues that Africa offers a great opportunity for investment based on some key factors he outlined. But for me, the most catching part of his 18 minute talk was when he quoted George Kimbell's statement about Africa being the Dark continent as follows;

"The Only Thing Dark About Africa Is Our Ignorance Of It."