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Ahhhhh – Youre killing FOSS!

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Youre killing FOSS! Ahhhh. Can anyone do that? really? Are we not responsible for our own actions?

A slightly different approach today and I hope you can relate to some of the issues I cover here.  I am looking at a claim thats usually made against many outspoken people in FOSS, but often you see it when there is no counter in an debate/argument.  When I first started writing this article little did I know I would get my own example of “killing the FOSS” directed at me and it was a sweet surprise in the middle of a rather vulgar tirade by the person concerned (more on that later) Without further ado lets look at some of the people who have been accused of “Killing the foss!!!!!!!”

From my own surfing and experiences I would say Richard Stallman & Roy Schestowitz are two of the known voices in the FOSS world who have both had that allegation thrown at them. So lets look at this for a minute, is there any one person so important on the Net that everyone sees them as the guiding light of FOSS?  (or indeed any software) I’d say no and the implication that the remarks of any one person could have a detrimental effect on an entire community is simply rubbish.  I always thought we took responsibility for our own actions and views.  If people choose to agree/disagree it doesn’t really matter, the point is the responsibility is ours. If RMS was to say that the face on Mars was actually Steve Ballmer and that was conclusive proof that Microsoft wants to take over the world, would that effect FOSS in anyway?  Would, as a result of that people leave the FOSS world in droves because of such a silly remark?  Of course not, all that would happen would be RMS would probably not be taken seriously ever again. When Steve Ballmer made the cancer remark, did people leave the Windows platform in droves in disgust?  What about when he called Google a house of cards?  Silly statements (IMO)  like that did nothing detrimental to Windows/Microsoft other than get re-quoted every time Microsoft claims to want to be friends with FOSS. The “killing the foss” or similar statements are IMO not only silly but the final act of the desperate.  No persons actions on the Net would cause damage to an entire ethos/community/software, otherwise the terrible e-crimes which we see documented that were facilitated by users of Windows would mean Microsoft would have a lot less users.  Its the individual persons views/actions NOT the communities or software itself to blame.

I thought we lived in a world were people should take responsibility for their own actions, I thought we lived in a world were we formed opinion and made decisions from multiple sources of information not just one. I covered the Jono Bacon interview of Roy a while back and whilst Jono was quoting commenters who had issue with Roy’s work, he also (IMO) made the implication/suggestion that Roy’s work was detrimental to FOSS.  I’m sure Roy would agree that he does not have that much power (although Jono was unintentionally paying Roy a compliment I think) Looking at another example, Mark Shuttleworth was recently held to task over some comments he made and once again out of the woodwork came the “killing the FOSS” type comments.  Again, complete rubbish.  Mr Shuttleworth is responsible for his own words and its up to him to either justify, clarify or apologize for them. Its now that I move onto a rather more distasteful part of this article (and in the interests of keeping this readable, have cut much from the original since recent events to me prove a far more valuable point)

Jo Shields is a name I would consider quite well known within the FOSS world.  His promotion of Mono has him both supporters and detractors.  Buts lets say for a moment that only in the last week I had picked up my first Linux disk and was currently experimenting with it. I recently engaged Jo in conversation as he had either been watching/had someone report or been examining the logs of Boycott Novell IRC chat.  You are welcome to visit my Twitter account and see the whole conversation, however it started after I took a screen grab of a comment where Jo had said a comment about MS likely to start a little bit of a battle and was possibly poorly thought out due to the feeling of distrust by some of Microsoft.  This started a discussion between the two of us and whoever was “in the right” for me became academic when I received this (letters have been hashed out by me for decency reasons and to put it in context, the apology he mentioned is where I asked him to apologize for claiming I said something and then linking to it where it clearly shows I didnt. )

hah, f#ck that. I have NEVER done ANYTHING to you worth an apology, up to and including this: you are a c#nt and a blight on FOSS

So Im a blight?  and he is?  Not wishing to dwell on that, he still is mentioning the C word whilst talking to another user even at time of writing this.

Does this behaviour have Jo Shields damaging FOSS?  I wouldn’t think so.  Jo is responsible for that tirade and it will be up to him to justify it every time its brought up as an example of rather poor behaviour.   Jo seems to think either a/ I am not serious or b/ there is no legislation to cover this type of action.  Here for you, the readers, is the legislation which I believe is most relevant to the message Jo sent to me:

SECTION 127(1)(b) and (3) of the Communications Act 2003

On *DATE* at *LOCATION* caused to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network:

(A) a message

(B) matter, namely *SPECIFY*

that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character.

I’ll leave you the reader to consider if the message falls into that category or not, however Jo (who unless I am mistaken does not have a job involving criminal law) seems to think it doesn’t as he said in a recent message:

even the ambulance chasers who advertise on Jeremy Kyle wouldn’t take up a case like that

Jo’s opinion on UK criminal law is all academic though and not really of further relevance to this article, so I will move on.  Mr Shields also states when telling another user about the aforementioned C word post:

oh, yes, I called @_goblin a c#nt on Twitter. References to the Communications Act would be laughable if they weren’t so sad

and now that Jo Shields has had a little education into the Communications Act 2003 legislation let see if he agrees that maybe an apology is in order not only for the vulgar tirade, but the false claims he made about me.

Regardless of what happens and regardless of who anyone agrees with, in my opinion vulgarity like this do not put the attitude of Mr Shields in a very good light.  Its strange he said what he did publically since he seems very concerned with his public image by stating to me that he checked the BN IRC logs for lies about him.

CONCLUSIONS

The purpose of a blog/personal site, is to present ones opinions.  There is no one person which so much sway that they could damage anything.  Damaging FOSS would be to introduce legislation making it illegal.  Damaging FOSS would be only sell computers that ran proprietary software..these are actions and actions with (far fetched but obvious results)  There are those who will make inappropriate comments in favour of Linux and against it, there are those who will make statements that cause offence/upset, the only damage being done is to the person saying them, not the community in which they are a part of.

I had many other examples of “killing the foss” and I have been snapshoting comments since I said I would quote Jo a few weeks ago, thats really now out of the Window (no pun intended) as I think that it needs to be highlighted the behaviour of some people when at the end of the day we are talking about software (last time I checked it was hardly on the same scale as world hunger)

I think next time Roy Schestowitz receives an attack or a libelous claim, I may throw reference to the Jo Shields incident and a quote (yes I do like them) springs to mind (from the Gospel of St Mathew) :

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again

Food for thought I hope next time you hear the words “Ahhhhhh Your killing FOSS!”.   If, as Jo Shields suggested to me that Boycott Novell is a “factory of lies” what does that make Jo and his opinions?  Whoever you agree with, whoever’s work you follow I would like to think that most reasonable people would consider Jo’s words vulgar, obscene and wholly inappropriate.   Ive never seen Roy Schestowitz, Richard Stallman, Mark Shuttleworth or anyone else known in the FOSS world behave like Jo Shields has.

You can visit Jo Shields on Twitter here.

He also has a website here: http://www2.apebox.org/wordpress/

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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About Tim Sparrow

Online tech writer, novelist/author of sci-fi literature and co-host of the TechBytes Show! I believe in multi-culturism & diversity. Luton Town FC supporter.

Discussion

18 thoughts on “Ahhhhh – Youre killing FOSS!

  1. lmfao!!!!!!!!!
    This is going to help the Mono cause no end! If I had not seen the conversation myself I would have thought this story false.
    Joe needs anger management!!!!!

    Posted by Vadervader | November 12, 2009, 12:06 am
  2. Hi Vader

    I think you’ve missed the entire point of the article. That being the actions of one are solely the responsibility of that one and not the community they represent.

    The post made was directed at me, has nothing to do with Mono, Novell, Microsoft or anyone else and is in no way representative of anything but Jo’s thoughts.

    Posted by openbytes | November 12, 2009, 12:35 am
  3. Note from Openbytes: I do not see the need for vulgarity, never have. If people feel the need to swear at least have the decency to # out letter incase anyone reading is offended. Its not censorship, its being polite. I hope Richards mother doesn’t hear him talking like this. As I said yesterday I won’t be online (at least properly until later) so on Richards behalf I appologize that he is resorting to this type of infantile behaviour.

    I, for one, am disgusted by this “Shields” character. Profanity is the last refuge of inarticulate motherfuckers, after all.

    Why, just the other day, I was driving my car around, and cut somebody off in traffic. At which point the inarticulate motherfucker rolled down his window, and screamed at me for being a cunt, a fucking great fuckwad with no fucking clue how to fucking drive, and so forth. I did the only rational thing, of course: I handed the poor inarticulate motherfucker a card with my email address. With any luck, he will email the same insults to me, I can pretend to feel grossly offended by his indecent, obscene, and menacing tirade (which is no worse than anything I might hear down at the pub), and tie up the courts with a case in which the plaintiff is none other than My Planet-Sized Ego. Fuck yes!

    I think it’s great that we have a guy like you, Goblin, who’s perfectly willing to abuse legislation intended to protect people from stalkers and such in order to put the Fear of The Law into others. Who else would be willing to take a stupid fucking step like that, other than some cunt or blight on the face of the community? Not that I’m saying that you’re that cunt (although your “gnutee” does make you look like a twat, no offense, eh?), and I’m glad that you’re taking this step before that cunt had to do it. Wield that fucking law like a big fucking stick, yeah!

    PS Oh my, I seem to have slipped a few fucking swearwords into this post. Whoops (or rather, “whoop-de-fucking-whoops”). I can be an inarticulate motherfucker, eh? Go ahead and edit this post, replacing vowels with hash-signs. Then nobody on the face of the planet would be able to bypass your profanity-encryption and know what words were originally there. For example, I still don’t know what that Shields fucker actually fucking said, it’s just too hard to replace your astonishingly-effective hash-signs with letters…

    Posted by Richard | November 12, 2009, 5:46 am
    • Note from Openbytes: Richards “satire” contains vulgarity in which he sees no problem in using. Richard enjoys coming here to disrupt and on occasion (as below) when nobody pays him attention, he resorts to this childish behaviour. Again, I appologize on his behalf for any offense caused by his behaviour.

      I just don’t know how those fucking swearwords got in there, but I’m glad that you’ve apologised for them on my behalf. That’s really sweet of you. Might I ask you to re-edit the post on my behalf, and do the following:

      - Put a note at the top, in bold, saying “WARNING from Openbytes: this comment contains vulgarity!”

      - Shift the current note that you’ve written to the bottom

      That would make the entire comment much funnier for those of us who are familiar with the concept of satire. Thanks!

      Posted by Richard | November 13, 2009, 4:51 am
      • Grow up Richard.

        Posted by openbytes | November 13, 2009, 9:51 am
      • Note from Openbytes: Please excuse the often rude Richard. If you said a dog had four legs he would probably challenge it and say you were wrong. Richard can be vulgar so be warned his posts can be immature/rude.

        Woof! <– feel free to prefix with a comment.

        (What happened to "Any attention is good attention", Goblin? Did you get the wind taken out of your sails by a little light mockery? Seems you can't take it as well as you like to dish it out…)

        Posted by Richard | November 13, 2009, 10:33 am
  4. You’ve obviously put alot of work into that pointless post so I assume you were not content with the spectacle you made of yourself in the last thread.

    I won’t encourage it but please by all means continue to contribute. I am not wasting my time on that rubbish of yours.

    I will give Richard as quote though:

    ” Fear of The Law into others. Who else would be willing to take a stupid ##cking step like that, other than some c#nt or blight on the face of the community? ”

    What step Richard? Jo implied there was no leglislation suitable, I asked him to call my bluff…he did so I changed the articles direction to include his behaviour…not sure what step you are talking about there…I don’t think you are either and we have all seen how you like to distort posts and text..

    Anyway I digress, carry on Richard with whatever your intention is…

    Posted by openbytes | November 12, 2009, 10:50 am
  5. Jo Shields is a waste of space, and expanding on the concept that people are responsible for their own words and actions, I think it reflects badly on any FOSS project that tolerates such toxic members.

    Posted by Ben fields | November 13, 2009, 12:00 am
    • Hello Ben.

      I think the danger of considering people “toxic members” is that if someone behaves badly, everything they associate with gets labeled in the same way. I have my own views on Mono which I documented here, but regardless of what they are Jo’s behaviour did not change those views in anyway.. I know for a fact other Mono supporters haven’t acted the same way and I think the tirade only reflects badly on Jo not on the project that he supports.

      I did not produce my post in order to “prove” that Mono is a bad thing, infact it was merely a coincidence that Jo provided a tirade when I was already writing an article on “killing FOSS”.

      Does Jo reflect badly on Mono? IMO No, and I would hope people see beyond his comments since even the basis of the tirade had nothing to do with Mono.

      Consider any FOSS project on its own merits, not the people involved in it that is what I believe, otherwise we wouldn’t be using anything as Im sure every project has one or two people who have caused offense to some in the past and that would go for both proprietary and FOSS.

      Posted by openbytes | November 13, 2009, 12:30 am
  6. Dear Richard, Its not mockery since its you making a spectacle of yourself. Its not censorship either since I leave your posts intact. I am not “taking” anything as you like to say and Im not “dishing” anything out…

    Unless you want to suggest I behave like you and Jo with your potty mouths?

    Again, grow up Richard.

    Posted by openbytes | November 13, 2009, 10:50 am
  7. With a mouth like that, no wonder he has mono.

    Couldn’t help myself.

    Posted by FreeBooteR | November 14, 2009, 6:12 pm
  8. Jo and the other monomaniacs have to go. Debian needs to investigate who sponsored them, and then take corrective action. Jono @ Ubuntu needs to do the same and perhaps deal with mistake a little more forcefully.
    At Ubuntu, the #1 bug report is about M$ marketshare. Yet at the same time, Jo and his monomaniacs are spreading M$ marketshare throughout ubuntu. Worse, the quality of Ubuntu suffers because of the M$ mindset that they bring with the defective M$ technology.

    M$ designs messes like that:
    http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/11/10/bing-cashback-exploit-discovered-microsoft-sends-in-lawyers

    and that should stay out of Ubuntu. 9.10 has problems enough. 10.4 is supposed to be a long term release. Smart money would be on getting rid of Mono and the cause of it: monomaniacs. Sorry, but in the real world people get fired if they are not a match. Nothing says that Ubuntu or FOSS in general has to be a catchall.

    Their behavior is all-around atrocious, especially the way they camp on the bug reports and brainstorm issues.

    Posted by nomo jo | November 14, 2009, 9:40 pm
  9. Thanks for the input, sorry there is a delay in me responding, but Ive just got in. Mr Icaza made a remark the other day about someone else that I thought was wholly inappropriate but then it seems to me like the only area of bad behaviour is from those of the pro-mono stance which is a shame because although Im not a fan of any “gift to the world” it will probably be embarassing for those that are.

    Posted by openbytes | November 15, 2009, 1:03 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Capnkirby » Blog Archive » Ahhhhh – Youre killing FOSS! - November 12, 2009

  2. Pingback: Microsoft Actions — Not Free Software Proponents — Are Harming FOSS | Boycott Novell - November 12, 2009

  3. Pingback: Destillat KW47-2009 | duetsch.info - GNU/Linux, Open Source, Softwareentwicklung, Selbstmanagement, Vim ... - November 20, 2009

  4. Pingback: Bug #1 is Not “Market Share” | Boycott Novell - January 19, 2010

  5. Pingback: Grahame Morrison – No feuds on his watch? #FAIL « OpenBytes - May 15, 2010

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