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Apple Businesses Operating Systems BSD

GNU-Darwin: Three Years of Free Software Activism 374

Posted by timothy
from the motivations-and-results dept.
JigSaw writes "The GNU-Darwin Distribution is a free BSD operating system and a popular source of free software for Mac OS X and Darwin-x86 users, but it is also a platform for digital activism. Founder Michael L. Love wrote an editorial speaking about the roots, goals, problems and just about everything about GNU-Darwin. Free Software is at the core of GNU-Darwin and also anything political that has an impact on digital and even rights. Is this the first truly politically oriented BSD OS?" Nope.
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GNU-Darwin: Three Years of Free Software Activism

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  • Digital activism? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:38PM (#7383240)
    Problem is that for most people, digital activism amounts to bitching and whining on /. and maybe voting for people who have no chance of winning.
    • No, the problem is that of voting for people who can win because all the other schmoes think the same way instead of risking an opinion. If everybody who didn't vote at all in the last elections had voted for one candidate, that person would have won.
    • by Ed Avis (5917)
      The problem is that the activism chosen doesn't necessarily have much to do with GNU-Darwin or free software or programming, and is just a random collection of the author's beliefs and prejudices, jumbled together because if you believe in one you're expected to believe in the others. What does the Iraq war have to do with the GPL or software patents, for example?

      Having a political stance is fine, but you need to stay focused on what your real goal is. The FSF is a good example in this regard - they choo
  • by AndroidCat (229562) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:40PM (#7383248) Homepage
    We have been prepared to take the Distro off-line a couple of times as a form of political action. It is important to realize that the software freedom status of GNU-Darwin was tenuous before the change to the APSL, so we were ready to cut our losses, and remove GNU-Darwin from the internet, if necessary. Now things have improved very much.
    Now, I'm probably mistaken, but if they took down their site, couldn't someone just immediately pop up a mirror site and carry on from there? If it really is free software under the GNU licence, how can they remove GNU-Darwin from the Internet?
    • Now, I'm probably mistaken, but if they took down their site, couldn't someone just immediately pop up a mirror site and carry on from there?

      You are and you aren't.

      Nothing legal to prevent it. On that you're right.

      But it costs money and time to make something like that available and keep it updated. What makes you think that there are enough people out there who would spend that time and money to keep this thing alive that don't care about Freedom? What on earth would be their motivation?

      • What makes you think that there are enough people out there who would spend that time and money to keep this thing alive that don't care about Freedom? What on earth would be their motivation?

        Well, I [openoffice.org] have [linux.org] no [freebsd.org] idea [mplayerhq.hu]. Maybe they don't have girlfriends and are trying to fill the gaping void.
        • I think you have just proven my point.

          How many of those links go to sites maintained by volunteers who took over a project after the originators pulled out? How many are run by people that don't care about Free Software?

          • What do you mean by "care about Free Software" in this context? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

            Are you asking why anyone would work on and maintain an open source project without strong ideological reasons, such as considering closed source software amoral? In that case, I expect that the majority of open source project communities do not fit your criteria. BSD, Apache, MySQL, Bind... many projects exist because they filled a niche and the open source method just out-competed their commercial ri
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Now, I'm probably mistaken, but if they took down their site, couldn't someone just immediately pop up a mirror site and carry on from there? If it really is free software under the GNU licence, how can they remove GNU-Darwin from the Internet?


      That would require someone outside their project to actually give a shit if they took it down. All their stunts in the name of 'activisim' have marginalized them even more than they would have been anyway.
  • Political? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by worm eater (697149) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:41PM (#7383249) Homepage
    Well, timothy seems to be suggesting that OpenBSD [openbsd.org] is a 'truly politically oriented' version of BSD. Yet the OpenBSD site says that one of their goals [openbsd.org] is to "[b]e as politics-free as possible; solutions should be decided on the basis of technical merit." So is it just not possible for a group of Free Software programmers to be non-political?
    • Re:Political? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cscx (541332) on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:07PM (#7383409) Homepage
      The OpenBSD people HATE the GPL. The only GPLed package in OpenBSD is GCC... and that is slated for removal eventually.

      When the maintainer of BSD's ipf pulled a 180 and changed the license to something more restrictive (I'm at a loss for details right now), the OpenBSD people told him to fuck off, and they wrote their own firewall, now known to everyone as pf. Pretty sad that it had to happen, since pf is now regarded as one of the best firewalls around...
      • Re:Political? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NightSpots (682462) on Monday November 03, 2003 @10:37PM (#7383807) Homepage
        What?

        When the maintainer of BSD's ipf pulled a 180 and changed the license to something more restrictive (I'm at a loss for details right now), the OpenBSD people told him to fuck off, and they wrote their own firewall, now known to everyone as pf. Pretty sad that it had to happen, since pf is now regarded as one of the best firewalls around...

        How is that sad?

        Someone wrote software, and then wouldn't correct a poorly written license. OpenBSD decided that they liked the idea, but disliked the license, wrote it themselves, and published it with a truly free license.

        That's a good thing.
    • Well, timothy seems to be suggesting that OpenBSD is a 'truly politically oriented' version of BSD

      You must be with SCO to make a comment like this, so anti-BSD'ish. I mean, how dare you talk about Theo, no one said he was arrogant cocky pr*ck in this article, so you should really stop trolling. As for political correctness on the BSD's, look to the less spoken of NetBSD [netbsd.org], where no one plays the zealotry games.

      mY oS iS bEtT3r tH4n j0ors sissies I swear...

    • Not sure, but Timothy may have been referring to the stance that the OpenBSD team has taken in the past with regard to encryption technologies. Essentially keeping development headquartered outside of the U.S. because of export restrictions. But then again, Theo is from and lives in Canada anyway, so I guess I could be wrong about the above.
    • It's just not possible to be apolitical. Even stating that you will be apolitical is a political stance. You can only choose your politics.
    • ... take a political science class!
  • That was scary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:41PM (#7383256)
    GNU-Darwin is an activist distribution

    GNU-Darwin has been an ardent defender of digital liberties, and it is a platform for digital activism. Given the current state of things in the US and elsewhere, strident expressions of democratic power are necessary.

    blah-blah

    We have been prepared to take the Distro off-line a couple of times as a form of political action.

    Damn, my skin crawls just remembering it ...

    Seriously, what's this political rah-rah attached to software making? sure free software is about freedom of speech and it's very preferrable for a million valid reasons, but gee, let go of the melodrama-mode button.
    • Re:That was scary (Score:2, Interesting)

      by idiotnot (302133)
      It does have an effect -- people who are opposed to whatever whacko statement they're making at the moment simply decide not to use their software.

      On my s-list at the moment:
      - GNUPG people for their antiwar stuff
      - GNU/Darwin for several of their stances
      - OpenBSD (well, Theo, mostly) for being upset when the hand that feeds them stops when they bit it.

      The political crap doesn't further your cause, it only turns off users. For me, with GNU/Darwin, it's easy. I don't use it, because there are better [debian.org] uni [netbsd.org]
  • Happy to be a part (Score:3, Informative)

    by Galileo430 (614516) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:41PM (#7383258)
    Seems silly such an article is written about "3 years" of free software. Since clearly this "free" stuff has been around for quite a bit longer.

    I see Darwin as FreeBSD's little brother that just happens to have picked up a nice job working for a respectable corporation. The only reason why anyone really cares about this distro is because Apple does. Not that that is a bad thing.
    • perhaps it is actually more than three years. while i am primarily a mac person--designer--i have installed linux on apple machines for fun in the past. mk linux was supported (financially) by apple, and i installed it on a powermac 6100. i just didn't have anything to do with it once i got it up and running! toys!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:42PM (#7383262)

    That GNU-Darwin people decides not to link to "proprietary" libraries is, of course, a result of them using the GNU Public License so extensively-- and now the primary supported Darwin platform is not even supported in this project!

    This makes me shake my head and think, "what the fuck?" This project is not only shooting itself in the foot by choosing a platform not fully supported by the OS, but is also screwing over the real meat of Darwin's userbase: PowerPC owners. This move is akin to opening a car garage (in America) whose mechanics are all experienced in servicing American cars, and then changing policy months later, stating that the garage will only work on foreign models.

    Where's the fucking logic?

    Seriously, am I the only one who is wondering who the Hell is in charge at that project? Kool-Aid Man? This move makes so little sense I can't tell if the people at GNU-Darwin are really that stupid, or if I am waking up in alternate realities every damn morning. I almost kind of hope for the latter.

    This is the GPL in action, Mac faithful. Get down and kiss Apple's butt for choosing the BSD license.

    • What kind of kool-aid are you drinking?

      "The primary supported Darwin platform" - PPC, most assuredly is supported by this project.

      Quit spreading fud, and moderators, please quit moderating this kind of nonsense up!

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:43PM (#7383272)
    While I seriously doubt a free os will be able to muster the clout to be taken seriously on theri Antiwar stand or for that matter their Anti DMCA stand. Its very good to see people taking a stand and getting out the message.

    This does point out the bigger question of why the technical community is not taken seriously on political issues. If you caught the Diane Rehm show this morning, they were doing a piece on voting systems. While they did have a few C.S. people talking about the problems of electronic voting machines, the election officials managed to stonewall and treat their concerns as non issues. The trick for technical people of any stripe is to make certain that the opinion of their community is heared outside their community. GNU/darwin, free BSD, or linux will only serve as a platform for speaking to those allready within a particular community.
    • The problem is that if you use your software as a lever for your political views, you only have leverage to the degree that anyone cares about your product.

      Nobody gives a damn about the GNU/Darwin software; it contributes nothing new, it's unsafely done and it gets jerked around every time "Proclus" wants to make a political statement. The guy flames anyone who points out shortcomings in his distribution, rants at anyone who criticizes anything he does and one time accused the MacSlash editors of trying to

    • "This does point out the bigger question of why the technical community is not taken seriously on political issues."

      I believe it is because the way that technical people see problems is very different form the way that non-technical people see problems.

      Technical problems typically involve tradeoffs. E.g. if you use this certain data structure, you will get fast deletion and insertion, at the cost of slower searching; if you use this data structure searching, deletion and insertion are all reasonably fast
    • They don't take stands on things that are 'safe' to take stands against.

      The don't take stands against china nor do they take stands against what the current goverment of iran is doing to those students that protest against it.

      In short, the don't believe in there protest, the just want to look 'cool and/or 'progressive'
      • That's an idiotic thing to say. China is very "safe" to criticize, as is Iran. It's a majority position that the Chinese government has serious human rights problems. The same goes for Iran, although it is criticized in the US to a lesser extent. Maybe they aren't criticizing those countries because...they can have more impact by criticizing a nation that they are part of? Their leaders actually have to listen to them? And learn to spell.
  • by Qweezle (681365) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:47PM (#7383291) Journal
    From the site:


    In fact, we did blackout the home page as a war protest in March, and we blackened the whole website, after Apple used the DMCA, but we have never actually taken it off line. Fortunately, the situation has never warranted taking the package collection off line, which would be an even more drastic step, and our actual users have never been affected by these actions. In fact, we received many orders and messages of support as a result of our activism.


    While I realize that MOST of the supporters of Darwin may in fact be politically liberal...this is not fair for the [conservative and otherwise] users that are not. I'm not looking to start a flame war, but I believe that inserting his political beliefs into his work project is less than elegant.
    • by Arker (91948) on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:05PM (#7383395) Homepage

      This has nothing to do with 'liberal' or 'conservative'. Plenty of left-wing warmongers out there (just look at the US Congress) and plenty of conservatives are anti-war.

      Being against war isn't a right-left thing. It's a humanity thing.

      • being for war isn't a non-humanity thing when there are people dying at the hands of tyrants.

        just ask the Hatians, the People of Yougoslavia, the Somalians, or any of the people we worked to save during the Clinton Administration.
    • Being antiwar doesn't equate with being liberal. There are plenty of conservatives and libertarians that don't agree with the Bush administration's foreign "policy". [lewrockwell.com]
  • Most developers don't have a problem with opposing things such as the DMCA and the abuse of patents that runs rampant. That won't be an issue. It was also said in the article that, in March, the page was blacked out for a time in protest of the war against Iraq. I know the war is something that most Slashbots were quite opposed to. While it may not have been the right thing, there are some good things to come from it. One of which is millions of Iraqis now have freedoms they never enjoyed under Saddam Husse
  • In the SCO dispute, GNU-Darwin has no stake at all

    For a body with no stake at all they have a lot to say about the SCO dispute in that document.
  • Reenactment (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:50PM (#7383315)
    Scene: the Whitehouse


    Dubya: Ok, tomorrow we start dropping the bombs if the demands are not met.

    General: Sir! We just got the news in! The GNU-Darwin distribution has taken down its website!

    Dubya: Oh my god! Cancel the war!!

    • by hayden (9724)
      Scene: the Whitehouse

      Dubya: Ok, tomorrow we start dropping the bombs if the demands are not met.

      General: Sir! We just got the news in! The GNU-Darwin distribution has taken down its website!

      Dubya: Darwin? Isn't that is Austria with all the Kargaroos? They said they were on our side!

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:55PM (#7383339) Homepage
    What seems to be missing from the article is an explanation of why anyone would care about the project. Is it because they think the Darwin kernel is technically superior to other kernels? In what way? Is it superior in ways that normal users would care about? If you've got a PPC box and want to put a free OS and free apps on it, why not just install a PPC version of Linux? There may be good reasons, but they aren't evident from the article.

    The whole article just comes off like a crank piece to me. I'm against the war in Iraq, but if they think blacking out their web site is a real form of anti-war protest, that's pretty pathetic.

    • If you've got a PPC box and want to put a free OS and free apps on it, why not just install a PPC version of Linux?


      You ought to just go ahead and put linux on it then, or perhaps plain old Darwin.

      GNU-Darwin decided to support only x86, not PPC, some time ago in a fit of 'activisim'.
      • While I am not sure why someone would want to run Darwin instead of Linux-ppc if not because they have to run one or more proprietary apps (that's my excuse) this is just nonsense:

        GNU-Darwin decided to support only x86, not PPC, some time ago in a fit of 'activisim'.

        I know it's nonsense, because I have a lot of their packages installed on my TiBook at the moment. Look here [gnu-darwin.org]. Packages for PPC and x86, no problem.

        • It's not nonsense.
          Look here [gnu-darwin.org] in their own press archive, 3rd article from the top.
          They still have their old PPC stuff in "matinance mode", but they only actually develop on x86. (unless they meekly pulled back from their position without bothering to make a statement to that effect).
  • Political OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chromodromic (668389) on Monday November 03, 2003 @08:55PM (#7383342)
    Well, I'm not very familiar with Darwin, but now I can say, based on this story, that my mind is pretty closed to it. I would certainly be hard pressed to ever consider it for anything in a production environment.

    I don't want politics with my OS. I don't want the distribution site going black because Bush decides to bomb koala bears or even humans for that matter. Call me cold-hearted, but if I'm in a production environment, and I need to deliver a box that's expected to be supported and work as advertised, I don't want to worry if the freaking OS "activists" -- whatever the hell they are, exactly -- are going to pull the Distro (capitalized, no less) because the Malaguan butterfly's habitat is endangered by oil drilling or 250 million U.S. citizens have strong opinions about war.

    Screw that. Give me my FreeBSD, which, to my knowledge, is pretty much always available, regardless of what Dan Rather is spewing at any given moment, and give me peace of mind. Hey, I know that's a lot less eloquent than "give me freedom, or give me death", but in my mind, and with some of the pressures I face from clients, I really don't distinguish between the two.

    Activists need to shut up and get jobs anyway.
    • Re:Political OS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 11223 (201561) on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:40PM (#7383568)
      Please don't confuse Proclus's trolling with Darwin, which is a fine operating system put out by a lot of good people at Apple, including Jordan Hubbard. Instead go to the OpenDarwin [opendarwin.org] web site, with people who are actually interested in improving the technology. The only reason GNU-Darwin offers bootable CDs is that an OpenDarwin team member mistakenly told him how to build a CD without linking to the Apple proprietary components; the OpenDarwin release ISOs do this as well.

      GNU-Darwin also has a spotty history with replacing libraries with broken versions, installing stuff in /usr and /usr/local, and generally making a mess of the system. Please do not attempt to run GNU-Darwin and ask for support from the real Darwin folks; they will turn up their noses at you.

      Pay no mind to Proclus's trolling. I'm just dismayed it ended up on Slashdot.

      • Thank you for your well considered response. Since you sound level-headed, I will go check out that site and see what there is. I love OS X, love BSD, and I'm always interested in seeing the innovations surrounding the different flavors of this OS branch.

        Oh -- and I have nothing against the Malaguan butterfly. I was just saying, you know, for example ...
    • This guy's pretty much a crank. He's not representative of Darwin in any way, other than that he put together a version of Darwin that has a bunch of GNU software. If you'd like to find something out about Darwin, check out either of Apple's Darwin site [apple.com], or the Open Darwin [opendarwin.org] site, which is a site for Darwin developers. Honestly, I think most people think of Michael Love as a troll; I don't know why he's getting play on slashdot.
      • other than that he put together a version of Darwin that has a bunch of GNU software.

        If I wanted GNU software, I could get it from Fink or OpenDarwin instead. Frankly, the only point of GNU-Darwin, as far as I can tell, was to put "GNU" in front of the name.
    • Lets make it clear that this is GNU-Darwin only. There are other darwin distributions which are... well... less retarded. It's only fair not to slander their collective good name.
  • Zealot! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:04PM (#7383391)
    This guy's a zealot. I don't mind him choosing to do what he does, but I won't ever bother to try out GNU/Darwin because of his zealotry. I prefer a more relaxed environment where BSD, GNU, APSL, or other licenses are not so strongly advocated or political/religious views put forward that I can worry instead about what interests me.
  • Michael Love = troll (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know why the fuck this douchebag and his GNU-Darwin hard-on are allowed anywhere near slashdot. Check his homepage if you want. He's a scientologist.
  • Scary.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pave Low (566880) on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:26PM (#7383504) Journal
    This nutjob seems to think that people should be buying into his beliefs when all anybody cares about is the software. He makes the mistake of thinking people should care just like him one other issues because of one non-related issue.

    Can you imagine if you were in a restaurant and the waiter berates you for being pro/anti-abortion, pro/anti gun or being christian/jewish/whatever??

    I'm sorry, this guy is really no much different than the child molesters who tempt kids with candy , only to get them into the back of their vans. Harsh, but true.
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday November 03, 2003 @09:39PM (#7383559) Journal
    "In fact, we did blackout the home page as a war protest in March, and we blackened the whole website, after Apple used the DMCA, but we have never actually taken it off line"

    Did they take the site offline when "The war veterans - unleashed by President Robert Mugabe to seize white-owned farms - are not, however, killing only people: they are slaughtering animals on an unprecedented scale."?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ ne ws/2003/06/22/wzim122.xml

    Did they take the site offline to protest the jailing and torture in china of people who speak out or worship?

    Did they take the site offline to protest the actions of the goverment of iran to put down the student lead protest movement that has resulted in thousands being thrown in jail?

    No? Why not? Do they only protest against things that are 'in style' and/or 'hip' with their 'progressive' friends?
    • Please let us all know what you did, when these things happened.

      Second their actions was related to the issues against which they protested. Closing down a site is a fairly powerful statement. I remember going to Knoppix's site and found out the front page was closed. I had read about it a week or so earlier but had forgotten. When I saw it made me stop and reflect for a while.

      • I wrote letters to my reps in DC.
        I emailed stories on them to people/reporters I know to help get the word out.
        I submited articles on them to various blogs that I contribute to.
        I have in the past, donated money to support what I believe in.

    • Maybe they protested against the things which affected them or which they thought they might actually influence.

      Since they aim at Mac OS X users Apple's DMCA use might affect them and their users. And the USA is a democracy in which such protests theoretically might change government policy.

      Zimbabwe, China, and Iran are not democracies (well not ones where people can vote how they want and have it counted) and hence blacking out a web site isn't going to do anything to them. You need to stand in front of
      • Zimbabwe, China, and Iran are not democracies. No shit? I thought they were lands of milk and cotton candy!!!

        But bringing attention to their plight could go a long way in correcting them. But they chose to protest against something they could not change.
        • No, they chose to protest against something they could change.

          Their web site protest will have no effect on Zimbabwe, China, or Iran.

          However, a significant number of Apple's customers use use a web browser to look at web sites, and hence there protest may cause some Apple customers to change their purchasing habits, and let Apple know why. That in turn could cause Apple's behaviour to change.

          Assumming they are US citizens or that some US citizens view their web page, then their protest may let an intern
      • Mod sholden up - pretty much summed up what I wrote later in the thread, only better.
    • Did they take the site offline to protest the jailing and torture in china....


      Did they take the site offline to protest the actions of the goverment of iran to....


      No? Why not?

      Perhaps because they have no control over what happens in those countries?

      Perhaps because they feel more responsible for the atrocities being committed by their government and corporations?

      To be honest, I don't think its a particularly effective form of protest, but do you really believe that to have a 'right' to protest somethin

  • GNU-Darwin Mirror (Score:2, Insightful)

    by proclus (33875)
    Our pipes are pretty full, but there is always the Sourceforge mirror.

    http://gnu-darwin.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]

    Regards,
    proclus

  • PLEASE NOTE: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stienman (51024) <adavis AT ubasics DOT com> on Monday November 03, 2003 @10:10PM (#7383689) Homepage Journal
    So called 'GNU-Darwin' is NOT OpenDarwin [opendarwin.org] so far as I can tell from their respective websites. Apple is not associated with GNU-Darwin in any way, other than GNU-Darwin seems to have stolen the mascot, the name (adding GNU - how original and trademark avoiding), and the source.

    Seems to me that this 'GNU-Darwin' is no more than a political website, probably distributing the stock Darwin unchanged.

    Stupid, stupid people. This can of worms has been opened before - don't they know that polotics is not considered 'added-value'? And if they don't have anything substantial to add to the core Darwin, they won't last more than it takes for them to come up with some other bandwagon.

    -Adam
    • polotics: Annoying tick like creatures which infest polo fields and are the scourge of polo teams world wide.

      politics: Annoying tick like ideas which infest sensible discussions and are the scourge of intelligent people world-wide.

      Freudian slip, or forgot to preview: You decide.

      -Adam
      • politics: Annoying tick like ideas which infest sensible discussions and are the scourge of intelligent people world-wide.

        politics
        Etymology: Greek poli, "many" + Latin ticus, "small bloodsucking invertebrate".
  • Most of those who've hung around slashdot long enough to actually be interested in this particular discussion will be familiar with the many reasons for and against prepending GNU in front of any software which appears to require GNU tools to maintain core functionality.

    I'd like to re-iterate my position that those who feel it should be added, as in 'GNU-LINUX', are askin' for a smackin'.

    That's all I'm saying.

    -Adam
  • Site Blackouts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaptainTux (658655) <papillion@gmail.com> on Monday November 03, 2003 @10:22PM (#7383747) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me or does it bother anyone else that the same software developers who passionately scream about "freedom of choice", "open source", and "alternatives" are so ready to try to force their users towards a particular choice by removing access to their software? When we look at the "blackouts" that we've seen over the last few months, they amount to wholesale extortion of users.

    For example, on the GNU-Darwin site, the developer mentions taking the distro offline as a protest to the war. What purpose did this really server? Do you really think that the leaders of the coalition had any high-level meetings where they said "You know, I really thought this war was a good idea. But the blackout on the GNU-Darwin software site has really made me think twice"? Of course not. What it DID do however was pressure some of the distro's users to get pissed off and write their MP or Congressman and oppose the war because they wanted their distro back damnit! And that was the intention: to force their USERS into taking a specific action.

    Yep, there's that freedom they rant about huh? Software blackouts don't mean a thing and the developers/sites that use them should be ashamed of themselves for trying to extort their users in such a way.

  • by SewersOfRivendell (646620) on Monday November 03, 2003 @11:25PM (#7384034)
    a popular source of free software for Mac OS X and Darwin-x86

    On what planet? I think the poster is thinking of Fink, which is at this point quite apolitical. Everyone tends to shun GNU-Darwin, generally because the bootstrap script was originally horrendously insecure [slashdot.org]. This appears to have been fixed, but they're still downloading completely unnecessary binaries (you don't need wget to download a single file! curl does that just fine).

  • From the article...

    " If everyone does everything that they can, no matter how small, then together we can make an impact. Together we can stop the Englobulators!"

    What's he talking about? A Google search turned up this:

    "Englobulators" is a term of art meaning the loose alliance of cartels, monopolies, and governments, which act against our right and power of private ownership of computers, and our rights and powers of free communication over the Net."

  • I've come to the conclusion that GNU-Darwin is a hoax! Oh, there may be some software there you can download, but it's all part of the trappings for an incredibly elaborate chicanery. I am here now to unmask the perpetrator of this hornswoggle. This has gone on long enough!

    Proclus (otherwise known as Michael L. Love, of no relation to Ransom that I know of) started this scheme in an effort to illustrate absurdity by being absurd. His aim is to ridicule Free Software by taking the ideas of the FSF to a absu
  • by GileadGreene (539584) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:36AM (#7384548) Homepage
    From the article in question:

    We have been prepared to take the Distro off-line a couple of times as a form of political action. It is important to realize that the software freedom status of GNU-Darwin was tenuous before the change to the APSL, so we were ready to cut our losses, and remove GNU-Darwin from the internet, if necessary. Now things have improved very much.

    Which pretty much sums up why these guys will never be any kind of serious competition for any real free OS. Who the hell would place any faith in this distribution? Doesn't exactly sound like the kind of dependable OS I'd want to put on my critical servers if it's going to come and go depending on the current political situation. And what kind of idiotic form of activism is it that goes out of its way to inconvenience its supporters, rather than the people its protesting against?

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.

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