Re: polarization

Thank you for that very thoughtful message.

I'm told I speak well.  LinuxWorld expo just accepted another talk from
me for February - they've had enough chance to see me perform up to now,
so that might be a positive note on my verbal skills.

No, I haven't been involved in GNOME development on a regular basis. But I've
been a very public GNOME supporter from day one and _hope_ I've helped GNOME
that way.

I think I've helped convince Sun to GPL StarOffice. I wrote a paper on it that
you can read at . This was
widely publicized and helped convince the Linux community that "almost
Free Software" wasn't free enough. The community then convinced Sun. At the
GNOME Foundation dinner, the Executive VP of Software at Sun made it clear
that she'd read the paper, as did a number of other executives there - they
even had checked my site recently enough to thank me for ammending the
article to note that Sun had addressed my objections.

At the time, a lot of people branded me a zealot or said less polite things.
I frankly don't think that this would have turned out so well for the Free
Software community if I hadn't stuck my neck out. There might not even have
been a GNOME foundation today.

And I can say the same for a number of other "controversial" issues, going all
the way back to the original Qt license, where I did work to mobilize the
community to reject a proprietary component in the infrastructure of Linux.
Go look at how I was flamed to the bone for that. But the end result was good
for the Free Software Community.

I don't think that Miguel would have been able to remain as aloof as
he has from some of these disputes, had I not been involved in them.

I don't think that in the situation we are in now, with business on one side
and hackers on the other, that can really afford to shy from controversy. I
fear that we will be backed against a wall if we do. On the other hand, there
are good and bad ways to handle controversy.

I'm not going to say that I haven't done stupid stuff. Since then, I have been
president of a company, and a father, and so on. I'm a bit more grown up now.
I am on some controversial boards - for example advisory boards for both the
Linux Professional Institute and SAIR Inc. (the Linux training company), which
were at odds for the longest time and now appear to be working together better.
I've had to use a sharp tongue with the SAIR executives quite a few times but
haven't walked off that board even when Phil Hughes did.

I suspect this is moot as most people have already cast their votes.



> From: Sri Ramkrishna <sri aracnet com>
> The main reason to put it bluntly is you're a controversial
> figure.  People are warped by whatever actions you may have done or they
> thought you may have done.  I dont have any kind of pre-conceived notion
> what you're like, personally.  I think you would make a fine candidate for
> a number of reasons:
> o Ability to think outside GNOME.  Like Jim Gettys, I think you will
>   bring maturity and rational thinking to any forum including this one.
>   I think that is highly valuable valuable skills.  Especially when most
>   of the board is under 25. ;)
> o You understand the business of Free Software and how it affects the
>   world around you.  World view is important in a group thats looking at
>   the future direction.
> o You're a hacker in your own right.
> o You have excellent language skills. (I can't speak for verbal, some
>   people can emote wonderfully but can't speak right) :-)
> The negative thing I have against you is the fact that you have not been
> involved in GNOME on any kind of regular basis.  The candidates that
> people have mentioned have put a lot of their waking hours into the GNOME
> project.  They believe very strongly in GNOME.  I hope you do too.
> Those are some of the points off the top of my head.  I think the fact
> that you can go and do the "dirty work" means that you will help protect
> GNOME from companies who which to leverage the code base for their
> own ends.  I think few of the candidates here can claim that.
> 	Thanks,
> 	sri
> ps Lets not bring out any dirty laundry here regarding anything Bruce has
>    done.  I prefer to simply discuss his qualifications.

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