Home » Free As in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Battle to Liberate Software by Sam Williams
Free As in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Battle to Liberate Software Sam Williams

Free As in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Battle to Liberate Software

Sam Williams

Published
ISBN : 9780812991611
Paperback
128 pages
Enter the sum

 About the Book 

Free as in Freedom interweaves biographical snapshots of GNU project founder Richard Stallman with the political, social and economic history of the free software movement. It examines Stallmans unique personality and how that personality has beenMoreFree as in Freedom interweaves biographical snapshots of GNU project founder Richard Stallman with the political, social and economic history of the free software movement. It examines Stallmans unique personality and how that personality has been at turns a driving force and a drawback in terms of the movements overall success. Free as in Freedom examines one mans 20-year attempt to codify and communicate the ethics of 1970s era hacking culture in such a way that later generations might easily share and build upon the knowledge of their computing forebears. The book documents Stallmans personal evolution from teenage misfit to prescient adult hacker to political leader and examines how that evolution has shaped the free software movement. Like Alan Greenspan in the financial sector, Richard Stallman has assumed the role of tribal elder within the hacking community, a community that bills itself as anarchic and averse to central leadership or authority. How did this paradox come about? Free as in Freedom provides an answer. It also looks at how the latest twists and turns in the software marketplace have diminished Stallmans leadership role in some areas while augmenting it in others. Finally, Free as in Freedom examines both Stallman and the free software movement from historical viewpoint. Will future generations see Stallman as a genius or crackpot? The answer to that question depends partly on which side of the free software debate the reader currently stands and partly upon the readers own outlook for the future. 100 years from now, when terms such as computer, operating system and perhaps even software itself seem hopelessly quaint, will Richard Stallmans particular vision of freedom still resonate, or will it have taken its place alongside other utopian concepts on the ash-heap of history?