Richard Stallman v. Web 2.0

    I really respect Richard Stallman , creator of the philosophy of free software .

    But, as elsewhere, in free software one does not have to go as far as fanaticism .

    I was very saddened by Stallman’s March interview, Richard Stallman v. Web 2.0 .

    Here are a few quotes:
    Andrei Pismenny : What do you think about online services and, in particular, the gradual migration of user programs to the Internet?

    Richard Stallman : I do not know what is meant by the migration of user programs to the Internet. What are you talking about? I am using emacs.


    Richard Stallman : <...> Google Docs <...> does not work on your computer, so you put your documents on someone’s server and this someone has control over the processing of your data. This is mistake. You must work with your documents on your computer using your own copy of a free program that is under your control.

    Andrei Pismenny : But how to work with documents together?

    Richard Stallman : I do not understand what the problem is. You can send copies of the ODF document by mail (!!! - V.S.).


    The main point of the Stallman interview is that the user must control the software with which he works. And since he can’t control the work of the web-series (even if this is an open-source web service), then the use of web services should be abandoned .


    It seems to me that Stallman argues in terms of codes of the 80-90s - the time of the origin of free software. Then, indeed, all the programs were executed on the user's computer, and the user had to control them.

    But now, times have changed! Software systems have become so complex that they basicallycannot run on one, or even multiple computers. Their work requires huge clusters worth millions of dollars. Teamwork, sociality, etc. - how can this be implemented without web services?

    Of course, the closeness of web services and the inability to control their work is a problem for the idea of ​​free software. On Habrahabr , the topic has repeatedly raised that Google is no less closed than Microsoft.

    But, I am sure, web services can be combined with the idea of ​​free software. How best to do this is up to Stallman, the Free Software Foundation, and everyone supporting the Idea to decide. And the problems that bring us new times must be solved, and not try to escape from them.

    I would very much like to know what the habra people think about this.

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