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Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
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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.
Starting with how it all began--a desire for software code from Xerox to make the printing more efficient--to the continuing quest for free software that exists today. It is a movement which Stallman has at turns defined, directed and manipulated. And the goal of the book is to document how Stallman's own personal evolution has done much to shape notions of what free software is and should be.
Discover how Richard's childhood and teenage experiences as well as his years at Harvard and MIT made him the man he is today. The book's narrative style includes many candid quotes (like any other type existed) from Richard and his Mother about his life, education, and work providing a entertaining, thought-provoking, and some frustrating look at RMS and Free Software Foundation (FSF).
The author had the opportunity of numerous meetings with Stallman to uncover what's behind those piercing eyes. Also, peppered throughout Free as in Freedom
are insights from FSF supporters, detractors, the early MIT hackers, and those who knew him in high school and college.
If anything, the current software marketplace has made Stallman's logic-based rhetoric and immovable personality more persuasive. In a rapidly changing world people need a fixed reference point, and Stallman has become that reference point for many in the software world.
:) "Williams should be saluted for taking on the difficult task of giving us, outside the GNU world, an understanding of the enigma who is Richard Stallman."
:) "The book is by no means a defense of Stallman. Instead, it probes beneath the surface and chronicles the events that have made him such a prominent and sometimes enigmatic figure among free software and open source developers."
Danny Yee's Book Reviews
:? "...it jumps around too much and assumes too much general knowledge of the computer industry to be a good introduction for complete outsiders."
:) "Williams has created a well-written and well-researched life history of Richard Stallman. "
:) "...that bring fresh insights into the evolving mind-set of one of the most influential programmers in the history of computer software."
New Left Review
:) "As the book makes plain, Stallman is an extraordinary figure -- a programmer of surpassing skill, capable of matching the output of entire commercial teams with his spare, elegant code; and a tireless, principled and uncompromising activist who initiated and fostered the notion of a data commons."
:) "Sam Williams and his publisher, O'Reilly, have taken a brave step into the unknown with Free As In Freedom..."
Interviews with the author:
Interviews with Richard Stallman:
David S. Bennahum
The saint of free software
The Richard Stallman saga, redux
Richard Stallman's plans for Microsoft
Linux's forgotten man
Richard M. Stallman Visits Teradyne
-- contains RMS Visit mini How-To, some suggestions if you want your company to have a successful visit by RMS.