Bruce Perens in Linux Magazine Sept 2001

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Sun Sep 2 15:03:10 UTC 2001

Hi all,

Bernhard Reiter and I are currently on a very short road-trip through
the United States and yesterday we got ourselves a Linux Magazine
(September 2001 issue) in Madison, Wisconsin. On pages 35 to 38 there
is an interview with Bruce Perens that contains some interesting
statements about the OSI that we'd like to share with you.

[ begin - page 37 ]

LM: But wouldn't you say the Open Source Initiative has shifted the
 dialogue away from Free Software?

BP: Yeah, it did. You know, I correspond with all of the players, Eric
 Raymond included. Eric and I have certainly had some rough
 times. When we founded Open Source, my understanding was that Open
 Source would be a gentle introduction to Free Software and not a
 separate movement. I would never have participated in Open Source for
 the purpose of creating a schism. Especially now, it is important
 that we stand together. That's more important than it used to be. I
 harbor some disappointment that Open Source became something that
 sort of deprecated Richard Stallman's philosophy rather than leading
 people into Free Software.

 Richard Stallman is not the best person to make the bridge to the
 complete novice. It takes awhile before you can understand him. So we
 needed a project like Open Source to get people working on this stuff
 and, then, they would appreciate their freedom. But I am disappointed
 that Open Source has been sort of perverted into being a separate
 instrument. Eric is obviously very aware of that disappointment.

LM: So are you glad you participated in the Open Source Initative or
 do you regret it?

BP: It is very interesting because I ran for the GNOME Board and did
 not get elected, though I did reasonably well in the election for
 someone who hadn't done much in the world of GNOME programing. One of
 the things people didn't like about me was that I was instrumental in
 creating the Eric Raymond PR Monster. I hope Eric laughs when he
 hears this. So, I do actually feel bad about that to some extent
 because I did not understand where Erc was coming from when I
 co-founded the Open Source Initiative with him; his heart is in the
 right place. He's doing what he believes is right. It just so happens
 that it's not what I believe to be right. But had I understood Eric a
 little better, I would not have co-founded the Open Source Initiative
 with him.

[ end - page 38 ]

Okay, it is time for us to leave Clinton, Iowa now and drive through
Savanna(h). We will look out for the mailman. :-)


Georg C. F. Greve                                       <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
Brave GNU World	                           (
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