Stallman: cloud computing is a trap

Noah Slater nslater at
Mon Oct 6 16:00:47 UTC 2008

On Mon, Oct 06, 2008 at 04:35:37PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> > Hazardous? I'd love to know how.
> Even if the lawyerbombs resolve in the best possible ways, it pushes up costs
> of these marginal providers because of the sins of Big-Webmail-like providers.

If you could avoid rhetoric and non-value neutral phrasing it would go a long
way to promoting intelligent discussion. By imposing your value system through
your language you attempt to influence the reader without citation or argument.

> Is digg free software?
> Uses facebook.  I don't like the general thrust of that project either.

So, by talking about, linking to or externally active with a third party website
you consider this to be a violation of *your* principals?

Can we not say "free network software is great, let's do more of that" instead
of trying to imply that it is even possible to use the Web as it stands without
using some "non-free" network service.

Tell me, which search engine do you use and is it free software?

> Noah Slater <nslater at> wrote:
> > On Mon, Oct 06, 2008 at 01:06:00PM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> > > I was thinking mainly of the off homepages of some GNU software.
> >
> > Please clarify this statement. The GNU website is available via CVS.
> I think it's pretty obvious what the term "off" (which Ciaran
> introduced) means and I can't think how to clarify it further.

My apologies, this was a misreading on my part.

> > > but there are other parts of the GNU project using things like Atlassian
> > > Confluence - it's not like we're short of free software WikiEngines.
> >
> > These are used by the individual software developers working for GNU and are not
> > hosted or part of the official GNU website.
> Nice dodge!  So we could have links from to the local user group sites
> used by the individual software developers working to promote and support GNU
> software... (but we don't and may not, unless they use blessed names or have a
> strong internal advocate...)

Not really.

The GNU Project is a volunteer effort, are you asking that it enforces the
conduct and activities of all it's maintainers external to the official

I find this particularly hard to swallow from a fellow Debian contributor who
presumably toes the party line that Debian's contrib and non-free sections are
not part of the official project despite being hosted on it's infrastructure, a
much more dubious position if you ask me.

> > > Also, some of the strongest AGPL advocates are heavy users
> > > of proprietary web-apps, which is particularly irritating, like a
> > > drunk lecturing on how we should all be sober at all times.
> >
> > Who?
> I'm not posting names here (else I'll have to inform them and this
> will become another AGPL advocacy backslapping instead of a discussion
> of webapp user control), but advocates of AGPL to debian-legal
> recently included several users and when I criticise Affero
> on my blog, I can be pretty sure of responses from
> maybe such users could do more to promote free software webapps by not
> using the non-free competitors?

Non-free competitors to MaBloss[1], your free software blogging system? Perhaps
users of Blogger don't have the technical means to install and run a Scheme
based blogging engine?

Perhaps those users of Gmail don't have the means to run a private mailhost like
you do? Or maybe they just don't have the time. I hardly see this are a major
issue and it certainly makes me feel uncomfortable that you are imposing your
value system on others in this way.

If someone who was hosting a project site with JIRA and Confluence and was
arguing with you for using Gmail, I could see the hypocrisy, but I doubt that
this is the case.


Noah Slater,

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