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Free as in Freedom (Classique Us) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. März 2002

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This text 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 still exists today. 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. Like Alan Greenspan in the financial sector, Stallman has assumed the role of tribal elder in a community that bills itself as anarchic and immune to central authority. This book looks at how the latest twists and turns in the software marketplace have done little to throw Stallman off his pedestal. 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 quotes from Richard and his mother about his life, education, and work providing a look at RMS and Free Software Foundation (FSF).

Throughout the book 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.

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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. It examines Stallman's unique personality and how that personality has been at turns a driving force and a drawback in terms of the movement's overall success.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Sorry, Richard Stallman is really an amazing character, but this book, at least in the form published from O'Reilly, is not worth the money. Neither does the author give a detailed description of the free software movement in general nor does he give interesting
personal details about Stallman.
If somebody is interested in a description of his eyes, which have a special glance, as I was told in this book, I can assure him that he will find plenty pages decribing them and his habit in general in a simple minded way. Additionally the author provides senseless information, trying to point out that Stallman is somehow something like an autist (he has to be, because he has done amazing work, isn't it?), and a born politically activist successing his mother, who once stood up against rebuilding their flat.
I was very happy when I received the book, now I'm disappointed. This is the result when journalists try to deal with an issue they don't understand. At least there is a positive message at the end: This book is published under the GFDL, so probably an other author more gifted has rewritten entirely.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten)

Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen 25 Rezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Biography of the last true MIT AI hacker. 7. März 2009
Von Bas Vodde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"Free as in Freedom" is a biography of Richard Hackman, the founder of the GNU project written by a journalist called Sam Williams. It is written under the GNU free documentation license, so can find a free copy on internet at: [...]

The writing is somewhat awkward at times. It starts at the famous story about the Xerox printer which triggered Stallman to start the GNU project years later. But then it actually moves to the biographer talking to Richard in the "now." It then moves back from now to history, to now etc. This is somewhat confusing and also the biographer is perhaps too much there and too much giving his opinions instead of writing the story (especially the last chapter).

The history stories of the book are pretty good though. The classic story about the printer and how emacs was created and the MIT AI Lab culture. From there it moves into the creation on GNU and its initial non-success. Also if briefly covers the conflicts between Stallman and the Open Source community, Stallman and other GNU members and Stallman and the biographer. In other words, it describes pretty well how hard it is to work together with Richard.

I like the book for the stories and its historical perspectives. I like the book for trying to describe how it is to work with a person like Richard Stallman and trying to explain that based in his history. I didn't like the writing style very much and the opinion of the author. If you are interested in Free Software history, then this would probably be a good book for you to read. Otherwise, you'd probably need to leave it where it is or just browse the free (as in freedom) internet version. 4 stars still though.

As a sidenote. It doesn't seem Richard Stallman himself is promoting this book or has made any comments about this book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very good portrayal and informative 30. April 2009
Von OTG w/chickens - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I am a die hard GNU/Linux user for over 12 years. I have become extremely frustrated in Microsoft products that simply don't work and are a huge pain to maintain, while using Linux and watching it excel over Microsoft products again and again. I wrote my own article comparing Linux to Windows and finally decided it was time to get some more history of GNU/Linux and how it came to be. This book fit the bill. It goes into great detail on Stallman, who created the GNU General Public License and the GNU Operating System which started it all, and why he did so. It does a great job of following Stallman's life and the development of the GPL and other accomplishments of Stallman. It also does a great job of introducing Linus Torvalds and how he contributed the Linux kernel which was the missing piece to the GNU Operating System by Stallman, to form what we use today, GNU/Linux or more commonly called just Linux. A great overall book for learning the history of Linux.
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book it's just pure inspiration. Even though there ... 16. Februar 2017
Von mic_pio - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This book it's just pure inspiration.
Even though there is free digital version you should have a copy in you library (for all GNU Linux geeks) :)
5.0 von 5 Sternen I recommend it to anyone interested to know more about the ... 13. Juni 2015
Von Mohanad Mokhtar - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Comprehensive view on one of the elite hackers and one who changed the history of computer software... I recommend it to anyone interested to know more about the free software movement and its effects and how Mr Stallman saw what we saffer today long time ago.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen You don't have to like him but you must respect him 15. März 2003
Von A. Valentine - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I really didn't have high expectations for this book, I figured it would be nothing more than a historical account of the accomplishments of RMS, I was dead wrong. "Free as in Freedom" looks at RMS from a personal and technical level. From his beginnings as an awkward boy in NYC, all the way to rise of the free software movement. I figured this book would be written from extremely pro-gnu standpoint, but I was pleasantly surprised to find an objective account of Richard's issues with the open source movement.
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