RMS and Bruce Perens Come To Belfast

Big Free Software conference in Belfast today. Here’s my notes from it (in chronological order)

* Bruce Perens is not a ghost. I’m slightly saddened by this.
* Google exists to “Organise the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful”
* Google’s homepage is sparse and simple because in the beginning they didn’t know HTML well enough to make it more complicated.
* RMS acts like a dick
* Google is “still a relatively small company”
* Behdad’s photo onscreen during Summer of Code talk
* Birmingham City Council using Linux in libraries.
* Publisher is the only hurdle remaining for them to remove XP from their staff desktops – public workstations all using Linux
* RMS acts like a dick again
* BCC didn’t publish that they were using Linux because they didn’t want a million geeks emailing them to say they were using the wrong desktop/distro/package…
* To make the decision they set up 5 machines
– Windows like
– Mac like
– Best of GNOME
– Best of KDE
– (another I’ve forgotten)
And put a usability questionaire beside each one
The best rated were the GNOME and KDE ones. Didn’t reveal which was best.
* Initially used GNOME, had some “major issues” with it so now they use KDE.
* Bruce Perens does not loves Everyone Loves Eric S Raymond. He does not think it is funny to laugh at Eric, because he can’t help the way he is.
* RMS does not like people saying Linux or Open Source. And he tells us so. At length.
* He doesn’t like patents either.
* Or DRM.
* Man in audience does not like RMS comparing the London bombings to a car crash.
* RMS tells man in audience he missed his point.
* Man in audience does not like RMS.
* RMS dons cape and halo and pretends he’s a saint.
* Man in audience (same as above) accuses RMS of wanting to totally change the worlds economy and equates wanting all software to be Free with being able to make a copy of a car.
* RMS says that if indeed there were car copying machines, he would have no problem with someone copying his car. But there isn’t, so its a bit of a moot point.
* BP chimes in and says that there are book copying machines and yet he still sells lots of copies of his book.
* RMS agrees
* RMS and BP argue over some story of people being threatened with rape for copying software
* RMS tells the story of how he got physically ejected from Belfast International Airport.
* Google gave me lots of free crap.

I spoke to the man from BCC about the issues they had with GNOME. He tells me he doesn’t know the details but it was mainly gnopernicus not working well with Openoffice. Don’t see why using KDE would make it work any better. He’s given me his email, and says if I email him, he’ll forward it to the technical guys.