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Free as in Freedom (2.0): Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Editorial Reviews from the Midwest Book Review, "a hard-hitting analysis that goes beyond discussion of software and information sharing and probes the very foundations of democratic thought" In 2002, Sam Williams wrote Free as in Freedom, a biography of Richard M. Stallman. In its epilogue, Williams expressed hope that choosing to distribute his book under the GNU Free ...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published December 27th 2010 by Free Software Foundation, Inc (first published January 1st 2010)
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Bruce
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I picked up my signed copy at the FSF bookstore a couple of months ago, really just because I wanted to make a donation, but I wanted to get some loot from it too. :)

Richard Stallman is a visionary. Like many visionaries, few others catch or understand what he sees in the first handful of decades. In this way, I disagree with one major aspect of Williams' analysis: that the gap that separates the utilitarian "open source movement" and the truly "hacker"
...more
Osip
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
RMS - мощный дядька, который зачастую выглядит и представляется другими как фрик, но на самом деле все его высказывания очень последовательны и имеют под собой основу. Эта книга несомненно хороша тем, что раскрывает мотивацию Столлмана, однако это не биография или историческое описание становления free software movement (хотя это как раз хорошо освещено), а такой набор анекдотов, более-менее расставленных в хронологическом порядке. Меня посещала мысль, что я читаю черновой сценарий какой-то ...more
Daniel Honus
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
You are better off watching the lectures/interviews on youtube (proprietary, don't start), or reading them in transcript form. This is the same information you would get, only with a side of 3rd person Stallman, boasting about what a big brained hacker he is.
Stallman, betrayed by a mean printer who hindered his work decided to change the world's opinion on how software should be licensed. He has an ideology and sees it as the way. It is a good read if you want to learn more about the way he
...more
Jon Merkley
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one was mostly just informative. Not in a bad way, though. It showed a side of Richard Stallman that I've never seen before and I think that was a good thing. If all you have to go by is what he put up on his site, and what you may have read on wikipedia.org, then this book will show you a bit more of the kind of person he is. If you don't know who Richard Stallman is, what the Free Software Foundation is, what the GPL is, or what GNU/Linux is, and you don't really care then don't bother ...more
Russ
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great book it serves as both a biography of Richard Stallman and also does a good job of explaining many of the values of the Free Software Movement. I was impressed that the book was licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. I liked how the book provided so much background information on RMS as it helped me to understand what influenced him to do what he did. It also did a good job of clarifying a few things such as the difference between "free software" and "open source" ...more
Dani Arribas-bel
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Fairly interesting read that goes beyond the software world to reflect more on social values and the current trends on how our society treats knowledge and access to it.

Also the portrait of a quite unique person that draws as much attraction and respect as laughter and repulse. I was already quite an admirer of Stallman, after this book I can only reaffirm myself. If rms didn't exist, we'd have to invent it.
Seth Kenlon
Oct 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Bought this from the FSF booth at USENIX. An interesting book, worth a read, but it smacks of biographical trivia that I'm not too sure I'm all that fond of. I mean, I guess i should have expected it, but the title tricked me a little. I expected it to be more about Free Software and less about "the rise and fall of Richard Stallman" - which it isn't, exactly, but that's the feeling of it.

Frankly, the GPVv3 is a much more interesting and enlightening read.
Michael
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this book much more interesting than I had originally expected. The book will likely only fascinate anyone involved with Linux...er, GNU/Linux, but it's an insightful look into the brilliant mind and awkward quirks of the original father of the open source movement.
Mark
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I'd probably give this a 3.5, given the option. Nice to finally get some of these details and stories, but the book seemed a bit disorganized. Also, while it seemed to have an idea of how to finish, I don't think the conclusion of the book was executed well.
Graham Lee
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Any biography is the subjective interpretation of the author. As this book also includes the subjective annotations and editions of its subject, it makes that point very clear. There's plenty of interesting content here but it's clear that the result is a palimpsest of biases.
Aija
May 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Good book to get know the history and origins of free as in freedom software and Stallman's character. However, smth of the author's pathos annoyed me.
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