225: Open Source
Title text: Later we'll dress up like Big Oil thugs and jump Ralph Nader.
Richard Stallman is famous for beginning the GNU Project and is outspoken on the topic of Open Source software and Free software. So much so that he has garnered dislike from traditionalists who believe that software source code is a trade secret. While this dislike may not be at the level of hiring ninjas to remove him from the world, it is strong.
GPL refers to the 'GNU General Public License', which covers all GNU software. It stipulates software is copyrighted, provided with full source code, and everyone is free to modify, disseminate and even sell software provided they also provide full source code and retain all copyright notices. This makes all software derived from GPL software also GPL, even if 'derived' means 'borrowed a couple of lines of code from'. Many people consider this to make GNU software behave like a 'license virus'.
The wording "For a GNU dawn!" is pronounced "For a new dawn!".
Eric S. Raymond is a famous hacker who has been an unofficial spokesperson for Open Source movement. The plan to prank Eric Raymond next is a bad one: he is an experienced martial artist and gun enthusiast.
- [Richard Stallman is sleeping on a bed.]
- [Suddenly, two ninjas jump through the skylight.]
- Ninja 1: Richard Stallman! Your viral open source licenses have grown too powerful.
- Ninja 2: The GPL must be stopped.
- Ninja 1: At the source.
- Ninja 2: You.
- [Richard Stallman wakes up immediately, and pulls his katana out of its sheath from under his bed.]
- Richard Stallman: Hah! Microsoft lackeys! So it has come to this!
- Richard Stallman: A night of blood I've long awaited. But be this my death or yours, free software will carry on! For a GNU dawn! For freedom!
- Richard Stallman: ...hey, where are you going?
- [The ninjas step out the window.]
- Ninja 1: Man, you're right, that never gets old.
- Ninja 2: Let's do Eric S. Raymond next.
- Ninja 1: Or Linus Torvalds. I hear he sleeps with nunchucks.
- Because of this comic Stallman has been given a katana by fans of xkcd.