September 24, 2001

ESR: Apology to the FSF

Author: JT Smith

- by Eric Raymond -
I am writing to apologize both privately and publicly for my part in
this NewsForge story. While the quotes in that story accurately reflect my personal estimate
of the FSF's history and situation, they were written in my role as
historian and analyst, and intended as deep background to the reporter
in a spirit of private candor. They were not intended to be used in
public, they do not express any policy of the Open Source Initiative,
and were not written to advance any other agenda or to provoke a
controversy which would ill-serve the interests of the community as a
whole. In fact, I regard the fact that they were published at all as
an unexpected and unwelcome shock.

My last quote in the article noted that despite what I judge to be its
mistakes and reverses, I believe the FSF still has a vital role to
play in the future and I wish it continuing success in that role. That
remains my considered judgment as both historian and advocate, which
I hope you will weigh equally seriously with my critical remarks.

While I feel more than somewhat ambushed by the reporter's behavior, I
accept that I am personally at fault in not ensuring that these
comments remained in background. The last thing our community needs
now is more internal divisions, and I have no desire to act in ways
that will increase them.

Eric S. Raymond


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