April 1, 2003

Free Software Foundation debuts Shared Source program

- By Robin 'Roblimo' Miller -

Cambridge, MA, April 1 - "We've learned that only a few nut-case programmers ever alter source code, so we have developed a new license, the GSSPL [GNU Shared Source Public License] to meet the needs of the vast majority of computer users," said Free Software Foundation founder Richard M. Stallman at a press conference earlier today. He also said, "The fact that Microsoft is now the FSF's prime sponsor has nothing to do with this decision."A smiling Bill Gates shook hands with Stallman in a conference room at the newly renamed Bill and Melinda Gates Center for Free Software, formerly known as the "Free Software Foundation office."

Gates used this opportunity to introduce a new Microsoft product: GNU/FreeWindowsXP, which can be freely downloaded from GNU/Microsoft.com starting today for only $149 and will be freely available in retail stores next week for only $199. He also said we can expect a replacement for Microsoft Office by the end of the year.

"Our new desktop office suite is going to be called Microsoft GNU/eMacsOffice," Gates said. "We have replaced our obsolete 'point and click' user interface with a new one so sophisticated you don't even need a mouse or other pointing device to use it, just a keyboard for your desktop or laptop or a handwriting recognition program for your tablet PC."

Gates attempted to show screenshots of the new product using a beta version of its new GNU/FreePowerPoint module, but the tablet PC he was using displayed nothing but a blank black screen with lines of white text on it. "We had hoped to show you this exciting demonstration not only of GNU/eMacsOffice but also our new Microsoft GNU/Hurd kernel, but it looks like we have a little bit more work to do before it's ready for prime time," said Gates.

A freshly trimmed and shaven Stallman, wearing a navy blue Armani suit, colorful Ralph Lauren tie, and brilliantly-shined Allen Edmonds loafers, gratefully accepted a $50 million check from Gates on behalf of the FSF. "This will enable us to step up development on the GNU/Hurd kernel," he said. "Hopefully, with this additional funding version 1.0 will be ready by June 10, 2055, instead of our original target date of August 15, 2120."

Several protestors tried to disrupt the ceremony, but Stallman said, "Ignore them. They're just bearded fanatics from the Open Source movement who don't have any grasp of business reality. We keep telling you that Open Source is not the same as Free Software. Now, with the new GNU Shared Source Public License that allows developers and users all over the world to send bugfixes and patches to the Free Software Foundation for free, and to freely use all GNU software for a small licensing fee as long as they don't redistribute its source code or make unauthorized modifications to it, we think the confusion will finally end."

Category:

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