On the Front Lines with Richard Stallman

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Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and The GNU Project, has had a consistent message about freedom for computer users for over 23 years. His first experiences with computers predate his work with the MIT AI Lab, which began in 1972. When I began researching for this interview, I had a different concept of Free Software and Open Source – so much so, that I rarely distinguished between the two. After nearly two months since my initial contact with Mr. Stallman, I’d like to think that I have a better grasp on the differences between them. I’ve also learned that Richard Stallman’s vision for Free Software – that’s “Free” as in “Free Speech” – has remained his primary focus.

You’ve been a programmer for longer than most common folk realize computers have even been around. What is it about programming that you enjoy most? What compels you to code? Continue reading

Ready for a new K: an inside look at KDE 4.0

KDE 4.2

KDE 4.2

If you ask a Linux (or BSD, or *nix) user what their favorite window manager is, there is a strong chance that they will tell you that they use KDE. The good people at KDE are set to release their next major version – KDE 4.0 – currently slated to drop on October 23, 2007. Until then, for those of us who are a bit more daring, KDE 4.0 Beta 1 is available now.

I spoke with Wade Olson, the North American contact for the KDE project about what we can expect. Wade has been in the software industry for 14 years as a programmer in C, COBOL, SAS, shell scripting, Java, and PERL. He’s done contract work with some heavy hitters in banking, media, and health. In addition to his work with the KDE Team, Wade is currently an I.T. Manager for a team that develops high-volume Java portlet web-based applications in Java, Spring, Hibernate and WebFlow, as well as JSR-168. Wade is also a proponent of cross-platform (web-based) applications, open protocols, and open document formats. Continue reading