I got into a pissing match with Eric S. Raymond, the famous programmer, author and Open Source Software advocate. I want the opinion of others, preferably people with no specialized programming knowledge, to tell me if I read one of his responses correctly.
I objected to what I regard as a hysterical over reaction to a patent application Apple filed for an infrared augmented reality tag system. The technical issues aren’t that important at the moment.
I would like you good readers to read one of my comments and Raymond’s next response and then answer some questions after the jump. Please don’t read my questions until you read Raymond’s response because I don’t want to prejudice your impressions.
Here is my comment. The only thing you really need to know before reading Raymond’s response is that it was he who used the phrase “complete control” in the parent post.
The parent post is here if you want to read it.
Now, here are my questions:
If you don’t know much about Open Source or computers in general, how did Raymond’s comment make you feel about trusting Open Source? Did it make you more or less trusting of the Open Source programmers as a group?
Is it my imagination or did he just pull the geek version of “don’t you know who I am?!!!”
Did he not claim that I should defer to his opinion on this specific matter because of all the great and wonderful things he and other Open Source programmers had done for all computer users?
Did he not make the geek version of, “Look you little ingrate! I lost a leg on D-Day so you owe it to me to defer to me in all military and foreign policy matters!”
Do you think he actually answered any of my substantive points?
I get a little wrapped up in these discussions and I want to get a little double-checking of my impressions because frankly right now, I am shocked and appalled.
I guess you never should meet your heroes.