"Today I am one of the senior technical cadre that makes the Internet work, and a core Linux and open-source developer."
$ sed -n '/Eric S. Raymond/,/^$/p' /usr/src/linux/CREDITS N: Eric S. Raymond E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/ D: terminfo master file maintainer D: Editor: Installation HOWTO, Distributions HOWTO, XFree86 HOWTO D: Author: fetchmail, Emacs VC mode, Emacs GUD mode S: 6 Karen Drive S: Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355 S: USASo: terminfo database, maintainer of; three howtos, writer of; fetchmail, coder of; a bunch of emacs macros, coder of. Core Linux developer, did he say? Core Linux developer, even?
Not that fetchmail is much to boast about in itself. A real Unix hacker has called it, among other things, an abomination before God. Fortunately, there's a simple replacement. Ironically, it's written in ESR's latest craze, python. Why use getmail rather than fetchmail? The FAQ explains:
"Why did you write getmail? Why not just use fetchmail?
I do not like some of the design choices which were made with fetchmail. getmail does things a little differently, and for my purposes, better. In addition, most people find getmail easier to configure and use than fetchmail. Perhaps most importantly, getmail goes to great lengths to ensure that mail is never lost, while fetchmail (in its default configuration) frequently loses mail, causes mail loops, bounces legitimate messages, and causes many other problems.
In addition, fetchmail has a long history of security problems:
- versions released before 20 June 2001 contain a buffer overflow, which can be remotely exploited (see www.securityfocus.com/bid/2877 for details). getmail is not vulnerable to buffer overflows, because buffers in Python are dynamically sized.
- Another remotely-exploitable security hole discovered in fetchmail in June 2002; versions prior to 5.9.10 (released in June 2002) are exploitable.
- Reading fetchmail's UPDATES file, it appears that another security problem was fixed in 5.9.12, where a server could crash fetchmail on 64-bit platforms. Also worrying is a mention that it includes a fix for "password shrouding".
- Another remotely-exploitable security hole in fetchmail discovered in September 2002; this hole lets an attacker run arbitrary code on the victim's computer.
- Another remotely-exploitable security hole in fetchmail discovered in December 2002; once again, a remote attacker can run arbitrary code on the machine running fetchmail in its default configuration. See this advisory for details.
getmail users have not had to worry about any of these security holes."
"Note that kbuild 2.5 and CML2 are independent, each can function without the other, complaints about CML2 have nothing to do with kbuild 2.5."
So CML2 would seem to be finally dead and buried.
Picked up, updated... and destroyed, in one hacker's judgment. Another goes so far as to say that "the "author" stole the Jargon File fair and square.".
Although the "author" is a noted advocate of "Open Source" (that's Free Software to you and me), the production of successive versions of the jargon file is not open. That's bogus.
An entry you'll never see in the "jargon file":
Raymondism: The deluded belief that free software defies Brooks' law, has fewer security exploits than non-free software and that just because thousands of people have access to the source code those same thousands of people will actually examine it."
"Now, you have an unprecedented opportunity to witness one man's descent into insanity online. Apparently having begun his "journey" by dressing up as James Bond and pretending his CD is a gun, computer nerd Eric S. Raymond has been on a slide into insanity ever since.Read more at Warblogger Watch.
"His descent into insanity is exemplified by a series of posts, so self-evident in their detachment from reality, that they really require no commentary. Over at his site, Raymond has been going through the motions of putting together an Idiotarian Manifesto or some such. He's been trying to get the words right, trying to work out whether the terrorists, who he defines rather broadly, are "feral beasts" or "rabid dogs". This manifesto is the latest in a long line of ridiculous offerings from Raymond, beginning with his series of factually-challenged screeds ranting and raving about the evils of Islam and the hitherto unknown spectre of "Islamofacism"."
Good to see the increasingly eccentric ERIC S RAYMOND keeping himself occupied these days. His latest tweaks: a version bump or two to the JARGON FILE, the ancient hacker bible of which he is current custodian. But how steady is his hand on the sacred tome? Worrying is esr's recent inclusion of unfamiliar terms like "Aunt Tillie" and "GandhiCon", which on closer search-engine examination, appear to have been used almost exclusively by Raymond himself. And esr's current expansions of hacker dialect is curious too. New terms include "fisking" - a term pretty much restricted to the warblogosphere, and defined by your impartial host as "Named after a Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment". Also included is "anti-idiotarianism", as in Eric's Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto, a fascinating call to arms that implies "Anti-Idiotarian" means "To be against listening to anyone who would tell you you're sounding like an idiot these days". Finally (and not included in the changelogs), Eric has tweaked the Hacker Politics page, from its previous description as "vaguely liberal-moderate" to "moderate-to-neoconservative (hackers too were affected by the collapse of socialism)". Go tell that to the Kuro5hinners, Eric. Recalling Raymond's familiar defence of previous changes, "rather than complaining that I am 'rewriting history', help me write it!", let it be noted that if someone did want to fork the Jargon File, now would be the time to do it. Raymond's previous googlejuice at tuxedo.org has been cast to the winds. A new, reformatted and popularly linked-to upstart could quickly seize the top Google slot. Ha, ha, as we apparently all say, only serious.
Even though Eric Raymond makes the hypertext freely available, he does not make the tools and masters that generate the hypertext freely available. It's bogus, and there's no apology. That's not very open-source.
Open source is designed to advance the intellectual property of the corporation at the expense of effort by individuals outside the corporation. As such, it falls under corporatism, as defined in John Ralston Saul's dictionary The Doubter's Companion.
Could a community-maintained Wiki replace the jargon file?
I am of the hacker elite, can't you see?
fetchmail, blindfolds in nethack, er... (hum-hum diddle dee)
Bow down on your knees, don't you diss me!
I am an author, I "wrote" New Hacker's Dictionary
Well, in fact I done stole it from MIT
I didn't get in there, so I figured they owed me!
I am founder and leader of OSI (word!)
Now my Open Source show is really on the road!
Free Software? Hah! Show me dat code!
I am ESR Skywalker, elite Jedi Knight
I'm packing mah gun and I'm ready to fight
You diss me and I'll send you to eternal night!
I am wealthy board member, VA Something-or-other
Got plenty dollar bills, at least on paper
What's that? Dot.com crash? Oh fuck! See you later!
(chorus x 2)
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