Jono Bacon, Ubuntu’s Community Manager, had to apologize to Richard Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, after a rather harsh blog post.
Richard Stallman is not a friend of Canonical. He criticized the company and their operating system, Ubuntu, in the past. Recently, he had some pretty powerful remarks about the Unity online search functions, calling it “spyware” and instructing people to boycott the distribution.
“If you ever recommend or redistribute GNU/Linux, please remove Ubuntu from the distros you recommend or redistribute. If its practice of installing and recommending nonfree software didn't convince you to stop, let this convince you.”
“In your install fests, in your Software Freedom Day events, in your FLISOL events, don't install or recommend Ubuntu. Instead, tell people that Ubuntu is shunned for spying,” stated Stallman.
Canonical hasn’t reacted per se, but Ubuntu’s Community Manager took it upon himself to say that Richard Stallman is only disseminating FUD. Although this acronym also has some pejorative meanings, Jono meant to say fear, uncertainty and doubt.
This is well known marketing tactic in which somebody discredits a product by disseminating negative or false information. Jono also called his allegations childish.
For those of you who are unaware, Richard Stallman is one of the pioneers for the freedom of software and it’s known for launching the GNU project.
Calling his allegation FUD and childish might not be the best decision from one of Canonical’s employees.
Sure enough, a few days later, an apology arrived in the form of another blog post from Jono Bacon.
“As such, Richard, I apologize whole-heartedly to referring to your position in your post as ‘childish‘ and I continue to have great respect for the work you do to encourage and grow software freedom around the world,” stated Jono.
Canonical has just launched Ubuntu 12.10 and if you get over the search online feature (and close it completely), you will find that it’s a very good operating system, with very few faults.