Dead Parrot

March 21st, 2006

everybody loves eric raymond episode 43 strip

ELER is back from it’s unscheduled multiple week holiday. ELER is not a dead parrot.

I got an e-mail from Linus Torvalds. I don’t think he liked the Tivo strip:

“being able to change your opinions and your mind depending on changes in circumstances or in the face of new information is called ‘intelligence’”.

I asked him for his opinion on the strip in general but received no further e-mails. I’ll take it as read that he loves ELER and wishes to continue starring in it, perhaps with a couple of nude scenes some day.

Have you booked your hotel for LUGRadio Live 2006 yet? Be there or b2.

With extra script help from Jim Thompson

Bruce Schneier with guns for some reason

Bruce Schneier Facts

A few things you probably didn't know about Bruce Schneier. The Bruce Schneier Facts Database.


Knuth is my Homeboy t-shirts

Knuth is my homeboy T-shirts

Available at the ELER Shop. Be the envy of the tiny minority of your friends who know who Donald Knuth is.


34 comments

  1. PLEASE: No more book contracts for ESR.

    Looking back at the TiVo comic. I couldn’t see anywhere that portrayed Linus changing his mind as a bad thing. Torvalds is right: Changing your mind IS intelligence and I don’t thing you were critisising his mind changing. (AFAIK)

    Love the Monty Python reference.

    ….oh and I think everybody should listen to LugRadio:

    http://www.lugradio.org/

  2. You dare defy your god Linus?!

    Good comic, liked it.

  3. I think the little graphics used for eyebrows and mostash on Linus were swapped between the second and third frames. :^)

    Oh, and doesn’t the DRM portion of the GPLv3 violate the “prime directive” of the GPL that one may not tell someone else how they may or may not use the software (allow Greenpeace but deny Haliberton, allow use in solar energy development but not on nuclear submarines, that sort of thing)?

    Just musing….

  4. How long can you grind the same axe?

  5. The axe-grinding will continue until morale improves!

  6. This is really one of the best strips so far. Great work!

  7. No, Bob. You can use GPLv3 software for any purpose you want. The DRM provisions only come into play where you attempt to use technical means to prevent people from running modified software on devices that they own. They require that some means be provided for the user to run modified versions of the GPLv3 software. Without such provisions, we might have a world in 10 years where every new PC is locked down, refusing to run any software not signed by the seller of the machine, or Microsoft, or whoever, and the seller would be able to use GPL software in that world. People could obtain the source. People could modify the source. But no one can run a modified version.

    Now, I don’t think that the GPLv3 provision will have much effect on people who really want to push DRM down our throats. They can simply use GPLv2 and other free software, plus proprietary software. It is at most a symbolic protest, at most a small speed bump.

    But I don’t think any prime directive is being violated.

    Besides, if Linus likes everything but the DRM provision, he could choose to license under GPLv3 with a DRM exception, using language like “this software is licensed under the GPL version 3, but as a special exception you may ignore section X”, where section X contains the DRM rules.

    (ignoring the fact that Linus doesn’t own most of the code in the kernel).

  8. To be clear, when I said you can use the software for any purpose you want, I was talking about use as opposed to distribution. The GPL already said when you give someone the binary you must provide source, defining source as the preferred means of making changes. The DRM provision just adds that you may not use technical means to make the source useless for the purpose of making changes.

  9. ROFL :)

    And yes, I am already booked at LRL06 – see you there :)

  10. Glad to see a new ELER episode, and glad to see I seem to have provided inspiration for it with my previous comment!

  11. 4 panels isn’t enough to do the parrot sketch justice. We demand more panels!

    (seriously, great comic!)

  12. And I demand that I am Vroomfondel! No wait, wrong British humour series. nm.

  13. Is the possible dual meaning of the word “Slug” intentional? While it could mean a creature belonging to the family Stylommatophora, it might also be a Linux User Group. I find that quite funny.

  14. Glad to see you back, was getting a tad worried there. :)

  15. What, linus doesn’t say, “Want to come back to my place?”?

  16. Finally! I almost thought you were dead! (as a parrot)

  17. [quote]The DRM provision just adds that you may not use technical means to make the source useless for the purpose of making changes.[/quote]

    Does that cover my poor spelling, attrocious coding style and complete inability to write anything without loads of ‘goto’ statements ?

  18. GPL3 Draft:
    No covered work constitutes part of an effective technological protection measure: that is to say, distribution of a covered work as part of a system to [b]generate or access certain data[/b] constitutes general permission at least for [b]development[/b], distribution and use, under this License, of [b]other software capable of accessing the same data.[/b]
    So if I write a DRM scheme using I have to provide all anyone would need to write a program that strips that DRM away. There are two bits in the GPL3 draft about DRM. People who defend it ignore the second clause which doesn’t deal with running a recompiled program, but with the DRMed data created.

  19. Shame then, that you named your strip after him?

  20. This comic needs an appearance from Theo de Raadt as pirate, with his parrot. Talk about being free and stuff, and say Arr, Slacker and Whiner a few times and it’ll be like Theo himself wrote it.

  21. Here’s a picture of Theo saying “I am not a pirate, that is not a bird, (on my shoulder)”

    http://zeus.theos.com/deraadt/pirate.jpg
    http://zeus.theos.com/deraadt/

    Theo looks a lot like Bill Gates:
    http://www.nndb.com/people/937/000023868/theo-sized.jpg
    http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/images/gates3.jpg

    I always loved this bit from a /. post:

    If a tree fell on ESR in a forest filled with Linux users, would anyone notice? The guy is, and always has been, all talk. Say what you will about RMS (a communist), Larry Wall (a pseudo-scientist babbler), or Theo deRaadt (a sociopathic cult leader), but they produce working code. Until ESR does more than a simple mail downloader (is he capable of it?), he is simply not needed.

  22. Beautiful Monty Python reference, love this one! keep up the good work.

    (by the way, what’s wrong with Linus’ eyebrows? they seem to be uncomfortable in their intended position and sail away towards the hairline in the last two frames O_o)

  23. Great ELER that had me in stitches.

    Jonas… ‘I got a slug’ is the exact wording from the original Monty Python script so all that Leach and Parry are doing is taking advantage of what Mr. Praline (John Cleese) and The Shop Owner (Michael Palin) originally said… it begs the question how could those Monty Python chaps have known that some free software hippies would happen along and knick the meaning of the word slug right out of their scripts.

  24. “Philly Pink” — that’s excellent!

  25. This monster thread in fedora’s development list might provide a bit of fodder:
    http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.devel/36702

  26. Oy, thats rich. ESR asking for Fedora to add proprietary software to a future release.

  27. > No covered work constitutes part of an effective technological
    > protection measure: that is to say, distribution of a covered work as
    > part of a system to [b]generate or access certain data[/b] constitutes
    > general permission at least for [b]development[/b], distribution and
    > use, under this License, of [b]other software capable of accessing the
    > same data.[/b]

    This only means that you can’t use fscking laws like DMCA on who cracks the DRM. You don’t have to “provide all anyone would need to write a program that strips that DRM away”, you just can’t prevent others doing so.

  28. for those interested…

    http://orangecow.org/pythonet/sketches/petshop1.htm

    The Dead parrot sketch in full

  29. Why not a strip building off of ESR’s occasional desire to equate himself to Obi-Wan Kenobi? ESR is “war-leader of the Open Source army” (doesn’t have any members), and goes off the fight the good fight….but ends up getting deployed to Afghanistan or something.

  30. Suggested title, “Obi Wanken Obi”

    Darl Vader

  31. Why is it all the _good_ webcomics are the lazily updated ones?

  32. And now for something completely different

  33. Thanks, Jim… that was a good one.

  34. I like the lumberjack sketch – I wear high heels supsendee’s and a bra – just like me dear mama – haha the ladyboy

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