Open Source Advocate Has Yet To Rebut Craig Mundie

by Leonard Richardson

Published on segfault.org 05-08-2001

Jeff Parns considers himself a model for free software advocacy: helping out at installfests, answering questions on the Central Kansas Free Unix User's Group mailing list, working in his spare time on a user-friendly graphical interface to cron. Why, then, has he yet to write a long-winded essay rebutting Microsoft exec Craig Mundie's recent remarks about open source?

Our crack interviewing team cornerned Parns in his home, where he was conspicuously not combing through the text of Mundie's remarks, just as he had not been in attendance at NYU's Stern School of Business on May 3 to hear Mundie speak. What justified this weird behavior?

"I really think there are enough rebuttals already, " said Parns. "I mean, have you even read all those things?"

Eric S. Raymond, whose two preemptive rebuttals sparked the craze, was pessimistic about the chances for a Parns rebuttal in the future. "Obviously, we can't force him to write a rebuttal to Mundie's wrong-headed remarks about open source," said Raymond. "However, it's possible that my new paper, 'How I Rebutted Craig Mundie's Wrong-Headed Remarks About Open Source In Copious Detail--And How You Can Too' will give him some ideas. In fact, there's sort of a little form rebuttal in Appendix C which he can sign his name to and get it linked from Linux Today."

"As a full-time programmer, my day is pretty busy," said Brian Behlendorf of the Apache Software Foundation, whose anti-Mundie remarks were picked up by Infoworld. "Yet even I managed to stop by Mundie's speech and make a few remarks to the press. I don't think this Parns is even trying. I mean, even Steve Ballmer published a 3000-word Mundie rebuttal. Sic transit gloria Mundie, I guess."

Even Parns' neighbors have begun to notice this gap in the open source ranks. "The way he helped me with my Red Hat install, I was sure he was some sort of hot-shot free software advocate," said Millie Leman, a local dominatrix and mother of two. "But I haven't heard one word from him about this Mundie thing. It makes a person wonder."

"Look, it's spring, my son's about to graduate from junior high, I'm trying to get KCron to 1.0," said Parns, shooing this reporter out his front door. "Just leave me alone."

Will Parns rebut? Already, rebuttals with his name on them have begun showing up, though he denies authorship. Watch for the rebuttal signed with Parns' Gnu Privacy Guard key, and keep reading Segfault.org for complete coverage of every Mundie rebuttal ever written.

Tomorrow: An in-depth look at the rebuttal that Mark Billings of London saved to ~mark/mundie.txt, but never showed to anybody.


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