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This was on distrowatch Finally, something to brighten up your Monday - an amusing story, as shared by Eric S Raymond. Last week, the well-known open source advocate was approached ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer cheetahman's Avatar
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    Microsoft tries to hire Eric S Raymond


    This was on distrowatch

    Finally, something to brighten up your Monday - an amusing story, as shared by Eric S Raymond. Last week, the well-known open source advocate was approached by none other than Microsoft Corporation - with a job offer!

    Now, if you are new to Linux and the open source movement, here is a little background. Among the many other claims to fame, Eric S Raymond is the author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, a 1991 book that discusses the differences between a centralised software development model (i.e. cathedral = proprietary software) and the open and decentralised development model (i.e. bazaar = open source software). He is also the person who has published and commented the famous Halloween documents, a series of Microsoft internal memoranda discussing strategies to fight (and destroy) Linux and other open source software. To illustrate the stance of Eric S Raymond, here is his comment accompanying one of the Halloween documents:


    "For Microsoft (or at least its present business model) to survive, open source must die. It's a lot like the Cold War was; peaceful coexistence could be a stable solution for us, but it can never be for them, because they can't tolerate the corrosive effect on their customer relationships of comparisons with a more open system. (Anyone who thinks I'm being perfervid or overly melodramatic about this should review the direct long-term revenue and platform threat language from Halloween I. Other people may fool themselves about what this means, but Microsoft never has.)."

    So even if you haven't heard of Eric S Raymond before, you should know by now that he is no friend of Microsoft -- and that's if we put it mildly. Now imagine the utter shock the following email must have caused when it appeared in Eric's mailbox last week:


    "I am a member of the Microsoft Central Sourcing Team. Microsoft is seeking world class engineers to help create products that help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. Your name and contact info was brought to my attention as someone who could potentially be a contributor at Microsoft. I would love an opportunity to speak with you in detail about your interest in a career at Microsoft, along with your experience, background and qualifications. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have and can also provide you with any information I have available in regard to the positions and work life at Microsoft."

    Not surprisingly, this outrageous offer resulted in a reply that the Microsoft executive will never forget for as long as he lives:


    "I'd thank you for your offer of employment at Microsoft, except that it indicates that either you or your research team (or both) couldn't get a clue if it were pounded into you with baseball bats. What were you going to do with the rest of your afternoon, offer jobs to Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds? Or were you going to stick to something easier, like talking Pope Benedict into presiding at a Satanist orgy?"

    Later in the email response, Eric continues to pile on more analogies on the hapless Microsoft executive:


    "On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive. But I must thank you for dropping a good joke on my afternoon. On that hopefully not too far distant day that I piss on Microsoft's grave, I sincerely hope none of it will splash on you."

    You can read the entire email exchange (and more amusing reader's comments) on this page.
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  2. #2
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    Thanks for the Monday morning laugh Cheetahman.
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    Linux User truoc444's Avatar
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    that's hilarious. :rock:
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    too awesome...

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    Tell you the truth, I don't really like that guy! There's something about him that just appeal to me, might be that he's cocky when he doesn't have to. Personally, I don't see why he had to write such a childish reply to Microsoft's offer. "...you or your research team couldn't get a clue if it were pounded into you with a baseball bat"; "...On that hopefully not too far distant day that I piss on Microsoft's grave,..." What the hell type of response is that? I think a simple "I do not believe in your business strategy and commercial views" would have sufficed. And just because of his general tone in that letter, I think it's safe to say he's an idiot.

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    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bidi
    Tell you the truth, I don't really like that guy! There's something about him that just appeal to me, might be that he's cocky when he doesn't have to. Personally, I don't see why he had to write such a childish reply to Microsoft's offer. "...you or your research team couldn't get a clue if it were pounded into you with a baseball bat"; "...On that hopefully not too far distant day that I piss on Microsoft's grave,..." What the hell type of response is that? I think a simple "I do not believe in your business strategy and commercial views" would have sufficed. And just because of his general tone in that letter, I think it's safe to say he's an idiot.
    A bunch of the people's replies on this page say the same thing you are saying.
    Before today I had never even heard of Eric Raymond.
    So, it is possible he is making a mountain out of a molehill to get himself some publicity. Childish.
    I still think it was funny though.
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    Linux User truoc444's Avatar
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    i thought that the point of the thread was to just get a light-hearted laugh to start off a monday morning.
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    It actually pissed me off!! Not that much, but a little. That guy just gives OSSers a bad reputation.

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    Linux Guru Vergil83's Avatar
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    Actually when I read the title on /. the other day, I wasn't sure if would have taken the job. Recall only a few months ago (recall it started the super flame thread ) he said that he liked BSD still licenses better than the GPL.

    It is not surprising he would give that sort of response. He is a loose cannon. He changed entries in the Hacker Dictionary to fit his ideological ideas (ie Iraq war). And he also *****ed about having to be the public spokesperson for "open source" because no one else would/could.
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    Linux Guru anomie's Avatar
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    Before today I had never even heard of Eric Raymond.
    He's a key OSS guy, as you now know. You might enjoy one of his classic works:

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

    Quick read, too.

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