Eric Raymond shows his ugly side
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.
ESR's response to him is a riposte you'd expect from a pre-pubescent teen: totally banal, and lacking in stature and tact. It is reproduced here so you and I can continue to have a laugh long after it is taken off ESR's blog:
What a pompous ass!
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?
If you had bothered to do five seconds of background checking, you might have discovered that I am the guy who responded to Craig Mundie’s "Who are you?" with "I’m your worst nightmare", and that I’ve in fact been something pretty close to your company’s worst nightmare since about 1997. You’ve maybe heard about this "open source" thing? You get one guess who wrote most of the theory and propaganda for it and talked IBM and Wall Street and the Fortune 500 into buying in. But don’t think I’m trying to destroy your company. Oh, no; I’d be just as determined to do in any other proprietary-software monopoly, and the community I helped found is well on its way to accomplishing that goal.
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.
Eric S. Raymond
Now, from time to time, we are all guilty of thinking of ourselves as being more important to the cause than is actually the case. Apparently ESR is the only person on Earth to think of himself as the leader and founder of the open source movement. The biggest thing to come out of this -- aside from ESR's ego -- was the absolute cluelessness of the guy to the fact that the free/open-source software community doesn't think he has as big an impact on the tribe as he claims to. That delusion probably also made him mistake this initial feeler to be a 'job offer'.
Before I joined Microsoft, I was involved with the Java Community Process, which while not F/OSS, did follow the principles of community-driven software development that is such an important ingredient of F/OSS. I have used many open source solutions and have made minor contributions to some. So you could say I drank the kool-aid. When I look at it from that perspective, here is a guy -- admittedly an important figure in the F/OSS world -- with an opportunity to tell us in Microsoft why he wouldn't dream of being one of us. He could have framed his response in any manner of ways. The response could have been aimed at telling Microsoft where he thinks it is going wrong. Or aimed at marshalling the F/OSS rank and file. Instead he resorted to invectives and cheap shots.
Years ago, when I read "The Cathedral and The Bazaar", I thought of ESR as a bright and insightful guy. I have now lost all respect for him.