Zed Shaw – Why I (A/L)GPL

Hi guys,

another day, another retard, zed shaw should be well known to you guys who follow crazy crap on the web, this is the guy who wrote Mongrel, a ruby on rails server and then complained and moaned like a bitch because he was practically unemployed(able???).  Then told everyone that if they didnt agree with him, he’d be more than happy to set up some kind of boxing match so we could all see what a gigantic prick he was, perhaps youtube some fat geek who can take a punch slap him the stfu up.

His article is here: http://zedshaw.com/blog/2009-07-13.html

Yeah, zeds a popular guy, because, everyone knows that pissing and whining on the internets is a sure fire way to get a job and win respect.  Especially when you complain, moan and jerk off and finally say, fuck you guys, I’m going home and quit.


Well, hes at it again, this time, trying to do a circle jerk on us all by pretending he understands how software licencing works.

Well zed, there is a reason nobody will employ you mate and it’s quite simple.  Because you don’t know jack shit and you’re full of it.

APPARENTLY, if you licence something under the GPL, you have to recognise zed, he says:

After Mongrel I almost need companies to have to admit they use my software.

Well zed, here is the short version, I don’t need to admit anything, all I need to do is comply with the licence, you’re name, doesn’t NEED to appear anywhere in that discussion.  I tell my boss the following.

We are using an open source or free software package called Mongrel, it’s a really advanced framework with a great community behind it.  It has good support and I feel that it has a good place within our systems.

Do you see your name mentioned anywhere??? Oh, zed, it gets better, get this.  I could take that mongrel code, ALTER IT and STILL NOT RECOGNISE YOUR EXISTENCE, here is how I do it.  I go on our company website and I add a link called “Free software” Inside that, I put a link to a download location for our local trunk of the code.  I don’t have to admit, or recognise you in any way.  I dont have to send you teary emails saying how wonderful you are, or send you job offers, or anything, I can sit here and throw bananas at you all day whilst saying how wonderful our systems are running.

YOU, do not come into that equation pal.  Nowhere, nada, ninguno.  Isnt the internets wonderful?

Zed then amazes us with his logic thusly:

What they want is tons of free technology they can hide from investors. They want that technology all run by people who didn’t write any of the software so that these employees can’t claim ownership later.

No, no, no, no, no, stupid, idiot, retard, combination of.  They don’t want tons of free tech SO THEY CAN HIDE IT, they want tons of free tech, so they don’t have to build it, hiding it has nothing to do with it and nobody in a VC situation will even ask WHY they are using open or free software, because now it’s so normal, it helps to reduce the cost burden whilst increasing the return.  I know friends of VC people who often ask WHY ARENT THEY USING FREE SOFTWARE, I hear more of that recently.

So this isn’t about hiding, you’re arguement, surprise surprise, is built on shit for brains.  The next amazing quote, comes from zed like a steaming fountain of excrement, hot and tasty, open wide boys and girls:

However, the unwritten contract between firms and open source developers is now gone. I have no reason to give them unrestricted use of my software since they are only interested in turning my software into a hot IPO 2-5 years from now.

Well zed, here is the thing, YOU DONT HAVE ANY INPUT IN THAT DECISION.  If you licence as GPL, the only thing I have to do, is give access to my source code for any modifications.  If I do that, either through postal mail, or easier, through the web, I don’t have to do diddly squat for you, nor ask your opinion, nor guage your thoughts on these hard subjects.  I can just urinate on you and you can’t do jack shit.  The GPL only covers DISTRIBUTION of modified code, Here is the kicker and the reason the AGPL exists, The GPL doesnt actually stop me from modifying the code and using it, WITHOUT your permission, knowledge, acceptance or acknowledgment.  All I have to do is make it available.  If I make no modifications at all, I don’t even have to distribute anything, because the GPL only covers modifications and their distribution, not the distribution of unmodified source.

Zed then goes on to tell us why he’s actually not very employable.

I love working on Lamson because doing email applications are so much more fun that web applications. When I sit down to do an email app it takes only one set of technologies and I’m done. If I want to do a web application it involves design, and templates, and javascript, and databases, and endless streams of bullshit.

Firstly.  Lamson, is nothing new, actually, it’s the same old bullshit with a different colour and no better than the rest really.  Secondly, email applications are NOT fun, they are boring tedious and repetitive, I should know, cause at my employment history, I have written a few of them, web applications on the other hand, are a mish mash or tech that all comes together through interesting ways, new ways to solve data organisation, database layers, object orientation, frameworks, plugin architectures, etc.  It’s all far more interesting that email apps will ever be.

But you see, zed doesn’t like that, he likes boring simplistic email applications, so there you go, zed, you’re unemployable because actually, you ain’t really very good and mostly full of shit. Wow, you wrote a email server, whoopy fucking doo, come back when you’ve solved all those shitting little problems tha….oh wait, jabber did exactly that.  Jabber is pretty much the solution to email, if only more people would use it and more people would solve those nasty little problems jabber has that nobody puts any time into because of lack of developer interest. Jabber solves the protocol madness problem, it solves the instant messaging problem, it has the same architecture as normal email, all you need are gateways to translate to and from jabber and bingo, you’ve solved most of the problem already, oh yeah and jabber is written in almost any language you care to think and not just python like your crappy little server.

All you did, is rewrite the same old shit from 20 years ago.

Zed then goes onto say:

I use the GPL to keep you honest. You now have to tell your bosses you’re using my gear. And it will scare the piss out of them. Good. Because I have a solution to that too.

Actually, most bosses just use free software and don’t give a flying fuck about it, as long as you don’t break the law, talk to legal and get proper advice, why would anyone care? my boss wouldnt even WANT to know, only that it’s legal, why should they give a flying fuck what licence it’s under as long as legal has let it go through.  Here is the bug bear that zed has, he seems to think that everyone is scared of the GPL and free software when actually it’s nothing similar to that, everyone, in europe at least, loves free software, we all embrace it, I know dozens of companies that would never employ zed that use free software and don’t care one little bit, only that IT WORKS and nothing more.  I mean, just when I thought zed couldn’t get any stupider, he surprises us, perhaps he should work on that skill, because it seems the only one he’s good at.

Zed then makes a good point:

The other reason I love writing email software is nobody else does

Yeah zed, there is a reason for that, it’s because IT IS FUCKING BORING AND NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FUCK. Another piece of his technical engineering prowess is:

Hell, the day I said I might have “Mail over REST” you guys about shit your pants.

No, we won’t, cause it’s fucking boring and has absolutely no benefit to anyone who cares, you’re just technically jerking yourself off on things nobody cares about saying, OMG I SOLVED A COOL TECHNICAL PROBLEM, that hasnt been solved for 20 years, because nobody has a reason to solve it.  Have you even wondered why such a simple task hasn’t been done yet? it’s not because people are stupid and you’re superman, it’s because nobody cares, nobody wants it and nobody has a reason to use it, everyone likes or is happy with what they have and what they can achieve with that and mail over rest, has almost 0 benefit to anyone who cares.

BTW: Mail over rest? Sounds like webmail with a different name.

Then zed opens up his business intelligence and shows us that all the cupboards are bare:

If you do open source, you’re my hero and I support you. If you’re a corporation, let’s talk business.

Nope, let me explain you how this works, I take your code, I use it, I don’t modify it, I dont distribute nothing back to you, I don’t recognise you, acknowledge you, I just take and give nothing back, all perfectly legal and you can’t do a single thing about it, I’m a corporation and I don’t have to do anything.

I modify the code, I put a link, with the download location and I STILL don’t acknowledge you, nor your existence, I don’t have to do nothing except give away the modifications that I made, as are the terms of the licence. Nor do I have to offer you a job, regardless of how many weeks you have been wearing that shirt.

BTW zed, did you know that technically, you can sell gpl software, people sell the gimp on ebay all the time and the reason those adverts are never taken down is because they are PERFECTLY 100% legal.  See, the problem is that DISTRIBUTION, requires access to all modified source codes, or hell, lets be more strict, ALL source codes regardless of modification.

So, I sell you a DVD, with gimp and all the source code on the disk, 100% perfectly legit, it’ll only cost you 99 dollars for that photoshop clone, it’s a steal!! cmon zed, buy buy buy!!

The last line, lets us all crease with laughter, as we all drive by zed, honking the horn as we go

Not pass on by waving “sucker” as they drive their fancy cars.

It’s exactly what people will do and will continue to do, you poor little homeless guy, awwww, nobody wants to employ you, what a shame, perhaps it’s because all you ever did was write a RoR server and a email server and then complained and pissed all of your goodwill up the wall and now nobody likes you.

PS: I wrote this because actually, I’m sick of this guy and his self absorbed ranting and well, if he can rant, so can I

PPS: boxing match? lol

Take care guys! This guy is a killer !!! ahahhaha

29 thoughts on “Zed Shaw – Why I (A/L)GPL”

  1. HOLY SHIT!!!! The grammer Nazis are onto me! oh well guys, I guess my entire blog post should be deleted because *OBVIOUSLY* my spelling mistakes are more important than the content of my arguement.

    You’re (haha) as stupid as Zed is. Let me tell you something: Zeds dead baby, zeds dead.

    now, go get a life, find out what that penis is for and come back with a better argument next time, fucks sake, grammer nazis, hahahahah, hilarious……

  2. HAhaha, you know what? It might rock, for you and for me, but lets not forget what it is, which is the same shit that we already had, just a different colour.

    Whoopy doo, he writes a programatically configurable email server thingy, omg, how world changing is that!!!! Jabber already does that and that is truely more world changing that this will ever be.

    BUTTTTTTT, lets not loose track of what we are discussing, which is Zed’s latest attempt at being unemployable. I on the other hand, can’t be more employable if I tried, which is why I have a full quota of freelance work, no matter what shit I put on my blog 😀 ahhaa, it’s hard being this awesome, I sometimes can’t understand it! (sarcasm of course).

    If lamson works for you and twiddles all your right buttons, more power to you! GO CREATE AND SHARE!

    (especially with the gpl, heheheh, advertising clause anyone??)

  3. Half (or probably more than half) of the reason that Rails became so wildly popular and widely adopted is because of Mongrel. Everyone and their brother was building a rails app, and everyone and their brother was running that app on Mongrel. Huge companies made lots and lots of money on the sites that they deployed on Mongrel, an extremely important component of their stack. Without it, no site, no money. Of course there are probably better application servers right now (disclaimer: I’m a python guy who likes Django) like Thin or passenger, but the fact of the matter is Zed made something really awesome which a LOT of people used and relied on.

    With that out of the way, 1) why do people on the ruby/rails community disrespect him so much (despite his… “abrasive” attitude, for lack of a better word) and 2) if you created something like Mongrel and then got shafted by all of the people who used it, wouldn’t you feel pretty betrayed and irritated, enough to push you to dislike licenses that would approve of that sort of thing?

  4. I don’t want to deduct anything from his acheivement because ultimately if someone achieves something you appreciate, it’s worth more to you than to someone who has no interest in that acheivement.

    So if mongrel really changed your world, then great! But for me, it changed nothing. If people built it on mongrel and liked it, then fantastic, if mongrel didnt exist, those projects would STILL have been written, just using some other framework instead, so lets not convince ourself that those projects exist because of mongrel, but mongrel provided a way for those people to create those projects in the way they did so.

    The money would still have been available and someone would have just used another language (PHP, Python) instead.

    to reply to your points directly, here goes.

    1) Because he doesn’t just create something and be happy, he shits on everyone, pisses moans, complains, despite having NO reason to do so, challenges people to boxing matches, making himself unemployable, he is, ultimately, a LOLCOW, people just milk him for lols because it’s funny watching someone destroy themself publically. Also, the second reason is that if someone is being an asshole, smacking them down becomes a sport.

    If he sat there, smiled and looked pretty, nobody would be beating on him, but he can’t keep his stupid mouth shut, most of what he wrote on licencing in the rant we are discussing now is just plain wrong, how can you NOT take the piss outta someone like that??

    2) For starters, he didnt get shafted, he shafted himself, if he wanted respect, he had it, he then pissed it up the wall with his last rant about boxing matches and ruby performance (which, to the amusement of everyone, then put up an apology because maybe he realised that nobody will give a shitdog asshole a job, which is bad, especially if your hobby is computers which need electricity, a flat and a place to sleep)

    Everyone who knew, gave him respect, but respect was not enough, he wanted the money that followed it (WTF???) He couldn’t understand why people would respect him, but not throw money at him and the problem with that is: he has no right to expect anything.

    Thats the free software way, you get money, MAYBE, if someone likes what you did, but if you wrote an invisible cog in the wheel and lets face it, servers are exactly that, not many people will recognise you, because you’re invisible.

    Back to your point. He can licence as he wants, like or dislike what he wants, but what he can’t do, is go into a public forum and start writing bullshit about licences, he obviously hasn’t a clue when it comes to licences, because most of what he wrote is just plain _WRONG_

    You would hire someone like that? Someone who can’t even read the licence and the internets long enough to understand them? Seriously, this guy wonders why he hasn’t a job and then writes stuff which is basically wrong and has no basis.

    in a single word: lolcow.

    You’re right though, he should expect respect from the people who are his peers on what he has done, he just doesnt DESERVE anything.

  5. @benoitc: google is a wonderful thing, I pretty much dont hide anything and sometimes you’ll find embarassing things about me. But thats the internets, you won’t find me replacing my embarassing words with apologies or any such thing. If I made an ass out of myself, I made an ass out of myself. It’s life 😀

    enjoy the google.

  6. I like Zed because 1) Mongrel 2) He speaks his mind

    He’s abrasive and narcissistic maybe but he absolutely has mad tech skills – arguing against that seems like pissing in the wind to me :)

  7. @paul vudmaska,

    indeed, 1) agree, 2) agree.

    except when he talks complete bullshit, then puts it in a public place where everyone can actually see how stupid he is on some topics. I mean, I aint a professor on certain things, law for example, so don’t expect to see any articles on my blog about law, so why does Zed talk about licencing, he obviously hasn’t the foggiest idea about how the licences he discusses works. So to me, it comes across as “spouting bullshit in a public space where his future employers can see why they should never hire him”. The second he writes something that actually is clever, factual and has meaning, I’ll acknowledge it.

    Talking your mind is great, as long as you actually know what you’re talking about. But I agree with both of your points.

  8. I love blogs that don’t allow you to comment. genius.

    oh.. and chris… tranquilo tio… no queremos que tu cabeza se explode 😛

  9. So Zed explains why he uses GPL and you perform a suicidal ad hominem attack on him in the ranting style you agressively criticize.

  10. @Ali,

    ad hominem, for your information, cause maybe wikipedia doesnt work today, or you couldn’t find the article to explain it, is described here, I will do the google for you, click this link and read away. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

    Finished reading? Good, So I will ask you to explain with your new found knowledge, where I performed such an attack? Did you even read the blog article? I am attacking Zed’s inability to understand the GPL, LGPL or licencing in general. You come back with “suicidal ad hominem attack on him”.

    Then you go on to say that I am agressively critising his “style”. I am sure the only thing you’ll find is me talking about how Zed likes to whine and moan and piss all the goodwill he had up the wall, thats about it. Which is true, he did EXACTLY that, then took down his article because he realised nobody would hire him once they had read that. Remember children, critisism is a good thing, as long as it’s TRUTHFUL.

    I will summarise the article for you, so you dont have to trouble those brain cells reading. It goes like this:

    Zed, does not, understand, licencing software, then tries, to “lecture” us, on how it’s done.

    Not so hard when you actually read the article mate. Oh BTW, ironical as it seems, you just performed an ad-hominem attack on me, so you know how to implement one, but you don’t know what the term means.


  11. Oh my goodness, leave me out of it! I wish I’d kept my mouth shut now. I’ll let the reader judge.

  12. p.s. single-word paragraphs like “Loser.” genuinely don’t help your claim of being non ad hominem.

  13. @ali,

    I find it incredible that after being linked to an article on the subject, you still get it wrong and don’t understand it, was it hard to read through, or did you not even bother to open the link.

    An ad hominem attack, because it’s clear you don’t know and didn’t read, is thusly

    Person A makes claim X
    There is something objectionable about Person A
    Therefore claim X is false

    now, please learn to read BEFORE sending replies, remember, the internets remember, you can’t erase what you post in an open forum, so if you post stupid things, everyone will remember it and be able to google it.

    saying “loser” is NOT ad-hominem, it’s just a personal insult, there is nothing ad-hominem about it, please read the fucking article before coming back to me with bullshit, you’re as bad as zed is.

  14. @judge,

    man, you just made my day, thats the original “please dont employ me” speech made by zed, I know I can never reach those dizzy heights, but neither would I want to.

    my point is simple, that zed doesnt actually know wtf he is talking about and basically talks bullshit, my article is to put that up in lights.

    What I find interesting, is that in the last 22 replies, nobody has actually taken me to task on what I said, I guess thats because most people agree with me, but if it’s not true, let someone speak their mind and tell me I’m full of shit.

    all I’ve got until now, are grammer nazis, people who agree with me and some guy who can’t read wikipedia.

    Not exactly an inspiring bunch of people.

  15. Chris: The irony is (as you totally failed to see) that *you* are as bad as Zed. And since you can’t be civil, I shall wish you a good day.

  16. @hey,

    hahahaah, i love the internets, comment approved! Yes I am a dick! thanks!!


    I never said anything about zeds style being bad, I just said he was a dick, etc, etc. I also never said I wasn’t a dick, I am, especially with people who can’t read wikipedia and then spout off crap in a public domain 😀 welcome to the internets my friend. If you actually wrote something sensible, you’d have gotten a different response, just look at the other responses I gave to people and compare it to yours, then do a logical deduction of what might have happened with you 😀 Not rocket science mate.

  17. Now I know what Nietzsche wanted to say with his famous qoute “When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *