If Stallman had to make a statement emphasizing his dislike of Jobs’ influence, he could still have done so respectfully. Consider this; “I didn’t share Steve Jobs’ vision of computing, and I wish he’d chosen to embrace free software. I’m very sorry that he’s gone and we’ve lost the opportunity to have that conversation. My sympathies are with his family at this time.” There’s no need to pretend that Stallman liked Jobs, but his post is contemptible.
This is my buddy PEG’s view also. You guys are wrong.
Imagine that the great cause of your life is … let’s say, ending cockfighting. For decades, you devote your best efforts to eradicating the plague of cockfighting. You have some successes, but then this guy comes along who is an eloquent proponent of cockfighting. He’s so persuasive that, despite all you can do, cockfighting spreads, indeed grows wildly in popularity and eventually becomes the dominant sport in the country.
And then the great advocate of cockfighting dies. Do you say, “I’m sorry he’s gone”? Of course you don’t. You say more or less what Stallman said: that you didn’t wish the guy dead but you’re glad he’s off the scene. It would be been better if he had retired, and best of all if he had changed his mind and come over to your side; but at least someone who used enormous gifts to promote something you believe to be repulsive won’t be doing that any more.
That’s how Stallman feels about Steve Jobs. He didn’t say “I’m glad the bastard is dead”; he said, effectively, “I’m glad someone that smart and that persuasive won’t be leading the Bad Guys any more.” I think that’s a defensible thing to say, even though I wouldn’t have said it myself, and needless to say don’t believe that Apple is a curse upon the earth.