Richard Matthew Stallman, known in hacker and social circles for computers as "rms", is an American software developer, hacker and advocate for free software. He was born in 1953 in New York City. After completing high school, Stallman wrote his first computer program, which is the initial processor for the programming language PL / I. He then joined Harvard University and in 1974 he received a degree in physics. After college, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate school, but left school before completing his studies in order to continue working as a programmer at the MIT AI laboratory. Failure to complete his graduate students did not prevent Stallman from succeeding; he received six honorary doctorates and two honorary professorships for his work in his lifetime.
As the hacking culture of MIT Lab receded with password restrictions installed, Stallman decided to finish his full-time work in 1984 to pursue his side project, Project GNU. In 1985, he published the GNU Manifesto, which outlined his motives for creating a free UNIX-compatible operating system. Soon after, he founded the Free Software Foundation and popularized the concept of copyleft. In 1989, Stallman also issued the first software-independent license called the GNU General Public License. By this time, most of the elements of GNU had been complete. However, the project has stopped advancing the kernel. Meanwhile, a Finnish developer, Linus Torvalds, has created a kernel called Linux based on the GNU development tools. With Linux integrated into the project, the GNU / Linux operating system was created.
In addition to his software development work, Stallman has been a soft writer and political activist for the free software movement since the early 1990s. In his interview, speeches and writing, he appreciates appropriate and accurate terms with a particular focus on “free software” and “GNU / Linux” and avoiding the term “intellectual property”. Stallman prefers the term "free software" because he claims that "open source" does not refer to the main component of freedom, which he believes is a vital component of the debate. “Intellectual property” is confusing according to Stallman because it combines different categories of trademarks, copyrights, and patent law, which impedes smart discussion with different groups.
In his personal life, Stallman was not interested in material wealth and lived for years without permanent residency, outside the MIT office. His research affiliate position at MIT was also unpaid. Stillman is still fluent in Spanish and French and has a "somewhat flawed" Indonesian.