Father of free software was an unregistered kid programmer
Richard Stallman, the founder and (often cussed) patron saint of the free software movement, was a child programmer: he wrote two programs during high school summer holidays and another after high school. Strong in mathematics, he took a degree in physics, but could have been a biologist.
In 1984 he created the GNU utilities around which in 1991 Linux Torvalds built his open source kernel Linux, leading to the explosion of free and open source operating systems and software today on which much of the Internet depends.
Stallman, or rms, is the foremost proponent of freedom in software, by which software can be given away and whose code is open for inspection or modification. He developed the “copyleft” GNU Public Licence for software, in opposition to “copyright”, variations of which govern most free and open software.
Had there been a Malaysian-style Computing Professionals Bill at the time, Stallman might well have been jailed — among the penalties in Malaysia’s proposed Bill — for providing computer services without being registered with the government (and many in establishment computing might say that would not be a bad idea. He’s also an awful and incorrigible punster; maybe they could get him for that instead.).
» Personal web site | Free Software Foundation
Free Software, Free Society
Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Fleet.
upon receiving the Linus Torvalds Award at Linuxworld, 1999.