The best example of this confusion is when Joe Brockmeier writes, "I'd love it if Stallman would retire,... As long as he's alive, there's hope he might change. I'd never be glad that he's gone. And I'm certainly not glad that Steve is."
Mr. Brockmeier is using the word "gone" to imply "dead". The full quote in Stallman's post, "I'm not glad he's dead. I'm glad he's gone" clearly does not use the word "gone" to imply gladness over his death. How do we know this? Because he uses the words "not glad he's dead". The quote is actually from a Chicago Mayor over a deceased corrupt Mayor. It seems Stallman thought the quote conveyed his sentiments.
Mr. Brockmeier himself writes "I'd love it if Stallman would retire". The word "retire" is probably closer to the definition of "gone" in the quote used by Stallman again because it includes the words, "not glad he's dead".
Admittedly Stallman can be REALLY hard to understand. Here's the full post that elicited the uproar:
Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.
As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone." Nobody deserves to have to die - not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing.
Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.
To my knowledge, Stallman has never been about popularity. He sticks to a principle whether you agree with it or not. I'd argue that it is precisely this act of sticking to a principle that separates the Free Software from Open Source Software,
Personally, I've used Apple products in the past. I may find the need to use them again in the future. However, I choose to use GPL'd software whenever possible.
Last but not least, Cancer is a cruel disease. Sorry to see Steve Jobs lose his battle with it.
Just my thoughts and opinion. Hope it helps.