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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] help needed with savannah

From: Mario Castelan Castro
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] help needed with savannah
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:16:23 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.3 (gnu/linux)

"help needed with savannah" in address@hidden

> Hi Mario,
> Please don't view my message as an attack of your work as Savannah
> admin, I think you are doing a very good job.

Thanks.  I appreciate the constructive criticism.

> But I also think that we could serve the Savannah project better if we
> improved our means (including our tooling).

It seems than we disagree in our concept of improved tooling.  A python
script to automatically check license headers don't fits in my idea of
an improved tooling for instance, that's the source of this verbal

> An example of submission blocked because of the developer's opinions:
> Your message:
>   "- From the above I conclude don't cares about freedom nor real
> sharing because it encourages proprietary licensing and discourages
> usage of works whose Copyright is held by third parties."
> IMHO, it is not our mission to evaluate the developer's attitude
> towards freedom or sharing; we need to assess if the submitted
> software respects the four freedoms *with regards to software*.

It's not the case than I'm evaluating the developer's attitude altough
sometimes I make *comments* on what's ours (Our philosophy).  What I'm
evaluating is compliance with

Software dedicated as a client to a proprietary work archive site don't
promotes but usage of those propreitary works, that was the issue with
this project.

> A submission blocked because one of the libraries imported used the
> term "open source": [...]

This is not true.  Your usage of "blocked" is misleading.  I don't
"block" project, I either approve, reject them or ask the maintainer to
make changes to comply with our requirements, this is a case of the

Please read carefully the task you're commenting about.  In no place I
did forbid the maintainer to use xajax or whatever other library he
wishes.  The verbatin quote is "Could you please replace (Preferable) or
at least append this reference to open source by one to free software?."
Because (Also pointed in the same message) *the library was included in
the tarball*.  There was no need to remove anything and in no place I
stated such a thing.  Yet the maintainer decision was to remove the
library, rather than to replace a string in the uploaded tarball.

> Philosophical issues are fine, but the GNU project is concerned with
> software and the four freedoms (to inspect, to modify, to copy and to
> distribute modified versions). Many other GNU artifacts have licenses
> which restrict freedom, and in fact the GPL is a prime example of
> restricting people's freedom -- in order to attain the four freedoms
> that the FSF defends.

I see no "prime example" of freedom restriction in the GNU GPL.
Copyleft is a restriction of power, not freedom.  This is explained in

> Not to speak about the GFDL: here the developer has a few limitations
> with what they can do with the documentation.  The FSF thinks that the
> compromise between freedom and collaboration is acceptable.

Could you please elaborate?.

> The key point here is that the philosophical foundations are
> debatable, while the four freedoms are not. Either the developers is
> fine with you modifying the code and distributing the result, or they
> are not. Legal standing is more debatable, but from our developer
> point of view the issue should be clear.

It's not clear to me if you're suggesting than we should take a
mechanical attitude of approval/rejection without further comments.

GNU Savannah mission is to advance free software, hosting it is only a
part of the work.

> [...] The GNU project does not promote modification of those documents
> it views as pure opinion. Even in the GNU project itself: the license
> for GNU web pages does not allow modifications. Here the GNU project
> puts some other principles in front of the right to modify some
> documents.

The GNU project supports the right to modify *software*.

The GNU project don't allows modifications of its *opinion articles*.

It does not follows (Non sequitur) than the GNU Project puts some other
principles in front of anothers.

> My point is that checking for ideological purity is hard to do. But
> checking if some piece of software respects the four freedoms and some
> other bits of GNU terminology is easier to do automatically, making
> our task as admins much easier and more productive. An automatic check
> will never be 100% exact, but I prefer to let slip 10 mentions of
> "open source" because they are hyphenated than losing one valuable
> contributor.

Isn't this a false dichotomy?.  I see no reason to infer a contributor
kept (Not lost) will result in a project labeled as "open source".


Hope I have cleared your inquires on my evaluation of those projects.

> Thanks,

Thanks you.

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