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Re: [DotGNU]dotgnu community on

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]dotgnu community on
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 03:30:31 +0100 (CET)

Hash: SHA1

Marcus <address@hidden> wrote:

> I'm surprised that someone who claims to support freedom and
> openness, at least in software, would support a system like Orkut,
> which by its very nature is closed and exclusive. By "closed and
> exclusive" I refer to Orkut's policy that the only way to join is to
> be invited.

Free Software, as defined by the Free Software Foundation, also has
this property which you call "closed and exclusive".... the only way
through which I can enjoy the freedom of being able to read, modify
and redistribute a program is when someone _invites_ me to do so, by
providing me with a copy of the program and a copy of the license.
Free software can be shared personally between friends, or it can be
put up for public download.  I agree that in order for an Orkut
"community" to be a useful channel of communication, it must be easy
for any DotGNU'er (I mean this term in an inclusive way, including in
particular all DotGNU contributors, users, and #dotgnu regulars) to
get invited.  As I wrote before, if you'd like to be invited, simply
ask me to invite you.  I consider all DotGNU'ers to be my friends. :)

I don't like that Orkut doesn't make the source code of the system
available as Free Software.  And I don't like that it's a centralized
system in which only a single company can fix bugs or add new
features.  I do believe that there is a need for a decentralized
Free Software system to address these problems, and there is even an
official, RMS-approved DotGNU development project for this, which
however unfortunately never got off the ground (the developer who
initially proposed that development project has decided to drop it,
there is no code, and nothing will happen in the DotGNU "Forum"
project until someone decides to pick up the ball and run with it).

In conclusion, I wouldn't support declaring this Orkut "community" to
be in any way an official communication channel of the DotGNU project,
and in fact I think that nothing of this kind should be declared
official until there is something which runs on the DotGNU Forum
software (which as I wrote above is still vaporware).

On the other hand, I think it's an essential part of supporting
freedom and openness that everyone is free to create additional
communication channels.  _arc did this, and I support his freedom of
doing so, without any need to ask for permission first.

Greetings, Norbert.

- -- 
Founder & Steering Committee member of DotGNU, see
Free Software Business Strategy Guide   --->
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59        Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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