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Re: Git mirrors

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Git mirrors
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 01:26:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> Everything we do here is for political reasons, and it always was.
>     I always thought that Free Software is about the user, always the
>     user.
> The free software movement campaigns for users' freedom.
> So you could say it is "about the users' freedom".


> Users who don't want freedom can, of course, disregard it.  Many do.
> But if they say, "I don't want freedom, I want Skype", we disregard
> them.
> Git isn't proprietary, as Skype is.  We're not against git.  But we
> are trying to promote Bzr because it is part of GNU.

I think that we agree that the final goal of the Free Software cause is
Free Software prevalence as a result of the understanding by the public
of its implications. GNU is just a means for that end, but it can't be
considered just another project creating Free Software. On terms of
image, GNU is the FSF and the FSF is the cornerstone of the Free
Software cause. So what GNU does has consequences for the Free Software
cause. The following is based on that premise.

How does it help the Free Software cause to privilege projects over
other Free alternatives putting merit aside just because they have the
GNU label sticked on them?

Why is it necessary to proclaim an official GNU Distributed Version
Control System (DVCS)? GNU has the technical goal of creating a Free
Unix-like OS. For that you strategically depend on a kernel, a compiler,
a linker, a shell... but a DVCS? Is it necessary to proclaim the
official GNU Solitaire card game?

Why not choose the most convenient DVCS for Emacs development (that
could be bzr) as long as it is Free, the same way you use the Linux
kernel on GNU Libre instead of Hurd? A kernel is an indispensable
component for an OS, a DVCS is not. You have no problem using Linux
instead of Hurd because the latter is not ready and the first is Free
and does the job. Why was applied a different criteria when Emacs
decided to use a DVCS?

Why is deemed "not beneficial" for GNU to provide convenient access to
source code through other Free non-GNU tools?

Is that policy good for enhancing user's Freedom or is it doing the
opposite? (by promoting software that *could* be inferior to other
options hence increasing the risk of bad image or rejection; by making
harder to access or contribute to Free projects hosted by GNU; by
sending the message to other creators of Free Software that GNU is out
there to aggressively compete with them regardless of merit.)

> The most basic way to promote another free program is to use it and
> recommend it.  So that's what we do.  Using a free program helps it
> get better, and Bzr has got better.

Have you read Karl Fogel's post on this same thread about how choosing
bzr for Emacs actually *damaged* bzr?

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