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Re: Git mirrors

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Git mirrors
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:46:04 +0900

Vijay Lakshminarayanan writes:

 > I think Óscar's questions have been answered.

Not at all.  The "why" of the policy has not been touched by anybody,
except by an appeal to authority and circular arguments.

 > For instance, in one post, he bemoaned the fact that GNU's wasn't
 > focusing on "users" even though "users" were its greatest focus.

No, I don't think that is fair.  This is a very difficult point, and
the nomenclature doesn't help.  Specifically, "software freedom" and
"free software" are both tropes; they do not describe any actual
entity.  Richard has often been at pains to explain that, despite the
names, *software* is neither free nor non-free.[1]  Rather, *the legal
system or licenses* can provide or deny freedom to use (including
developing) software to *people* (ie, users).  It is not surprising
that it is difficult to express oneself in this context.  On top of
that, I suspect that Óscar, while I would characterize him as
"fluent", is probably not a native speaker.

I suspect that a more general statement of what Óscar wanted to ask
is, "Should not the GNU Project take measures that increase awareness
of GNU among users, in particular improving efficiency so we can
provide more and better software?"  Or, more pointedly, "aren't we
abdicating our responsibility to market our product?"

 > Hopefully Óscar understands the GNU project better with this thread.
 > That will be, IMO, the only good thing to come out of this huge
 > flamewar.

I beg you to look harder.  Any number of good things will come of it,
though not necessarily directly beneficial to Emacs.  In particular,
*you* learned something, but there are other benefits, including a
better understanding of a central tool in the workflow, and off-list
negotiations to better promote the GNU Project.

[1]  In the context of slogans like "software wants to be free."

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