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Re: Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 16:04:03 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)


Mark Wielaard <> skribis:

> For my own GNU project (some years ago) we did use savannah, but we
> had to give up on because it just didn't scale to the
> volume of email that we produced. Savannah didn't provide a wiki, so we
> set one up ourselves, etc. We had setup our own planet. Organized
> hacker meetings. But had to use SPI for helping with the finances
> because the FSF couldn't help us at the time (these days there is the
> FSF working together funds BTW, which are great!). I know other GNU
> projects faced the same issues. Most GNU projects I am working on these
> days are not even using savannah, but sourceware.

My experience with this for Guix is that the FSF has been really
helpful: they provided us our first build machine (a VM), and Guix works
with them through the Working Together fund.

> I am not sure what the best way forward is for these things. Can the
> FSF scale to manage all these resources on behave of the GNU
> maintainers and projects? The GNU volunteers that manage these
> resources mostly don't work for the FSF and might not have the time to
> scale them from project specific resource to "all of GNU" resource.

It would be great if GNU, as a project, could support individual
packages in need of infrastructure.  The FSF can help as I wrote, but in
its current setting, it’s not clear whether it would scale well (there
are already very few people taking care of key bits of GNU
infrastructure, and I’m not sure we can add more on their plate.)

Another question is to what extent infrastructure such as GNU servers
and staff maintaining them would be in line with the FSF’s mission if it
were to grow beyond the current limits: in the end, I suppose the FSF
has to balance its spending between general free software activism and
day-to-day GNU operations.

It’d be useful to work on GNU/FSF answers to that!


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