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Re: “GNU welcomes contributions from all and everyone” in context of the

From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Re: “GNU welcomes contributions from all and everyone” in context of the proposed “GNU social contract”
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2019 07:38:17 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Mark Wielaard <> wrote:
> On Sat, 2019-10-26 at 02:45 +0300, Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
>> Ludovic Courtès <> wrote:
>>> * GNU welcomes contributions from all and everyone
>>> The GNU Project produces software for anyone to use, but also wants to give 
>>> everyone the opportunity to contribute
>> Curious.  Prior paragraphs were substantiated by links to extensive articles 
>> on, while this is not.  Is that a novelty?

It says nothing about GNU.


| The GNU Project encourages contributions from anyone who wishes to advance 
the development of the GNU system, regardless of gender, race, ethnic group, 
physical appearance, religion, cultural background, and any other demographic 
characteristics, as well as personal political views.
— Richard Stallman

Hm...  Even more curious.

Note, that did not mention the main ‘demographic characteristic’ — 
a class.  And perhaps that is not a coincidence: as you know, unlike many other 
free software developments, major subprojects of GNU [0] are very selective 
about from whom they are accept contributions.  Everyone have to pass though a 
weird and protracted bureaucratic process [1], but employees are also have to 
pass through even longer and humiliating procedures to prove that they are not 
liars [2].

In other words, the statement quoted in subject is much farther from the 
reality than a minor miswording about copyleft — in fact, GNU is unwelcoming to 
contributions from all and everyone, and many are less welcome than some.

And that discrimination may be a well-justified choice — justified by the goal 
of GNU project: to develop a free operating system.  After all, nothing in it 
implies that the development should be welcoming for everyone.  Many, including 
probably the most widespread free program in the world — SQLite, do not welcome 
contributors at all.

However, now is proposing fundamental change: to make ‘welcomes 
contributions’ a principle in itself along with ‘respects freedom’.   And it 
also may turn out to be a very good decision: bazaar development indeed proved 
to be quite effective.  Besides direct interests, a positive populist effect is 
expected too: many of those who would be proud to become GNU contributors, but 
are stopped by current discriminative policies, will be happy about that change.

But are you all really calling for changes, or these ‘all and everyone’ are 
mere buzzwords to please angry SJWs out there?   If the latter, they sound 
hypocritical as hell, sorry.

[0] All the core things: GCC, libc, etc, but also, for instance, the Emacs, 
which otherwise would be, perhaps, the easiest program to hack on.
    (preamble in italics is worth skipping)

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