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Re: Need of ‘stubborn governance’ (was: Turning GNU into a bottom-up org

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: Need of ‘stubborn governance’ (was: Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization)
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2019 13:59:08 -0400

   Excuse me, do GNU actually have precedents when the ‘stubborn
   governance’ was proved to be needed to keep things free?

Readline, Objective-C backend, not allowing propietery hackery with
GCC, GPLv3 and Tivioization, Emacs and plugins, come to mind.
Fighting non-free software is always a uphill battle.

   IIRC, and Co. were initially going to reserve ‘Guix’
   for package manager only, while calling the system distribution
   ‘GNU’ — simply ‘the GNU’: they presented it as ‘GNU’ at GHM and
   FOSDEM, published the first alpha releases of ‘GNU’, and even the
   /gnu/ hierarchy is a remnant of that intention.

The first alpha of GNU was already published back in the 1997.

   Being made that way, despite all the best intentions they had, it
   would be obviously perceived as a statement “we are the proper and
   pureblood GNU, while Debian and other GNU distributions are
   impostors”, so RMS, of course, strongly opposed that.

   How such an issue would be supposed to be resolved with a
   ‘non-stubborn’ governance?

To understand a opposition, one needs to know the why.  Taking your
statement at face value as to what might have been said, that is,
calling other free systems for "lesser systems" would be unfriendly
and unkind, so why do that?  That in it self would be a good reason to
strongly object to such a statement since it would alienate people
working on other free systems.

But now knowing the precise words used, making any fair analysis of
the decision is hard, and a simply way to find a false reasoning is to
call it "stubborn" or similar.

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