[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: A GNU “social contract”?

From: Florian Weimer
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2019 20:56:20 +0100

* Samuel Thibault:

> I don't think it does, I have never seen any reference to that in
> anything talking about the Debian Social Contract, and not in the 1997
> discussions leading to it either. Actually it took me a bit of time to
> even just realize what reference you were talking about (even if I am
> French and know about Rousseau's work).

I do think the Debian Social Contract alludes to Rousseau's work.  But
unlike the societal contract, Debian's requires an active act to agree
to be bound by it.  It's also possible to leave the project (although
convincing that you mean it can be quite difficult if you refuse to
send your signed resignation letter).  I do not see why something
similar would not work for GNU.

I have seen claims on one of the private lists that the majority of
GNU maintainers do not support the goals of GNU.  If this were true, a
GNU Social Contract could be seen as a draconian measure.

But I do not think that people are forced to GNU against their
convictions.  These days, there is plenty of technically interesting
work elsewhere.  I also doubt that people are in it solely for the
money.  For the areas where there is a cottage industry providing
support and development services, there is usually a non-copyleft, but
still free replacement out there somewhere, often supported by some of
the same companies.  This means that detractors have an easy way out
already, which is why I think it is reasonable to assume (until hard
evidence to the contrary arrives) people who contribute to GNU
actually support the goals of GNU to some extent.

Whether they understand the finer points of the current GNU ideology
is a different matter, of course, but that's why a document like the
Debian Social Contract is interesting: it establishes an unchanging
baseline, a shared understanding.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]