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Re: GNU project _does_ discriminate contributors by classes

From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Re: GNU project _does_ discriminate contributors by classes
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2019 11:46:54 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Jason Self <> wrote:
> My direct firsthand experience directly conflicts with what you allege to be 
> the case.

Nice to hear this!

However, it shows how inadequate the situation is: one have to collect 
firsthand experience rather than read clear and concise summary on the topic, 
published officially.

And what is published officially sometimes only makes things worse.  E. g., the 
maintainerʼs handbook, you linked above, seems not been updated to reflect, 
that FSF abandoned the requirement of snail mail exchange worldwide:

| Contributors residing outside the USA, Germany or India must mail the signed 
form to the FSF via postal mail.

I also never found any official reference, that a contributor is entitled to 
get back from FSF an all-permissive licence on what he assigned — that 
radically changes the perception of the deal, but again it is backed only with 
anecdotal evidence.

Et cetera, et cetera.  Even the fact, that not every GNU package is owned by 
FSF, is not the common knowledge.

Some argue, that GNU gained an image of unwelcoming place because of some 
jokes.  What I observe in free and ‘open source’ software communities, though, 
is that GNU gained an image an unwelcoming place due to its bureaucratic 
practices — whether they are real or perceived.

> P.S.; there's no need to address the message to me directly - I am on the 
> list.

Excuse me, but such requests always abash me.

Even if we put aside, that (a) the practice of addressing the general public 
while actually taking to a specific person is harmful for readability and 
searchability of MLs in general, and (b) itʼs vital for unreliable premoderated 
lists (and as a bonus, it was exactly what enabled you to reply even before my 
message passed the censor); what exactly are you asking me to do with that 
piece of information?  To keep it in mind? :-\

If one has troubles in configuring his mail server / useragent and, despite all 
of the above, want to shift the burden of satisfying his preferences to _every_ 
his correspondent, there are formal ways to do that, the headers: a simple and 
static ‘Mail-Copies-To: never’, and no so simple ‘Mail-Followup-To’, which is 
no point to explain here, either his MUA supports it for the case or does not.

By the way, you might notice now, that all my mail have ‘Mail-Copies-To: 
always’ set, which supposed to instruct MUAs _not_ to tamper with the list of 
recipients in the way that excludes me from it.  In rarely helps, though: 
those, who use good MUAs, that respect it, rarely come up with an idea to drop 
an actual correspondent from ‘To’.

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