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Re: A GNU “social contract”?


From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 21:46:56 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi all,

Thanks, Andreas, for this new version!  Some comments below.

address@hidden (Alfred M. Szmidt) skribis:

> What is the exact _goal_ of this text?

We discussed it several times before, notably in these messages:

  https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/gnu-misc-discuss/2019-10/msg00011.html
  https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/gnu-misc-discuss/2019-10/msg00081.html

>    Apart from rare historical exceptions, all software written by the GNU 
> Project
>    is distributed under copyleft licenses, designed to ensure that developers
>    cannot strip off users' freedom from GNU software.
>
> This would exclude those cases where we might want to distribute
> something under a non-copyleft license for strategical reasons.

I agree with Alfred.  For that reason, I think the other phrasing you
proposed, Andreas, would be more appropriate:

  Unless the GNU Project deems that a different choice furthers the
  advancement of free software, all software...

>    * The GNU Project provides a consistent system
>
>    The GNU Project develops, in the form of GNU packages, an operating system
>    and a set of applications, the GNU system.  GNU package developers work
>    together to ensure consistency across packages.  GNU packages should follow
>    the design and development guidelines of the GNU Project.
>
> The GNU system isn't just GNU packages, […]

I agree that there’s maybe some ambiguity in the first sentence.
Perhaps something like this:

  The GNU Project develops an operating system, the “GNU System”, as
  well as a set of applications.  Each software component developed by
  the GNU Project is referred to as a “GNU package”.

?

Nitpick: for clarity, I would use quotes (or italics) for every new term
being defined (as in the example above.)

Apart from that, it looks good to me!  What do people think?

Thanks,
Ludo’.



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