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Re: A GNU “social contract”?


From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2019 18:24:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi Brandon,

Brandon Invergo <address@hidden> skribis:

> Given that nothing has changed in how GNU is being run, it appears that
> the cart is being placed well before the horse.  However, I would be
> shocked if they didn't already expect rms not to step down and therefore
> to reject their Social Contract out-of-hand.  Given that it is
> nevertheless still being written (in public) under conditions where it
> will be rejected with almost certainty, I wouldn't be surprised if they
> are in fact counting on this to happen.  That would give another
> opportunity to publicly shame rms and the GNU project as it actually is:
> "Look at this beautiful document that rms refused to implement for GNU!
> The fact that he *disagrees* with these points shows that he is not fit
> to lead GNU anymore!".  Nevermind that the rejection is due to its utter
> superfluousness given the structure of the GNU project and is not due to
> disagreement with the contents.

I think the whole “us vs. them” discourse, plus telling that “they” have
ulterior motives, is uncalled for.  Once again, your scenario that “they”
are trying to publicly shame the GNU Project is not only insulting: it’s
implausible because “they” *are* part of GNU, and for a long time.

Some GNU hackers have been wanting GNU to be community-run.  What we’re
doing here is trying to build consensus on how we define GNU and our
commitment to it.  It shouldn’t be too difficult because, as has been
noted, this draft just summarizes points very well explained elsewhere.

The next step, as I see it, is to get feedback from maintainers, to
begin with, to see whether they would be willing to commit to such a
pledge.  Hopefully we will agree that this cannot harm the project.
Personally I think it can only make it stronger.

> With that said, I am fully in support of having a couple of succinct
> documents that describe the structure and mission of the GNU project.
> Richard has also expressed interest in that.  I just don't see any need
> of enacting them as the basis of a formal pledge.

OK.  Let’s focus on what we share, and let’s work together on completing
this document.

Thanks,
Ludo’.



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