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Re: GNU - Principles and Guidelines

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: GNU - Principles and Guidelines
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 2020 14:55:28 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)


"Andreas R." <> skribis:

> This writing, "GNU - Principles and Guidelines", is based on Andreas Elke's 
> preliminary version 
> (draft posted on 1 Nov 2019) of a general and concise document that states 
> some guidelines ("GNU Social Contract") 
> which came with a request for feedback. 

(I think you’re referring to Andreas Enge.  The latest version can be
found at
for lack of a place to host it…)

> * The GNU Project and the free software community
> The GNU project stakeholders are all users of the GNU system as represented 
> by the FSF. As such, an 
> FSF-sponsored maintainer for the GNU system as a whole (the Chief GNUisance) 
> will ensure the GNU Project 
> adheres to FSF guidelines pertaining to the GNU project in particular and 
> software freedom in general.

Two comments:

  • Users of GNU matter, but they are not, to me, “stakeholders” in the
    same sense as people who dedicate much of their time building GNU
    (webmasters, sysadmins, developers, maintainers, etc.).

    We envisioned the social contract as a connection among all these
    stakeholders and as a pledge to people outside the project,
    including users.

  • The idea of having a single person responsible for the whole project
    goes squarely against what we (people working on this social
    contract) have been defending over the last months: collective
    decision making in GNU.

    The FSF certainly has a role to play, but that role should be to
    facilitate discussions about the project’s governance as we recently
    wrote to


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