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about the GNU promise
about the GNU promise
Mon, 3 Feb 2020 16:28:52 +0100
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Maintainer of GNU nano talking here. I haven't followed the whole discussion,
but I've peeked at some of the archived emails, and was disheartened by the
tone and attitude in some of them. :|
Anyway... I've carefully read https://wiki.gnu.tools/gnu:social-contract
(Last modified: 2020/01/22 11:55), and here are my comments.
Please don't call the document a Social Contract. The first sentence says:
"These are the core commitments of the GNU Project...". In other words:
these are promises. A better title for the document would be:
The GNU Promises
The first sentence continues with: "to the broader free software community".
Well, why only to the free-software people? I would say: "to the world".
The second sentence says: "The GNU Project provides a software system..."
The word "system" is both too vague and too all-encompassing; it sounds as
if it wants to be a single, massive block of software. I would say that
the GNU project "provides software packages...". The second section then
nicely elaborates a bit on this.
I'm glad to see that the numbering in the first section goes from 1 to 4.
Please don't use the numbering from 0 to 3, as in the email, because then
the average person reading this would think that we are nerds and inepts.
The first section ends with: "the GNU Project pays attention and responds
to new threats to users' freedom as they arise." I applaud an organization
that takes it upon itself to respond to such threats, but I as an individual
maintainer cannot and will not make any such promise.
The third section begins: "Free software extends beyond the GNU Project..."
Huh? Vague. Does this want to say that there is also free software that
is not part of the GNU project? If yes, then say so. It continues: "which
works with companion free software projects that develop key components of
the GNU System". Oof... Who are those "companion free software projects"?
How can such projects "that develop key components of the GNU System" not
be part of the GNU project itself? In short: what does this want to say?
Where is the promise here?
And then: "The GNU Project aims to extend the reach of free software to
new fields." Huh? What new "fields"? Again: what is the promise here?
Is it that we intend to assimilate everything?
The fourth section says: "The GNU Project wants to give everyone the
opportunity of contributing to its efforts..." To me this sounds as if
the GNU project will not put any hurdles and conditions in people's way
before they can contribute. But in practice the GNU project requires
that significant contributors sign a copyright assignment, and that
translators sign a copyright disclaimer. I think that these two things
make the GNU project quite unwelcoming to possible contributors. So,
in my opinion, that sentence is rather untruthful.
Those are my two cents.
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- about the GNU promise,
Benno Schulenberg <=
- Re: about the GNU promise, Alfred M. Szmidt, 2020/02/05
- Re: about the GNU promise, Kaz Kylheku (gnu-misc-discuss), 2020/02/05
- Re: about the GNU promise, Jean Louis, 2020/02/06
- Re: about the GNU promise, Mark Wielaard, 2020/02/08
- Re: about the GNU promise, Ludovic Courtès, 2020/02/09