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Re: State of the GNUnion 2020

From: Ruben Safir
Subject: Re: State of the GNUnion 2020
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2020 12:12:22 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

I'm going to skip over this much of this interesting and valid
discussion on metrics and data analysis, which is likely useful
if it was in a different context, and get to the more criticle issues

> Suppose the current leadership of GNU would respond to your criticism
> by showing a schedule full of personal activities for advancement of
> GNU, like criss-crossing the world, giving talks, writing essays --
> would that convince you that the leadership does a good job?  It
> wouldn't convince me, FWIW.  Because personal involvement and efforts
> are not the issue here.

While analysis of the development of an OS is a valid concern, it is the
the criteria or measure of the goals of GNU.   It is almost complletely
irrevant.  There are cornerstone technologies that provide needed
leverage to assure the four freedoms, but frankly, ADROID has all but
proven that any free system can be latched down.  In the end, what
really matters is not creating the technology as to having the
opppurtunity to creaste free technolgy and convinsing others to use free
technolgy as a political, not technological consideration.

In that regard, this whole analysis is useless.

> > > Last, but not least: I'm not at all sure that statistics of the kind
> > > we were presented, which is based on various measures of package
> > > activity, tells anything about "the health of GNU", because GNU, at
> > > least as I understand that term, has almost nothing to do with
> > > development activity of GNU packages.  

It is a single part of the GNU mission.  Promoting Four Freedoms is what
GNU is created for an one method is to promote and develop Free
Software, and a foundation of free Software.  But time has proven that
far more constructive coding has been done by the world at large with
GPL licnes as protection and OS in development, than anything GNU can
muster by itself, and that it fine.

It is not a contest.

> The development activity is
> > > determined solely by the project's development team and its abilities
> > > to draw contributions and find worthy development goals.  GNU as an
> > > organization doesn't have any impact on that, because they almost
> > > never interfere into these matters (unless there's some sort of
> > > scandal, which happens only very rarely).
> > 
> > Thought experiment: what would GNU be if all of its packages stopped
> > developing?  Dead, right?
> Of course.  

It wouldn't even matter.  If all the packages stopped developing in a
few weeks we would have aa whole new group of people to take over
packages, and create new ones.

iMeanwhile the GPL protects access to everything that has come before,

> But my point above is that IMO such total death can only
> happen if all the development teams of all those projects stop
> developing them.  It _cannot_ happen due to some actions (or lack
> thereof) of the GNU leadership.  And that, in my eyes, is one more
> serious deficiency in the criteria you've chosen as indicators of "the
> health of GNU" -- you think those indicators say something about the
> GNU leadership, whereas I think that if they say something, it's about
> the respective development teams of each project, i.e. about me and
> you.
> For example, what
> areas usually covered by any complete OS are currently absent in GNU,
> and why?  And there are probably other aspects to consider.

The OS develope was always secondary to its licensing regiment.  The
adoption of GPL licenses is the key measure of a successful GNU, not
lines of code.

> But the main point of this my criticism is that the criteria and
> methodology of analyzing relevant data shall be validated before the
> analysis is performed.  

Eli, they have no idea what a validation process is.  I've had this
conversation dozens of times with people.  they have never run a large
production run, and they completely fail to understand what validation
or quality assurance is.  You are beating a dead horse.  These stats are
generated for political purposes, not for program anagement.

> As no such validation was done, and, moreover,
> there's at least some evidence that the criteria are invalid, I don't
> think the conclusions you've drawn are backed up by data, with all due
> respect.

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998 

DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002 - Leadership Development in Free Software - Unpublished Archive - coins! 

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps, 
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013

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