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Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2020 11:02:12 +0200

> From: Mark Wielaard <>
> Cc:
> Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:48:58 +0100
> those mostly describe the what, not the why. The GNU Social Contract
> describes the core goals, the why we do GNU.

"Core goals" and "why we do it" are not the same.  The latter might be
personal and different from one maintainer to another.

> They can be seen as a summary of the GNU mission.

What is GNU and what is its mission is described here:

I see no reason to add anything else, as any addition will most
probably reiterate what is already there (or, worse, contradict it).

> Now that we have a GNU Social Contract, that describes the core mission
> of GNU, we can more easily reason about all these policies and
> recommendations and how some of them might indeed be mandatory and
> which are just suggestions that might or might not apply in the
> technical context of your package and developer community.

That again doesn't answer my questions and doesn't resolve the
concerns around this strange document.  You seem to be saying that it
is an attempt to produce a concise summary of what is already written
elsewhere, but the stuff presented on the GNU site is quite structured
and easy to read and understand.  So this document seems to be
redundant, and calling it a "Contract", and a non-mandatory one at
that (a contradiction of terms in my book), makes the purpose even
less clear.

But if that's all the document is: an attempt to summarize the purpose
of the GNU project, then why all the fuss around it? why is it so
important to have it?  I've never seen any confusion among maintainers
of GNU packages related to the goal of GNU as a whole, and it's quite
clear why: that goal is pretty much in your face right from the first
phrases of  We know what we are doing, and we
know that for a long time.

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