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Re: Joint statement on the GNU Project

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Joint statement on the GNU Project
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 06:26:29 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

* Andy Wingo <address@hidden> [2019-10-09 11:49]:
> For what it is worth, I have some personal answers to some of these
> questions here:

I am appreciating that you are publishing your opinions beyond the
GUIX.GNU.ORG and GNU.ORG domains. That is how it shall be done.

> For many years now, I have not considered Richard Stallman (RMS) to
> be the head of the GNU project. Yes, he created GNU, speaking it
> into existence via prophetic narrative and via code; yes, he
> inspired many people, myself included, to make the vision of a GNU
> system into a reality; and yes, he should be recognized for these
> things. But accomplishing difficult and important tasks for GNU in
> the past does not grant RMS perpetual sovereignty over GNU in the
> future.

All of his works in past do grant him all of the rights to continue
with it as he wish. And for the case that he is not any more around,
he has formed the FSF. Everything clear.

> More on the motivations for the non serviam in a minute. But first,
> a meta-point: the GNU project does not exist, at least not in the
> sense that many people think it does. It is not a legal entity. It
> is not a charity. You cannot give money to the GNU project. Besides
> the manifesto, GNU has no by-laws or constitution or founding
> document.

It does exist, and it need not exist in your own legal framework, and
there is something known as freedom of associations, so GNU project
never had to exist as registered entity. FSF came somewhat later.

That does not invalidate GNU project. I am not sure from which country
you are, but if you are saying that "project" or "organization" need
to be legally registered then maybe you come from some limited or
under developed country with fascist restrictions.

Even if some project is not registered, one can give money to it, I
don't know which jurisdiction you are speaking about. If one wish to
remain tax-free on donations, one can register a non-profit in the
USA but simple registration does not make it tax-free, one has to
prove the tax-free status by doing application to the IRS.

But that anybody in the world can receive donations that is a fact,
and you cannot dispute it, you can tell it from your view point, but
man I guess you are lacking some legal information.

> One could describe GNU as a set of software packages that have been
> designated by RMS as forming part, in some way, of GNU. But this
> artifact-centered description does not capture movement: software
> does not, by itself, change the world; it lacks agency. It is the
> people that maintain, grow, adapt, and build the software that are
> the heart of the GNU project -- the maintainers of and contributors
> to the GNU packages. They are the GNU of whom I speak and of whom I
> form a part.

It is good if you express yourself as "GNU software supporters,
programmers", something like that. Don't use GNU ot say "people", it
is not quite adequate, try to express yourself as specifics as
possible to avoid generalization.

> Richard Stallman describes himself as the leader of the GNU project
> -- the "chief GNUisance", he calls it -- but this position only
> exists in any real sense by consent of the people that make GNU. So
> what is he doing with this role? Does he deserve it? Should we
> consent?

He is policy maker, chief planner. Without him, you would not have the
GPL, copyleft, free software freedoms, books and articles, speeches on
free software.

You maybe consider leader only if leader does what you think it is
right to do. That is not how leadership works.

> To me it has been clear for many years that to a first
> approximation, the answer is that RMS does nothing for GNU.

Then you are totally misinformed. If you think it is so, why not
simply resign?

> RMS does not write software. He does not design software, or
> systems. He does hold a role of accepting new projects into GNU;
> there, his primary criteria is not "does this make a better GNU
> system"; it is, rather, "does the new project meet the minimum
> requirements".

That is lie, nonsense. Everybody is free to decide when to write
software or to organize the community to write it. You lack basic
senses of observation. GNU, FSF, and majority of free software,
including Linux kernel are free because it was incentive and original
creation of Richard Stallman. Linus would never make it free, he said
so, and he did not publish it as free. Many software pieces became
free because of Richard Stallman.

If you cannot see his work, I would ask you to find other community to
spread misinformation.

> By itself, this seems to me to be a failure of leadership for a
> software project like GNU.

Absolutely not, but if you have serious disagreements, how about
organizing your own project and forwarding free software?

To cut the story short, none of your opinions are the fact that prove
"that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value
of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not
fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a
large part of those we want to reach out to."

Do you have anything better?


I am asking those people who are pretending to represent all of the
GNU project and who are defaming and slandering RMS[1] to step down
and resign, do your software hacking somewhere else, you do not
deserve funding that RMS is giving you. Ludovic Courtès, Ricardo
Wurmus, Matt Lee, Andreas Enge, Samuel Thibault, Carlos O'Donell, Andy
Wingo, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso, Mark Wielaard, Ian Lance Taylor,
Werner Koch, Daiki Ueno, Christopher Lemmer Webber, Jan Nieuwenhuizen,
John Wiegley, Tom Tromey, Jeff Law, Han-Wen Nienhuys, Joshua Gay, Ian
Jackson, Tobias Geerinckx-Rice, Andrej Shadura, Zack Weinberg, John
W. Eaton, RESIGN and step down from GNU projects, disassociate
yourself, find another house for your excessive and uncrontollable
fear of the free speech.


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