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FSF/GNU future without RMS, my opinion

From: Sergey Matveev
Subject: FSF/GNU future without RMS, my opinion
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2019 13:38:13 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.12.2 (2019-09-21)

Greetings, FSF and GNU fellows!

For past month and especially last days, I am shocked about attacks,
insults and blames of Richard M. Stallman and all that awful terrifying
situation happening. Completely insane and hardly believed events like
several GNU projects blackmailing RMS to stop representing free
software, FSFE welcoming his resignation and now joint statement of GNU
developers asking him to leave the GNU project at all.

They fear that RMS is some kind of barrier for gaining popularity of
free software. Free software has NEVER been about popularity. It is open
source about. Free software mainly is about ethics and importance of
ethical decisions.

* I tend to spent all my free time developing free software. Why?
  Because of RMS convinced me the importance of movement's ideas and
* I talk with my employer and take vacations to write software outside
  the work, to forbid employer making it non-free and to copyleft it.
  I doubt I would ever think about all that issues if there will be no
  RMS articles and talks.
* Several times I was a speaker at meetups and conferences and every
  time I mention and underscore the importance and necessity of free
  software in our life, that no security can be achieved without it.
  Software can be opensourced, but that does not mean we are able to
  control it, control our computers. I done that because of RMS
* I have bought free software related products like OpenMoko, Lemote
  YeeLoong and similar things not because of their quality, not because
  I want to deal with them as a developer, but because I want to support
  projects supporting free software. Without RMS I hardly will be
  interested in them.

I can not imagine that I will ever notice FSF organization existence
without RMS. What is GNU without RMS? Well, without its philosophical
section is just yet another organization developing software, like
Apache, RedHat etc, with hardly considerable value amongst them. Some of
GNU creations are incredible and a must-have. Some are not. But the most
important thing that they are free software. RMS taught and showed me
how this is the most important. Would I use XXX software? Literally my
first question will be "is it free?". If no, then no way I would be
using it, even if no other software exists solving the desired task.

Would I use opensource/free software because of its quality and
popularity? I am in Unix-like world for nearly 20 years and let's look
at its most popular GNU/Linux distribution Ubuntu -- its quality sucks,
that I hardly believe it is tested before the release. Also all that
systemd cancer is a reason I use FreeBSD, OpenBSD systems instead of any
popular GNU/Linux distribution. If there will be no free software *BSD
systems, will I use GNu/Linux distributions? Well, yes, of course,
because at least they are free software, however their quality sucks.
Popularity and quality is the questions of open source movement, that
fails reaching its quality and excellence goals. If not RMS, then I will
use something like Solaris, probably will have wife with children and
hope that I am bringing no less value to society.

What can I see happening now? Total hypocrisy, where some well-known
hackers, highly intelligent men are weak and fear to unsatisfy the loud
useless minority of someone does not like absolutely adequate (however
not everyone will agree with) but misinterpreted and misunderstood RMS
comments on the subject totally unrelated to free software. Who
ingratitudely immediately joins all that brainsick blaming without
having anyone/anything to "replace" him with, having nothing that
fulfils the task of free software movement's ethics spreading.

FSF and GNU can do whatever they want, but without RMS they will be
hardly visible.

Sergey Matveev (
OpenPGP: CF60 E89A 5923 1E76 E263  6422 AE1A 8109 E498 57EF

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