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Re: Question of Aiding and Abetting Proprietary (or non-free) Software i

From: lkcl
Subject: Re: Question of Aiding and Abetting Proprietary (or non-free) Software in GNU projects
Date: Tue, 17 May 2022 10:53:53 +0100

On Tue, May 17, 2022 at 2:00 AM Yasuaki Kudo <> wrote:
> If this is the case, a few more follow-up questions:
> - Is this attitude widely shared among the participants of FSF or GNU 
> projects?

"attitude" is a very strong / loaded word, it is making me hesitate to answer
"yes or no".

there is a goal: that goal is the combination of Ethical behaviour and
applied to Software usage and development.

the *advice* of - or more like the documentation behind - the GNU Project
and of the Free Software Foundation (which is very different from an *attitude*)
is to promote that combination of Ethical behaviour and principles as applied
to Software usage and development.

people can have a "bad" or a "good" attitude whilst also still respecting
(or disrespecting) those principles.  i've seen that happen.

> - Are there GNU projects other than Guix, in which helping people with special
> needs for their proprietary systems, by purposefully discussing and sharing 
> the
> knowhow, is shunned - perhaps with some of the participants even declaring
> to leave the project unless it is? 😅

Dr Stallman's perspective is amazingly clear and very respectful.
what i have seen him do is to make it clear what the goal of the
GNU Project is (to promote the combination of Ethical behaviour
in the form of Software), and to *very respectfully* redirect anyone
wishing to *disregard* or undermine that goal to move their discussion

in the version of the GNU Maintainers documentation that i was
helping to edit, it gives advice here on how to respectfully deal with
this situation.  it does *NOT* imply "go be a complete dickhead and
smash people's opinions into the floor because they want to use
nonfree software" because by doing so you are, yourself, basically
being a dickhead and undermining Free Software as a result.

in circumstances where people are being dickheads, chances are high
that anyone who left, and then had their system hacked (or it becomes
unstable / unusable) because they used nonfree software, would go,

    "shit, i should have listened to those people who told me of the
     consequences  of using nonfree software..."

at which point there are *two* possible paths for the thoughts in their

    1) "... but they were such disrespectful dickheads that i am
         never going back even though it would be beneficial for me"


    2) "... and they were so respectful i think i'll go back sheepishly
         because from their behaviour when i *wasn't* listening to them,
         i have confidence that they won't attack me or try to undermine

you see how that works?


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