Technomancy's place

gnu governance

Nothing like a top-down dictation that only a top-down form of governance is allowed https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/gnu-misc-discuss/2020-02/msg00014.html

This was sent in response to https://wiki.gnu.tools/git/gnu-tools-wiki/tree/code/sc-email.txt which was made by a number of GNU maintainers. I'll say that I don't think that proposed social contract is even too radical, so that makes the response feel more extreme.

gnu governance

@cwebber ams is truly insufferable.

gnu governance

@cwebber I'm very pleased that the people pushing the social contract are continuing to pay no mind to what rms says.

gnu governance

@cwebber I could almost see a reasonable version of this email where rms wasn't being shitty. Literally just "Hey this is some volunteers deciding to do this and not a formal GNU program, you won't lose your maintainership status if you decide to reject the social contract" But that's just a yikes.

RMS splitbraining himself on "GNU is a political project meant from the start to fight the injustice in software" and "gnu totally isn't a political project" tho.

gnu governance

@cwebber The funny thing is that rms thinks we have to listen to him. He's got his g-p-d fan club of sycophants; that should be enough for him.

gnu governance
@dthompson @cwebber ams is one of two people in the last 15 years to be permabanned from the #emacs channel on freenode; sounds like it was the right move.
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gnu governance

@ari @cwebber It's really weird how rms has been saying "you don't have to agree with us, just give us your volunteer hours."

Bro, why do you think anyone would want to give GNU their volunteer time in the first place?

gnu governance

@JordiGH @cwebber My only explanation is that rms lives under the delusion that the outside world cares much about what GNU does when these days people who don't care about the philosophy are more than happy to just contribute to llvm (gcc was their only real stronghold to begin with.)

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@ari Yeah, it makes me sad how weak and scattered GNU has become. Even the coreutils, Emacs, and bash aren't that influential anymore. RMS has been absolutely instrumental in that fragmentation.

You can't have a political movement if people aren't seeing enough benefit from that movement. I am really sad to see that so few people are objecting when yet more proprietary software is shoved in our faces. We're losing.

gnu meta

@JordiGH Honestly I feel like emacs is the only thing GNU has going for it. Coreutils is invisible and all of the extra features worth having have been in the BSD cores for absolute ages. Bash is just a worse zsh if you want a bloaty shell. screen is just a worse tmux by pretty much every metric I'm aware of, etc.

I get invited to give talks about emacs though, because there's nothing out there that's even close.

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@ari Gnome, R, Gimp, and GTK are supposedly GNU packages but nobody remembers that anymore.

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@technomancy @cwebber my first experience with his toxicity was on irc ~5 years ago. he came into the guix channel, asked questions, became inexplicably mad at the answers he was getting from the maintainers and core devs, and muted all of them. it was truly an incredible moment.

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@JordiGH As I understand it/iirc gnome/GTK are properly owned by the gnome foundation, although gnu maintains a seat on its board. Gimp has maintained its own infrastructure with no link afaik to GNU since 2002 at the very least. The people who willingly write R are not generally the kind of people who care about or want to use other GNU stuff, as someone who was forced to learn R in uni.

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@ari And yet, they're still al listed here:

https://www.gnu.org/software/

I'm well aware how much R actually hates the GPL. It's really weird to see its users and developers want to work real hard to produce non-free derivative works of R.

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@ari @JordiGH R and emacs?

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@a_breakin_glass @JordiGH A quick look at the website and I'm guessing that R is ***ALSO*** no longer a GNU project. The footer lists R as belonging to "The R Foundation"

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@ari @a_breakin_glass The somewhat official terminology is that R is a GNU package. There is only one GNU project, and many GNU packages make up the project. Having a separate foundation and governance does not, theoretically, separate a package from GNU, at least according to GNU.

In practice, most GNU packages have almost nothing to do with GNU.

gnu governance

@dthompson @cwebber

Since I saw the joint statement[1] in the Guix site I wanted to thank all the people signing it for taking a stand but never found a good moment to do so.

I'm not sure of where this will end concerning the GNU project, but you're doing great good. And I feel better knowing that there are people like you in computing projects.

[1] https://guix.gnu.org/blog/2019/joint-statement-on-the-gnu-project/

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@a_breakin_glass @JordiGH So basically GNU's lost every GNU program people care about except Emacs.

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@ari @a_breakin_glass This is a bit too much. A lot of people still care about gcc. I wouldn't say gcc has become completely irrelevant thanks to llvm, but it certainly lost the absolutely central importance it once had.

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@ari @JordiGH I'm sure some people care about gforth and m4

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@ari @JordiGH and octave

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@a_breakin_glass @ari Yes, but nobody remembers Octave. ~:)

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@JordiGH @a_breakin_glass This gets into weird definition territory though. If it started with some help from gnu but it has its own foundation, maintains its own mailing lists, follows its own contributor agreements, has its own website, doesn't mention or advertise that it's a GNU project anywhere and keeps its own version control...is it a GNU project that wants nothing to do with GNU, or did it silently cut itself off?

gnu governance

@i @cwebber it's really helpful when people (either gnu insiders or outside observers) show their support for this movement, so thanks! I truly think that the writing is on the wall: gnu *will* become a collectively governed project, it's just a matter of *when*. there will be much kicking and screaming from rms and his lackeys until eventually all of their power has been subverted.

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@JordiGH That's valid, but it's really one-sided. Of course GNU would claim to have as many projects as possible, but the other projects aren't exactly linking back.

I just checked btw, and by the law the FSF has exactly as much sway over GNOME as LibreOffice or Google: 1 seat on the advisory board. GNU is never mentioned, just that the FSF has a seat. https://wiki.gnome.org/AdvisoryBoard

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@ari I've tried bringing up on on GNU mailing lists how un-GNUly some of the biggest supposedly GNU packages are behaving, and maybe, guys, we shouldn't even be listing them as packages anymore, but I've never had anyone listen to me.

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@JordiGH I'm 100% with you tbh. GNU hasn't been in the position where it needs to be or is desirable as the home for a fledgling little project since the Software Freedom Conservancy was founded in 2006 for literally this purpose.

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@ari Yeah, I actually think SFC is really pretty much the new GNU, or what GNU should have been.

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@cwebber it's hard to find anything to object to there. I guess it would be threatening if you were committed to enabling and defending harassment :/

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@dthompson @i @cwebber let me add my +1 as a sympathetic outsider. onward!

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@dthompson @i @cwebber I feel the same, and I wholeheartedly support this movement and the joint statement. rms has zero credibility as a leader for the free software movement, also because he dictates agendas without contributing anything valuable. Collective governance as set by these software projects is truly promising!

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@JordiGH @ari Don't they take dirty money, though?

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@JordiGH @ari @cwebber He doesn't have to pressure anyone into toeing the party line. His followed so that for him all over the Internet.

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@ari @JordiGH I would be quite happy for Emacs to jettison GNU and all its baggage. If there were a viable fork or rewrite, I would be all over it.

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@aidalgol I like GNU. I like principled, uncompromising defense of software freedom. I just don't like rms very much anymore.

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@JordiGH Sadly, I do not think that GNU stands any more.

@cwebber This message was sent because certain people decided to send mass mail subverting GNU's communication procedures, in such a way (whether it was intentional or not) that seemed like it was sent by GNU. It was forwarded to gnu-misc-discuss because people were told, in the message sent to maintainers by those people, to reply there.

I encourage you to look at my message <87ftfy25gu.fsf@gnu.org> on one of our internal lists for why I'm so disappointed by this.

@mikegerwitz I don't think I have that email, but I'm also not on internal lists any more if you're talking about a certain g-p-d.

Nonetheless, if the email made only the clarification you're stating, I'd understand it, but the email's phrasing makes a stronger case than that around what the governance structure is and will be.

@mikegerwitz @cwebber I'm not even a GNU, and to me it is clear that the message is not from GNU. For anyone involved it would be abundantly clear. It is a message sent by some maintainers who are GNU to other maintainers who are GNU.

@clacke @mikegerwitz I'm glad to hear that, I felt that way too, but it's harder for me to know since I do have more familiarity with the disagreement and with gnu stuff.

@cwebber @mikegerwitz It's possible that I know too much from following you and Dave. 😀

But seriously, the message talks from the perspective of "this initiative" and "the authors of this message", and a "[hey, if you're interested, here's something you can participate in, we want to try to organize a thing]".