[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: to what extent is the gnu project philosophical?

From: Jason Self
Subject: Re: to what extent is the gnu project philosophical?
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:24:44 -0700

It is both simultaneously, intertwined and inseparable. Well, I
suppose it *could* be separated but then it wouldn't stand for the
same issues anymore. The GNU Project is a technical effort based on
the social, ethical, political, and moral issues that RMS has raised
and been discussing for the last 36 years. RMS himself summarized his
reasons for this pretty well end the end of one of his talks in 2010
when he said "I didn't say 'I want to replace UNIX 'cause I could do
it so much better'" and what follows after: The GNU Project is the only project I
know of that was founded *because* of these issues and has them listed
in the founding documents. Even Debian, which people seem to like, was
founded by Ian Murdock because of technical problems with SLS, not
because of the issues that RMS has been talking about. Thus, the
technical decisions in working on the GNU Project need to be
considered in light of those issues and not purely on their own
technical merits that "we're just making an operating system." I can
think of some technical decisions in GCC that were driven by these

This has been one benefit to the GNU Project having the BDFL model, as
some other projects also have. There's been one person to keep the GNU
Project on point with regard to these social, ethical, political, and
moral issues rather than having them get stuck in committee to
eventually settle on the lowest common denominator.

There are a very small number of people in the world that I would
consider to have an RMS-level of dedication to the social, ethical,
political, and moral issues that he's been talking about all for all
of these decades.

Change the underlying foundation by changing out the leadership with
other people with anything less than the very same level of dedication
to those self-same issues and you change everything the GNU Project is
based on.

Different leadership with different people with lesser values (such as
not seeing proprietary software as a social injustice and that both
can co-exist, copyleft is a restriction, just for some examples but
there are many others) would send the GNU Project in a different
direction philosophically, technically and legally as it veers off at
an angle to something else.

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]