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Re: to what extent is the gnu project philosophical?

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: to what extent is the gnu project philosophical?
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2019 19:49:40 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

My opinion on that:

* Ludovic Courtès <> [2019-11-03 17:37]:
> To what extent is the success of GNU, a project with thousands of
> volunteers, due to the dedication of a single person?

You imply with "single person" to be Dr. Richard Stallman.

It is evident that many people participated and participate now for
the GNU project, and without programmers it would not be there.

And it is also evident that Dr. Richard Stallman founded GNU project
and is still doing those most important activities for free software.

The fact is that dedication of a single person, Dr. Richard Stallman,
authored free software philosophy. Few people participated in
development of free software philosophy, but not many. The fact is
that success was and is ultimately based on free software philosophy
and its application or marketing.

I do feel that you are trying to pull focus on purely technical
software development. Fundament of GNU is not the technical software
development. That is fundament for "open source", not for GNU project.

> Is there something inherent to the computer user freedom struggle or
> to the production of a free operating system that would prevent it
> from being led by different people over time?

Yes, there is.

The loyalty to free software philosophy, and application and
dissemination of free software philosophy. This excludes defaming
anybody for their opinions and it includes not producing or
participating in creation of proprietary software. It also includes
not participating in "open source" projects.

GNU project is not same as Arch Linux, right? Certainly not same to
Ubuntu or other GNU operating systems with different names.

The difference is loyalts to free software philosophy.

> Isn’t the moral standing of an organization likely to be stronger if
> it’s been incarnated by dozens of “leaders” over time than if it’s only
> ever been embodied by a single person?

GNU project's base is Dr. Richard Stallman as founder and author of
free software philosophy. Its purpose is free operating system.

Moral standing of GNU as project is standing on the base of free
software philosophy. GNU free software was and is produced as a
product of the free software philosophy.

Free software philosophy's base is freedom that majority of people who
listen to it will understand and agree to it. There will be many who
will not agree and there will be oppositions. Would it be so easy,
there would be no need for campaigns.

There are many important participants in the GNU project whose
contributions related to free software philosophy are very
significant, I could mention Karen Sandler, Eben Moglen, Bradley Kuhn,
current FSF president and others who really were pushing forward.

Those strong personalities have not maybe been leading GNU project in
some long term role, but their moral standing certainly contributed to
the GNU project.

Example article by Eben Moglen: or and

People loyal to free software philosophy can lead GNU.

Software programming is important aspect, yet does not have priority
over the free software philosophy. Today we have enough of free
software with various licenses to build number of various free
operating system. More or less they are all descendants of the free
software movement.

As you already do, you are managing Guix project without much
interruption of any single leader, thus you have quite a lot of
control and space how to do that.

I also propose that you include free software philosophy as a subject
in your speeches, so to give more weight to your proposals. 

> For GNU like for other activist organizations, I feel that the
> organization is stronger if it entrusts more of its members with
> responsibilities.

It already does.

Purpose of GNU project is not to make "strong organization" but to
push the free software philosophy in the world, including to install
free operating systems.

One thing is to think how we are strong and other thing is to think we
have installed one million of GNU systems worldwide.

How about making software speeches each in our environement? In
schools, universities and people's universities? How about that?


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