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Re: A GNU “social contract”?

From: Alexandre François Garreau
Subject: Re: A GNU “social contract”?
Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2019 03:53:30 +0100

Le mardi 5 novembre 2019, 18:58:04 CET Samuel Thibault a écrit :
> But you'd have to agree on the GNU goals if you are
> to take responsibilities in the GNU project, such as being maintainer
> of a package (as in: responsible for the package, and not only a
> contributor).

I disagree!  Maintainer is a *technical* role, not a social or philosophical 
one (though it is somewhat political, but that can be enforced by the Chief 
GNUisance).  What if a (sub)package (ie. Objective-C gcc frontend) is of 
crucial of at least high importance for GNU or free software, but is free only 
because of chance or copyleft? should we prevent it to exist or keep updated 
because the author is not on our side and the root software is GNU? certainly 
not! as proprietary software should just *stop existing at all*.  Any free 
software is welcome.  That’s why, for many political and historical reasons, 
there are many redundant, duplicates, (practically or almost) useless, broken 
or discontinued packages within GNU.

Think of cases where the aforesaid software is really big (a compiler!), or 
hard to maintain (very complex and known only to some people working hard and 
long on it) or not that interesting (we like C and lisp… sometimes C++… but 
not Objective-C or C# or python… yet we know some do and we want to welcome, 
support and help them: they shall have and use free software)…?

Sometimes only some persons can be able to maintain something.  That is often 
a company with full-time paid employee (and a voluntary organization cannot 
replace or compete with that), and is most of time from the userbase of it: if 
it is used and hacked on only by people who don’t care that much, but we want 
it to be free (like everything!) we can’t arbitrarily and artificially appoint 
someone that knows nothing of it, how does it work, and doesn’t even care 
about it! what if he simply doesn’t of wrongly do the job, technically? users 
will stop using the software, or worse, fork it, and then the problem is back… 
with even more risks than you wanted!

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