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Concrete suggestions on how to make GNU more welcoming (was: A GNU “soci

From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Concrete suggestions on how to make GNU more welcoming (was: A GNU “social contract”?)
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2019 02:59:50 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Andreas Enge <> wrote:
> Please, Alexandre and others
> I would suggest to make concrete suggestions

Thank you for invitation.

Concrete suggestions on how could GNU be improved to attract more contributors:

* (1) Do not impose any ideology on them.

* (2) Lessen the amount of formalities, that contributors have to pass:

** Revise (towards 0) the list of subprojects, that require them to assign 

** For the remaining ones, relax a copyright-assignment policy, as 
all-or-nothing attitude proved to be unnecessary by real copyleft enforcement 

One of the ways to relax it may be that: do not demand anything from a new 
contributor straightaway, but wait till it became obvious that his 
contributions will eventually comprise a substantial share of codebase.

** Relax the requirement to prove their rights by providing anything from their 
employer, if any relaxation is still possible.

* (3) Fight the negative myth about GNU as a place full of dogmas and 

** Make it as clear as possible:
- that GNU welcomes everyone, regardless of their political preferences, and in 
particular regardless of whether they embrace free software philosophy or not;
- and even if they do, that nobody will shame them for not living a life of 
saint of Church of Emacs here.

** Make all the remaining necessary formalities as transparent as possible.  
One should not collect (perhaps, outdated) anecdotal evidences around the Web, 
but have an opportunity to consult an official and up-to-date summary about:
- whether he need to undergo any paperwork (preferable answer: no, more 
realistic answer: check the list);
- what personal information he has to reveal (preferable answer: none);
- how to make a paperwork if any needed (preferable answer: an email is enough);
- if he assign copyright on his code, does he retain a right to use it in 
nonfree software (answer: yes);
- how probable it is, that he has to ask his employer to do anything 
(preferable answer: only if he himself supposes that this is needed).

Make as clear / transparent as possible here means to publish it prominently on and spread it over Reddit-like resources and other social networks.

> on wording, or paragraphs to remove [from] or to add [to the proposed ‘Social 
> contract’].

Per (1) — remove the whole ‘Social contract’.

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