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Re: A summary of some open discussions

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: A summary of some open discussions
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2020 14:00:17 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Hi Brandon,

Brandon Invergo <> skribis:

> Mark Wielaard writes:
>>> There is no such thing as a FSF steward, GNU maintainers are appointed
>>> by RMS/GAC.  The FSF has no say in the topic.  You've keept
>>> misrepresenting this over and over again.
>> This is just a legal technicallity. The FSF has oversight
>> responsibility over the GNU project. That means that the FSF needs to
>> determine that GNU maintainers operate in a manner consistent with
>> FSF's exempt purposes, have the needed expertise and that their
>> activities can be monitored by the FSF board. So GNU Maintainers and
>> Steering committees are technically appointed by the FSF (previously
>> RMS when he was FSF president and board member) as stewards of GNU
>> packages. Basically GNU maintainers serve at the pleasure of the FSF.
> This is absolutely false.
> As a member of the package evaluation team and as an Assistant
> GNUissance (, I have personally been involved in
> many appointments of new maintainers at every step of the process, from
> first contact with GNU through to post-appointment bureaucracy and
> occasional check-ins.  I also have the authority to appoint new
> maintainers of existing packages myself (only Richard can appoint
> maintainers of new packages).  In fact, I personally appointed some new
> co-maintainers of Guix back in September, two weeks *after* Richard
> resigned as president of the FSF, which Ludovic can confirm.

Yes, I confirm this.

> I can categorically say that the FSF is not involved whatsoever in the
> appointment of new maintainers.

That’s also my understanding.

> Please do not spread misinformation about the GNU project.

Please assume good faith.  The lesson here is that if long-time
contributors or maintainers do not know for sure how this all works,
perhaps we should see whether/how we can better document it.

As a side note: I think authority is not something one should take for
granted.  We’re a group of volunteers, and each one of us has just as
much authority as the others consent to give them.


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