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Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: The General Public Licence (GPL) as the basic governance tool
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 16:33:14 +0200
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On 21.02.2020 12:09, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
From: Ludovic Courtès <>
Cc: "Alfred M. Szmidt" <>,,
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 09:02:34 +0100

I don't see the opposing viewpoints reflected in your documentation
anywhere. You have formed a subgroup, discussed your views in private,
and are now soliciting positive feedback within the project, while
largely ignoring negative one.

This is wrong.  See the timeline at:

If, as that page says, the proposed "contract" is entirely voluntary,
then what is its significance?  IOW, what would those who endorse it
have or be entitled to that the others won't?  And why are you going
to such lengths trying to advance and promote a document which is not
mandatory for endorsement by GNU developers and maintainers?  Those
promotion efforts imply that the document is somehow very central to
your ideas of governance and the call for changes in the GNU
leadership, whereas dismissing its importance by saying the
endorsement is entirely optional seems to fly in the face of those
efforts.  This apparent contradiction needs to be clarified, IMO,
because its existence makes your intention unclear and even somewhat

I would also agree and rephrase this by saying that the item (g) (at least) on the feedback page is unsatisfactory.

Though both the suggestion (adding "this is entirely voluntary" to the description) and the response ("omitted for brevity") look rather stupid (apologies to whoever this might offend), because it's not how these documents should be introduced.

If it's an optional, voluntary initiative inside GNU, say so! Proudly, at the beginning of the document. This would both make a lot of "old-timers" happier and make the document more fresh and relevant. And not to mention, honest.

Whereas the word "simply" here in "simply defines the core values of the GNU Project" is, like in software development: a curse word.

More generally, I don't think that page answers Dmitry's concerns.
The disputes we witness here and elsewhere about your initiative
involve much more than just that single short declarative document,
they are about several more specific ideas of yours, such as that GNU
maintainers and developers should have more say in the GNU political
decision-making, and that RMS should be removed from his current role
because you think he is unfit for leading GNU and even causes harm to
GNU.  There's nothing in your Wiki about dissent over these and other
related ideas, AFICT.

I didn't want to touch on these details in this particular branch of the discussion, but yes, overall I feel a lack of clarity and, dare to say, openness from this new movement. Which isn't great to see from people who aim to lead GNU.

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