Re: Questions

On Mon, 2001-11-26 at 13:29, Richard Stallman wrote:
> > 2) Do you have leadership and committee experience? If so, please explain.
> I've led the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation since their
> initiation.  Looking around at the GNU/Linux system and the free
> software community, we've come pretty far.

I am concerned that the GNU project is a hindrance, not a help to open
source software, mainly I say this because in a previous mail you stated
that GNU had tried and failed twice to create a free desk top, and it's
no secret that hurd is still not here.  

While it's true that GNU has managed to get all the little apps and
utils sorted it seems to have problems with big projects (look and gcc
and the break over egcs), and emacs, its at surely the opposite of kiss(
as in keep it simple stupid) 

I guess what I am trying to say is that if GNU had been more active in
GNOME, it would either still be at the barely useable stage, or be so
overly bloated and complicated as to be un-useable, or more likely be
listed as the third failed attempt to create a free desktop.

> > 3) How familiar are you with the day-to-day happenings of GNOME?  How much
> > do you follow and participate in the main GNOME mailing lists?
> I have not followed them before.  I am starting now.

And this just seems to confirm my fears, If gnome is so important to GNU
why has it been ignored by you?

Further, if you came in now, not having had enough interest to follow
this project how do you expect to fit in with its ideals?   Do you even
use Gnome?

> In our community I often encounter personal insults, sometimes simply
> reflecting personal enmity, sometimes used as a tactic.  You know what
> I mean.  Could you face such hostility for years and respond as
> dispassionately as this?

Me?  No way could I.  I'm prone to launching off into the deep end (in
face to face talks) and letting the buggers know what I think...  

> As long as GNOME and GNU are closely connected in the public mind with
> the freedom and community they make enable, success for GNOME, as for
> GNU generally, will tend to encourage the spread of freedom in many
> ways.  We have every reason to make GNOME succeed.  We just have to
> keep the larger issues in mind while deciding how to do it.

I am not so sure Gnome and GNU are closely connected in the public mind
(hell, we are lucky if the general public has even heard of Linux, let
alone Gnome OR Gnu they are so tied to Microsoft), but ignoring that, I
am afraid that if GNOME took the hard line (Free, and only free) then we
are likely to piss off people like SUN who are about to adopt gnome as
their desktop, surely thats a good thing, sure most of the rest of the
OS isn't going to be free on a sun machine, but it is a start, piss them
off now and they might just decide to:

a) Stick with there current non-free desktop.
b) Stop working on a linux port of their office software.

Then we would have missed tow very good opportunities, surely you can
see that having a large proprietary vendor adopt free software is a
boost in our street cred? (like IBM advertising linux - can we afford an
advertising campaign?) It's not perfect of course, and maybe the license
for there office software isnt perfect either, but it is a start, having
been around pushing for a free system as long as you have surely you can
see that some times we need to take small steps.  

Basically, unless we get full compatability with microsoft office files,
and real soon then we might never get a fully free system.

We need to embrace any large corporate who is going to help a little,
and not say "We will take your money, but buggered if we will mention
that your software runs on gnome because it's not free"

We need to keep chipping away at the dam, not painting slogans on it.


  Rob Brown-Bayliss

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