Re: Questions

On Mon, 2001-11-26 at 02:47, Rob Brown-Bayliss wrote:
> 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.  
GNU project is about Free (as in freedom) Software. It's purpose is not
"to help open source" software.
Now, you have to acknowledge that creating a graphical environment, is
not an easy task. Fortunately, with all the tools available and the
culture of cooperation we've developed it was finally possible to create
such free desktops, as KDE and GNOME. I don't mean that GNU project
created KDE, but the community it has nourished did.

> 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) 

Well, if you think that emacs is wrong because is not a kiss
application, then go and read what esr has to say about Unix filosophy
and in particular editors: if you cannot solve a problem with a small
but powerfull application, then it's no sin to create something bigger
with the needed functionality, powerfull, and that gets the job done,
and well done; namely emacs. Let's put flamewars aside. We are serious
people here.
For the esr's mentioned essay "The Art of Unix programing":
Check the seccion "Is Emacs an argument against the Unix philosophy?" in
chapter 4, please.

> 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.

Is your e-mail a personal flamefest against GNU project, rms or FSF? Do you have any special
resentment against them?
Look at sawfish, for instance: it's a window manager which can be extended using lisp, just like e-macs. 
Very powerfull and convenient. And we all use it, and none complains.
C'mon Rob, keep it cool.

> > > 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?

Again, you are mixing things...or you are just confused about your
...should I say anger, maybe resentment? Peace, man. What do you mean by
that? Rms is not GNU, he's just one of it's members. Yes, a leading
member, founder of FSF and uncompromising on freedom. Rms has a very
busy life, you know that. The fact that he's just starting to be an
active member of GNOME doesn't mean he has been ignoring it. I myself
applied for membership to the GNOME Foundation a couple of weeks ago and
it doesn't mean GNOME is not important for me or that I've not followed
it up since it's early days. I'm not a developer, you're not going to
see my name in no CREDITS file; I'm just a Joe Nobody. But I care. And
I've been inside the trenches since early without contributing code but
through other meand; and it still doesn't mean I ignore it.
Please, find out the focus of your resentment, and let's have an
objetive and unprejudiced forum.
To help you out:
GNU - Project. It's about promoting the values of sharing and
cooperation through Free Software and user empowerment through the GPL.
Started in 1984
RMS - Person. Founder of the Free Software Foundation, creator of the
GPL, a very dedicated hacker and uncompromising in matters of freedom.
FSF - Non profit organization. Founded by rms in 1985.

> 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?

Do you mean technically? If so, do you think it should be a requisite for being a Board Member?
One of the candidates I respect the most if T.Ney, and he is not here because of his coding
prowess, but because of other very important contributions.
Being in the board is not about technical decissions. It's dealt with in gnome-hackers list.
Check on about the role of the Board.

> > 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

GNOME = GNU Network Object Model Environment. Did you see the "GNU" on it? 
So, in the public mind, yes GNOME and GNU relate.

> (hell, we are lucky if the general public has even heard of Linux, let
> alone Gnome OR Gnu they are so tied to Microsoft)

We are not in a race against Microsoft; we are just working for our freedom to use
software. And freedom of software itself. Independently of the Microsofts of the world.

>, 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:

Is that your honest opinion? Either you are an outsider, you really wanted to atack rms, or
you've been plain lazy reading must-read documents like the GNOME Foundation Charter 
( seccion "GNOME is Free Software"

About "pissing off" people from SUN, haven't you yet understood that they are participating
on GNOME because they _believe_ in the benefits of cooperation, openness and community, namely
Free Software. Yes, IBM can use OpenOffice from SUN, but as well SUN benefits from all
the contributions of IBM, et al, to GNOME. It's now a Win-to-Win game. Everyone contributes,
everyone wins. Were have you been the last three years?
If GNOME is Free Software, it warrantees(?) (forgive my english), that IBM is not going to play
dirty against SUN, or whomever against whomever; the old UNIX fragmentation wars are over 
with GNOME as Free Software...And Free as in "Freedom". C'mon, man, be happy.

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

Don't be naive please. Read the above.

> 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.

Wrong. I refuse to think my own freedom as user depends on MS Office compatibility.
I feel Free with what we have now, and I feel Free to stand on the shoulders of the hackers
of Free Software and from there create beyond what we have now. For a better world, for you, for me,
for everyone.
Does the word 'standard' rings a bell? Like html,xml? It's true the rest of the world but 
us is using, unfortunately, MS Office. But, did you know that the European Union is 
considering moving to a wholy Free alternative from MS? A government can not afford having it's
electronic documents formats at the mercy of one company. Will all EU documents be obsoleted
by the year 2010, 2030? History can not be withheld within propietary boundaries.
I'd be surprised if EU governments start to contribute, if they are not already doing it, to
enhance the Free Office applications available. Remember German Government sponsoring GnuPG?
Open (not as in Open Souce, but as in Open Door) is better.

> 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"

As long as some APIs and libraries are LGPL, (I cannot confirm it now), then other vendors "could"
create closed software. But it's not the purpose of the Foundation to sponsor or promote such
kinds of developments. The goal is a Free (as in Freedom) desktop for everyone.

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

I think we should all make our homework and not confuse ourselves or the uninitiated
with e-mails like yours...and be tolerant, and not compromise on freedom matters. 
And for Seldom's sake, stop bashing rms just because he is not as funny, promiscuos/detached (politicaly), or photogenic as 
lbt (Linus Benedict Torvalds) or other people.

Sincerely yours,


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