Re: Draining the Swamp: A Technical User's Experience

GNOME is not supposed to treat all operating systems equally.  A GNU
package exists to be part of one particular operating system, GNU.
Every GNU package should focus primarily on making GNU (and GNU/Linux)
a better system.

It's normal for GNU packages to support other systems as well.
Package maintainers can support any system if they want to; when it
isn't much extra work, one may as well do it.  GNU Emacs used to
support dozens of different operating systems, back when there were
dozens of different operating systems.  When someone offers clean
changes that make a package work on an additional system, we normally
accept them unless there is some special reason to say no.

But we shouldn't get so distracted by supporting other systems that we
forget the primary goal.  The primary goal of a GNU package is to
enhance GNU.

      I also object you - as the representative of the FSF - to restart
    that debate here, I don't think starting a battle on this contention
    point between the FSF and a significant part of the GNOME project is
    a good idea for both project relationship.

This is not a debate--it's a long-standing GNU policy which reflects
historical facts.  There is nothing to restart, because this policy
has never gone away.  Many users think that the GNU system is "Linux"
and was developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds.  That's an error and it's
detrimental to the GNU Project, so the maintainers of every GNU
package are supposed to help set the error straight.

Sometimes people argue that we should set aside the system's true
history--the history of our own work--and call the system "Linux"
simply because most people do.  There are three reasons we won't do

First, a practical matter: we need to get the credit for the work we
have done, and in the long term we need this more than any specific

Second, a matter of principle: mere repetition doesn't make an error
into truth, and we should not treat it as truth merely because of the
numbers who repeat it.

Third, a matter of respect for others.  To humor people with what they
want to hear is disrespectful.  Most people have not done anything to
deserve such treatment, so we ought to tell them the truth.

Please carry out this GNU Project policy by calling the system
"GNU/Linux" in your GNOME-related activities.

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