Re: relationship between GNOME and GNU, GNOME Foundation and FSF

On Tue, Nov 19, 2002 at 07:38:46PM -0500, Bradley M. Kuhn wrote:  
> I believe that issues of terminology are only symptoms of this more
> deep-rooted divide.

As we tried to make clear at the guadec meeting, this is precisely the

We have some differences on tactics. You interpret those disagreements
as fundamental disagreements on principles and goals. You thus feel
that we are somehow deeply divided, when we are all doing what we
think best for achieving the goal of more users using more free

"Working together" at its root is being able to compromise on tactics
in order to join together on strategy. If you take any compromise on
"how to implement the goals" as evidence of strategic disagreement,
then you can't work together really, because every meeting grinds to a
halt as soon as two people have a different opinion. And we all know
*that* never happens.

Regarding this "deep division" you speak of, I know of two concrete
examples that have been brought up by either you or Richard:

 - failure to have a policy that all GNOME contributors must say
   "GNU/Linux" in all public communication.

 - including "ggobi" on software map and not having a
   hard policy on what licenses are permissible on the software map.

So from my standpoint, "GNU/Linux" and "ggobi" are what you see as a
deep divide. Those are in any case all anyone's ever brought up that I
can remember. And I remember these two because they've been brought up
many many times.

I don't think a decision either way on either of these issues will
determine the success or failure of free software.  There's an
argument either way on both that it would help or hurt our chances.
That's why they are tactical points; we can succeed whichever way
those points are decided. They are thus worth discussing, but a
difference of opinion is hardly a fundamental divide. And at some
point we have to say "the issue was discussed, it's decided, give it a

I consider GNOME an important part of the GNU project and consider the
GNU and GNOME goals to be very much aligned. You may not, but that's
OK. We are helping you succeed anyway.
> There are lots of ways we can proceed in building and/or rebuilding
> this trust.  One way is for the GNOME membership to give serious
> consideration to RMS as a candidate for the Board -- which I hope
> they will do.

I think RMS on the board is a bad idea. I respect Richard, I just
don't think this is a good idea. I'll leave it at that.

> Another parallel way is to address the matter through the Advisory
> Board, as Daniel Veillard suggested.  I do hope that FSF will be
> invited to future Advisory Board meetings.

I also hope so.
> FSF's phone number is in the .sig below.  I want everyone in the GNOME
> world to know that they can phone me, or email me at any time.  RMS, while
> not often reachable by phone, will surely be happy to answer emails from
> all of you.  In general, if there is anything we can do to help GNOME, or
> any ideas anyone has about how to rebuild the trust, we want to hear them.

Note that we do not have a trust issue with the FSF. At least I don't.
I have never found the FSF to be unreliable - predictable yes,
unreliable no. ;-)

You guys don't trust us, then OK. But we aren't willing to say "we'll
do whatever RMS says on all tactical questions" in order to earn your
trust. Trust involves believing that the GNOME Foundation can make
independent decisions while still working toward the same big picture.

This whole thing is mountain-out-of-a-molehill as far as I'm


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