- From: Richard Stallman <rms gnu org>
- To: mike gtnorthern demon co uk
- Cc: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Questions
- Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 06:15:49 -0500
On the other hand, it sometimes feels like GNOME developers - who its
must be remembered are out there developing, releasing and maintaining
free software already, are treated by the FSF and often by Richard like
naughty children who would sell-out their principles at a moment's
When I speak to an audience about the principles of free software,
that isn't meant as a criticism of you or of anyone in particular.
There is no need to take it personally.
The importance of free software is the central point of our movement,
the reason for GNU's existence, and the reason for GNOME's
existence--and yet in our community, as in some families, we often let
the most important thing go unsaid. That may not be a problem when
we're dealing with the old campaigners, who would never abandon the
principles of free software. But many GNOME developers are new to the
community. How can we expect them to uphold these principles, or even
know about them, if we do not talk about them?
Words are not the only way we speak about where we stand--actions
speak louder than words. It may seem like a trivial matter whether
there are links to non-free programs on www.gnome.org, but that action
is how the GNOME Project tells the community where it stands on this
issue. As you know, the stand it has taken is not one that upholds
the principles of free software. We cannot take for granted that
GNOME developers fully support these principles--we have to talk about
them more, not less.
If you fully support the principles of free software, please be
patient with me when I say things you already know. And maybe you can
join in the process of educating people about them and helping to
apply them. One person doing this is not effective enough; it takes
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