- From: Richard Stallman <rms gnu org>
- To: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Issues cooperation
- Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 02:36:33 -0500
There are several specific points where better cooperation between
GNOME and the overall GNU Project is important.
* Mentioning the connection with GNU prominently in GNOME publicity.
(More awareness of the GNU Project helps us recruit and influence
people, which is a major part of how we get things done.)
* Giving the GNU Project credit for developing the popular variant of
the GNU system, GNU/Linux. (This will help us recruit support among
the tens of millions who use and appreciate our system, but think it
was done by someone else.)
* Whether to recommend non-free software. To do so publicly rejects
the fundamental important principle of the GNU Project.
* Technical standards. Coherence is vital for making an operating
system easy to learn, use, and maintain, so we have had GNU Coding
Standards since the 1980s. GNOME has a history of going contrary to
GNU standards--without even discussing the issue first.
Of these four, I think only the last one is the only one that could
impinge significantly on GNOME development. There can be good reasons
for exceptions to some of the GNU coding standards, and even good
reasons to change them. On the other hand, if individual GNU projects
silently disregard the GNU coding standards, this does not bode well
for the coherence of the system as a whole. GNOME developers to talk
with me rather than simply disregarding them.
I suspect that these four specific points where cooperation in lacking
result from a deeper problem in the relationship. Cooperation with
someone normally means that when an issue is important to him and not
important to you, on that issue you do what he wants. (Normally he
would reciprocate on issues important to you but not important to
him.) When people say, "Your issue is unimportant, so I will
stubbornly refuse to budge," that self-contradictory attitude is very
difficult to work with. It tends to lead to various failures of
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