Re: Distribution Naming System (Was: Re: Is there GNU/Linux distribution which includes always latest gnome 3)

As much as I would like to call this thread off and stop the off topic trend, I can't help but get this out of my chest:

Richard, I think you should think about why GNU got itself in such situation, the GNU project failed to build a brand and communicate an appealing message, Linux built a great brand instead. You find that unfortunate for a collection of reasons. You worry about making sure that the use of software freedom is tied with the word spreading of its message, I think we all do in here or we wouldn't be in the GNOME Foundation, you're just not being very effective and wasting your valuable time in making sure people is afraid of typing the word Linux without the GNU/ prefix.

You just don't build brands by correcting every single individual you stumble upon telling them how wrong they are when they speak about something. Beyond the realm of free software, in general that's considered almost rude, if anything it doesn't make you very likeable. Most of the time what you achieve is the exact opposite, people get tired of hearing about GNU. Perhaps this article[0] from Miguel will help you understand how counter-productive this is, even if you are right. This speech[1] from Phil Plait also raises some really good points about word-spreading in the context of science and scepticism, it is well worth the watch and a lot of the points are _very_ relevant to the free software movement.

If the GNU project wants to have a brand/name/project people want to feel related to, maybe you should start thinking about making an effort to understand which type of projects you should be fostering and hosting and what kind of message you need to send. Certainly, if you started to talk about GNU in terms of positives instead of negatives you would gather more. systemd, CoreOS, LLVM, OpenStack, LibreOffice, GitLab... there are so many interesting problems and critical to software freedom being solved outside of the GNU umbrella these days. I do wonder, have you ever reached out to the leaders of these projects and asked them why they didn't consider to host their code and relate their projects to GNU more tightly? And if so, have you considered what GNU can do to make that happen in the future?

You are a persuasive individual with a huge amount of influence in the tech and the open culture movement, it makes me sad to see you spending so much energy on calling for credit for what you did 20-15-10 years ago (and most of the time, preaching to the choir while doing it)  instead of focusing on what you can do _today_ to keep building credit (not saying you're not doing anything, just saying that that's not the focus of your message). It is also sad to think that most people don't know of anything exciting or relevant that GNU is doing these days, that's the problem you ought to fix, s/Linux/GNU\/Linux/ is the least of our problems IMHO.

I don't want to sound like I know exactly what you should be doing, nor do I want you to think that I am telling you what to do, that is for you to decide. But with all of this I wanted to invite you to question whether you are using your time, energy and the amount of attention you get in the best possible way towards software freedom.

Best regards Richard.

[1] (Richard, I hope you appreciate I downloaded and re-encoded this video for you to enjoy it  without the use of Flash nor requiring any patent encumbered codecs)

2014-04-04 13:40 GMT+02:00 Richard Stallman <rms gnu org>:
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

    By calling it Linux, I'm also not recognizing the work of the Apache
    foundation. I'm also not recognising that systemd is basically running
    the whole show nowadays. I think those projects should be recognised,
    but I'm also sure I don't want to type GNU/Linux/Apache/systemd every
    time I refer to my OS.

That argument is a FAQ.  See

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call.

foundation-list mailing list
foundation-list gnome org

Alberto Ruiz

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]