some advice from Barack Obama to Free Software communities?

Jean Louis bugs at gnu.support
Wed Oct 16 10:30:40 BST 2019


* Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> [2019-10-16 14:41]:
> 
> 
> On 16/10/2019 08:21, Dr. Michael Stehmann wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > Am 16.10.19 um 09:06 schrieb Jean Louis:
> > 
> >> I would not bash them for that, but then we shall promote free
> >> software philosophy without politics.
> > 
> > IMO that is not possible.
> > 
> > May be one thinks, (s)he can promote open source philosophy without
> > politics, but not Free Software philosophy.
> > 
> > Promoting freedom has necessarily political implications.
> > 
> 
> When Kirschner asserts[1] that free software and open source are the
> same thing, he appears to be demoting and subverting the philosophy,
> denying it is important, maybe even ridiculing it.  It is like diluting
> fuel with methanol or some other cheaper substance.

Yes, I do agree to that.

And FSF-friendly organizations such as FSFE or any others shall be
subject to review and analysis based on how much they promote the free
software philosophy and user rights, versus anything else.

Yet if they are not promoting the free software philosophy, then they
maybe promote only free software and then we shall consider such
groups friend, not enemies.

> When he uses the FSF*derivative name and his title to demote the
> philosophy, that is rather unpleasant.  People see the FSF* name and
> some think it represents the same philosophy as FSF.

That is true, and yet Internet is accessible to everybody, so even to
members of the FSFE. People cannot learn free software philosophy in
one day, it is process that may take long time, many years for
somebody to realize what the value of it.

For myself I have first realized what means GPL, as I have taken time
to read it back in 1999. In fact I was convinced that GPL is yet
another proprietary license and I was rather fan of warez and copying
the software as I wish, "cracked" software was for me number one
option.

Then I have purchased GNU/Linux book with DVD inside, and because I
have purchased it, by thinking it is proprietary, I have taken time to
read the GPL. When I understood the GPL, at that time I did not know
nothing about the free software philosophy, but I have got big relief
that I can freely distribute the software.

It was in fact so unbelievable that I have not believed it for longer
time, unspoken of being well aware of free software philosophy, I
required several months to understand it all in details. At that time
I did not know about www.gnu.org website neither FSF, I have been
reading it rather through files distributed with GNU Emacs such as GNU
Manifesto and similar.

The point of the anegdote is that people using "open source" and which
are invited to "open source" will not immediately know what is free
software philosophy in my opinion, but also those who are invited to
"fre software" will need time to understand the user rights and
freedom and control issues.

All those users have potential one by one, step by step, to understand
about free software philosophy, so they are friendly, they are at
least in the group of free software users which are still not aware of
free software, that is much better than proprietary software users,
right?

> Doing a combination of changes to an organization's constitution and
> doing them at this particular point in time would also be a calculated
> insult to the founder of the movement.  Kicking a volunteer while he is
> down.  It is a particularly nasty type of organization that harasses
> volunteers even after they have resigned.

Which one?

> It only adds weight to the assertion that FSFE is an organization
> founded on a grudge, not on the Free Software philosophy.
> 
> If you add up their financial disclosures, you find they raised
> approximately €3 million in the last 15 years using the FSF* name, a
> name taken from the person they are insulting.  How could they be more
> ungrateful?

I agree on that, that is how it is. But that is their organization.

I can just suggest to open up your own FSF type of organization,
nobody is forbidding it, as all articles of Dr. Richard Stallman are
freely licensed.

Jean


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