1. 34
  1. 16

    How is this related to GNU.org? It’s hard to tell from the front-page and introductory blog-post whether this is a break-off organisation, or something else entirely.

    This sent me off searching as to whether GNU is actually trademarked in any way, but apparently it’s not? Perhaps not surprising, given Richard Stallman’s stance on intellectual property in general, but it’s interesting to see how “ownership” of a name can be very contentious – do people who toil under a name have cause to co-opt it?

    1. 5

      but it’s interesting to see how “ownership” of a name can be very contentious – do people who toil under a name have cause to co-opt it?

      Ironically, a thread was circulating on Twitter the other day in which a former executive director of GNOME pointed out that GNOME is not a GNU project and they’ve asked the FSF to stop listing it as one – without success.

      1. 10

        Who would have thought that calling your project the GNU Network Object Model Environment would make people associate you with GNU.

        1. 9

          GNOME has not been an acronym for at least a decade.

          As far as I understood it from only sort of paying attention at the time, the split away from GNU happened for a lot of reasons, not least of which was Stallman’s loud public denunciations of GNOME’s leadership, and a Stallman-endorsed attempt to impose a code of ideological censorship on the GNOME project’s blog aggregator.

          1. 5

            The GNU project has a habit of refusing to let go projects when their maintainer wish it. I think I remember a similar issue with Libreboot. They of course live open the door for forking the project, but they basically say that if this happen, they will search for a new maintainer on their hand.

            1. 1

              The GNU project has a habit of refusing to let go projects when their maintainer wish it. I think I remember a similar issue with Libreboot.

              I wouldn’t touch the toxic tarpit around that project with a ten mile pole, when the best defence you can come up with is “we were on drugs lol” [0] you know you’re in a special place. And the drama continues [1].

              And people wonder why I want anonymity and privacy online.

              [0] https://libreboot.org/news/unity.html

              [1] https://libreboot.org/news/resignations.html

              1. 2

                I was not aware of that, tbh. Though, regarding the GNOME project, it looks like the same pattern arise (modulo the drama).

                1. 3

                  I was not aware of that, tbh. Though, regarding the GNOME project, it looks like the same pattern arise (modulo the drama).

                  The people around gnome are smarter and present themselves as a lot more photogenic, but if you want to see how hostile they are try and get a patch accepted in gnome. You will be drowned in bureaucratic red tape. In GNU land you might want to tear your hair out over terrible decisions, like not exporting the parse tree from GCC, but at least you feel like someone is listening to you.

        2. 2

          This is a “fork” of GNU, by people here.

          1. 3

            What are they referring to when they say “GNU Project”? The real thing or their fork? Nevermind, they updated the page since I open it the first time.

            This post probably explains it better. Seems like a kind of union of GNU project maintainers, not a seperate project in itself, as they are still linking to gnu.org and not hosting their own code and project tools.

            Edit: Here some more info: https://lists.gnu.tools/hyperkitty/list/assembly@lists.gnu.tools/message/RASDB353K5ONC654JDXBQCE7PFADYBSX/

            1. 2

              It was my understanding too: it’s not a fork, it’s mostly a group of maintainers aiming to coordinate their efforts within the wider umbrella of the GNU project (I guess they also hope to be able to steer the project in a direction more aligned with their values this way).

              It sounds like a sane thing to do, but I fear like it won’t be welcomed well on the other hand of GNU.

          2. 1

            From r/freesoftware,

            This is merely a resurgence of the “gnu-tools” initiative by the usual suspects.

            Ostensibly it was an initiative to introduce more influence on the whole GNU project by maintainers (maintainers already have full control over their own GNU projects apart from redefining software freedom, which is where RMS has final say).

            When asked the hard questions, it quickly became clear that this self-appointed shadow government was really about ousting RMS from the GNU project with hardly a though about how to continue after that.

            Anyway, if you have several days, you can inform yourself. It’s all on display in the gnu-misc mailing list (from 2019-11 and onwards. Search for “social contract”)

            In the end, most GNU maintainers weren’t on board and the discussion died down.

          3. 2

            Examples of unacceptable behavior include:

            The use of sexualized language or imagery, and sexual attention or advances of any kind Trolling, insulting or derogatory comments, and personal or political attacks Public or private harassment Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical or email address, without their explicit permission Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting

            These seem like reasonable rules in principle, except for the ban on “trolling” - that’s become such a politicized term that I refuse to oppose it even in principle. As far as I’m concerned “trolling” means “expressing an opinion with political implications that make the speaker angry enough to want to censor them”, and even interpreted in the most charitable way possible, I don’t want that to be an operating principle of an organization with a mission that entails its members making political choices. Socrates was a troll, and so was Jonathan Swift, and so is anyone who uses irony in the process of making an argument.

            In practice given that this organization is being founded by anti-RMS people, I expect the enforcers of these rules to selectively define what counts as a bannable personal or political attack, what counts as harassment, what counts as inappropriate, and even what counts as sexualized; just as other open-source projects with codes of conduct have done.

            1. 1


              software that empowers users with individual and collective control over their computing

              I have seen this sentence before, but never understand what “empowers” actually says. It seems like such an empty word, because I still get the same message without it:

              software that lets user individually and collectivly control their computing

              One might even say that “individually and collectivly” is unnecessary:

              software that grants users control over their computing

              I’m always put off by popular unnecessary language, especially if I don’t know why it is being used. Reminds me of when one group of children used code words to exclude and makr fun of another group.

              1. 1

                “empowers” is a priming word.