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    Hooray, drama <_<

    They wrongly claimed that Leah had merely stepped down as GNU Libreboot maintainer.

    This sounds technically correct to me. The GNU project is clearly interested in having a libre, blob-free version of Coreboot. Everything is under the GPL, so we can have as many concurrent versions as we’d like. What you cannot do is unlicense something that has already been liberally licensed and published.

    If it makes people happier, you could also say that GNU Libreboot is now a fork of Leah’s Libreboot.

    I don’t care who develops what, as long as I can have a FOSS, blob-free UEFI. I’m very grateful to Leah’s contributions and am sorry that this has turned into a big mess.

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      I support the right of the project creator and lead developer to dictate which is the canonical version of the project. Those who put in the labor have the final say, not middlemen. Therefore, I consider John Darrington in the wrong here:

      If you do decide to step down, AND you continue to work on the project outside of GNU. Then YOU will have forked libreboot - not GNU.

      That aside, GNU has every legal right to fork libreboot, but why? This just feels like GNU trying to flex their muscles here–they did the same thing when the maintainer for nano tried to leave the project. What does this gain the greater free software community? I hope these events serve as a warning to those considering relinquishing control of their work to the GNU project.

      Finally, Simon Sobisch’s “her”

      I’m perfectly fine with Leah forking “her” original project after stepping down as a GNU maintainer.

      is completely uncalled for and in a just world he would be reprimanded. I can’t view this mailing list so who knows if it happened.

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        That aside, GNU has every legal right to fork libreboot, but why?

        Because they need it. To them, FSF-licensed software is a moral imperative and all the software they run should be FSF-licensed. That vital low-level components (bios/uefi, drivers, etc.) currently still require non-FSF-licensed code rankles. It undermines the purity they seek. Boot firmware is a big, difficult project and the only other software they could use (coreboot) includes non-FSF-licensed binary blobs. They absolutely require libreboot to have a complete system and cannot let it go.

        I can’t view this mailing list so who knows if it happened.

        It is vanishingly unlikely that Rowe manufactured this instance of a common sentiment when it would surely be compellingly denied and damage her moral standing in this argument.

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          It is vanishingly unlikely that Rowe manufactured this instance of a common sentiment when it would surely be compellingly denied and damage her moral standing in this argument.

          No, but it is extremely likely that Rowe is choosing to interpret conflict wherever possible because it fits her narrative.

          I find rabble rousing an extremely distasteful form of politicking, and I worry that if I agree that something inappropriate happened, it might be misconstrued as support for this kind of behaviour.

          I believe that GNU and FSF are between a rock and a hard place:

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            Because they need it.

            It isn’t like Libreboot stops existing because it is no longer under the GNU aegis. It existed for 3 years before it became a GNU project, and virtually all of the real work is derived from the non-GNU Coreboot anyway.

            It is vanishingly unlikely that Rowe manufactured this instance of a common sentiment when it would surely be compellingly denied and damage her moral standing in this argument.

            I meant I don’t know if he was reprimanded.

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              Oh! I see that reading of what you were saying, sorry I missed it the first time.

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            I support the right of the project creator and lead developer to dictate which is the canonical version of the project. Those who put in the labor have the final say, not middlemen. Therefore, I consider John Darrington in the wrong here.

            I disagree with this analysis completely.

            Once libreboot was assigned to GNU, it cannot be “unassigned” by fiat and tantrum.

            is completely uncalled for and in a just world he would be reprimanded. I can’t view this mailing list so who knows if it happened.

            The GNU libreboot project is a GNU project.

            If Leah libreboot will be a different project, then I’m perfectly happy to parse those quotation marks as a way to distinguish it (since it doesn’t have a proper name yet) from the GNU libreboot project.

            I think if you continue to choose to look at it differently, you can get very worked up about this. Leah said that GNU fired someone for being trans. RMS said otherwise. I think you think you have to support Leah if you support this modern concept of gender, but I don’t believe that’s true.

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              Leah wants to leave gnu because she feels it is hostile to trans people and she is trans. She wants to take the project she coded with her. Honestly I cannot blame her for feeling that the gnu community is hostile after reading some of the posts on the mailing list. Nano previously left gnu, so there is even a precedent for this being done. She is free to make the request. Gnu can choose to honor it or not.

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                Leah wants to leave gnu because she feels it is hostile to trans people and she is trans. She wants to take the project she coded with her.

                Leah can leave GNU, however Francis assigned libreboot to the FSF, and the FSF views this project as important. Even if Leah leaves GNU, the FSF will still continue to contribute and develop GNU libreboot.

                Leah is free to fork it. Other libreboot developers will stay with GNU.

                Nano previously left gnu, so there is even a precedent for this being done.

                Nano forked from GNU nano, however the fork maintainers have returned to GNU.

                Leah is free to do exactly the same thing that Benno did.

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                  Using Leah’s birth name is incredibly disrespectful. There was no need for that.

                  In any case, I agree that gnu has the right to hold onto the libreboot code. I just hope that they will work with Leah on this. Other developers may choose not to join GNU if they know that the project will behave this way.

                  I would also point out that after the “fork” as you call it, a number of Linux distributions including Arch and Debian used the “fork” as their official package over “gnu nano”. There is disagreement there on which was actually official.

                  I don’t want to see the developer community split over this, it would make more sense for gnu to have a way for projects to leave as amicably as possible as well as have requirements and a process in place for that. I can see this continuing to be an issue in the future.

                  edit: how2english (forgot a word)

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                    Using Leah’s birth name is incredibly disrespectful. There was no need for that.

                    It’s not intended to be disrespectful, but there is a need for it:

                    Francis is the legal named director of Minifree, and Francis assigned libreboot to the FSF.

                    When Leah announced herself, the FSF changed public mentions of “Francis” and replaced them with “Leah” as requested.

                    This is not the action of a organisation that is transphobic.

                    The Lisa Maginnis, whom Leah is avoiding naming was hired as a female by the FSF. For whatever reason she is no longer at the FSF, the only the thing we know for certain is that she wasn’t fired for her gender, and that in response to that event (which Leah was not present for), Leah has had a major visible outburst, and declared war on being respectful.

                    I didn’t want to talk about your pocket support for someone spreading hate. I wish you wouldn’t support someone like that because you’re a community leader and people are going to listen to you.

                    However, I’m not going to play this fucked up game where if I use the wrong pronoun, that I must hate everyone who is exploring a modern definition of gender, and I do not appreciate in the slightest your insinuation otherwise.

                    You may immediately respond, oh that’s not what you meant, but you just told me what I meant, and this just goes around in circles. You need to understand that I’m resisting putting my opinions about what happened at that event down because I don’t want it to appear that I’m supporting someone who spreads hate. I think you can’t fight hate with hate, and where you think I’m not being respectful enough, I think you’re not being sensitive enough tho how your words are perceived and what the ramifications of they are.

                    Other developers may choose not to join GNU if they know that the project will behave this way.

                    Yes, and it would be a shame, if enough people decide what they “know” is more important than what is true, then the GNU project will be damaged.

                    I would also point out that after the “fork” as you call it, a number of Linux distributions including Arch and Debian used the “fork” as their official package over “gnu nano”. There is disagreement there on which was actually official.

                    What is “official” is irrelevant: Almost everyone uses a fork of the Linux kernel, instead of the official tree.

                    I don’t want to see the developer community split over this,

                    Then do something about it: Leah wants to see a developer community split over this.

                    it would make more sense for gnu to have a way for projects to leave as amicably as possible as well as have requirements and a process in place for that

                    No it would not make sense. If the FSF allows people to sign a contract, but rescind it on the back of an emotional outburst, then it weakens the contract for everyone else.

                    If Leah doesn’t want to be associated with the FSF, then she should choose another name for “Leah libreboot”, but that’s not what Leah wants at all. She wants to confuse her “right” to the libreboot name and gender equality, so that people who have support for one of these will be dragged into supporting both of them. That’s a political campaign, and it might work, but it will damage software freedom in the process.

                    I can see this continuing to be an issue in the future.

                    It will be an issue if people make it an issue. One of the responses we can have to a political campaign is to slow it down and ask for a measured respectful conversation. That will be difficult as society hasn’t yet decided on the modern concept of gender, but maybe there are incremental solutions.

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                      It’s not intended to be disrespectful, but there is a need for it:

                      For the record, I disagree. Leah’s birth name simply refers to her - she isn’t magically two people legally just because she’s had it changed. That doesn’t appear to be in dispute by any of the parties here, and I don’t understand why you brought it up. I would like to assume it was out of ignorance and not intentional disrespect, and I am willing to leave it at that.

                      There are quite a few trans Lobsters users, and this behavior is a tip-of-the-iceberg signalling thing that, if I weren’t to draw a line here, I’d only wind up having to draw it somewhere worse later, after dead-naming had become a normalized practice too entrenched to oppose. It concretely makes trans people less safe in this community.

                      Please don’t intentionally refer to trans people by names which are not their own, in future.

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                        I don’t understand why you brought it up.

                        I thought this statement made it clear:

                        When Leah announced herself, the FSF changed public mentions of “███████” and replaced them with “Leah” as requested.

                        If people were unaware that the FSF did this, then they may accept the statement that the FSF is transphobic as a point about the FSF’s only record of interaction with a trans person. I think allowing that sort of thing is dishonest.

                        I would like to assume it was out of ignorance and not intentional disrespect, and I am willing to leave it at that … Please don’t intentionally refer to trans people by names which are not their own, in future.

                        I’m going to edit my posts to block out the name, because I want it to be clear that I respect your authority in fiat: There are other things about the lobsters community that I like, and this is simply not important to me.

                        However you should think longer about this; There are more than two possibilities here. I’m not ignorant of how trans-people can be sensitive to this, and I’m not intending to be disrespectful to trans-people. Is Leah truly incapable of being considered a menace; a horrible human being? Do you protect her because she is trans and fragile? Or because she is trans and right?

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                          Thank you.

                          The easy way to say that would have been, instead of the quoted name, to simply say “her previous name” or something of the sort. I don’t think that weakens your point at all.

                          I don’t have, or want to have, a position on this specific controversy, and I hope you won’t take my position on dead-naming as a position on the thread overall. That’s why I haven’t been participating in it; it’s simply not that interesting to me.

                          I have no idea whether Leah is someone I would support; certainly there have been some serious accusations. Even if I were to learn that she’s a horrible person, I wouldn’t approve of dead-naming her. That has come up in practice in various other places, with regard to various other people, and everything I said above about why it’s not an okay thing to do is true regardless.

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                        Is posting the former employee’s name really necessary?

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                          I was asked to weigh in on this.

                          I think the above comment asks both a fair question and a complicated one, unlike the dead-naming issue, which was simple. After a couple hours of thinking about it, I have more questions than answers; nor would I want to take any sort of unilateral action without infinitely more clarity. Sorry, to the people who wanted that.

                          Lobsters is generally hands-off about moderating external controversies which are brought here. Changing that would be a large change in the direction of the community. When I intervene it is on what I think are exceptional cases which cause harm to Lobsters and to people here. I am not clear whether this issue does.

                          This next part has come up in some private communication, so I want to say it where it can be read more widely: Personally I do not think that being more hands-on is a good idea in general. I note that there is a dynamic effect where any time a dispute needs mediation or other intervention, it becomes the norm that there needs to be intervention when similar things happen in future. Furthermore, the majority of disagreement is actually healthy and better to work out without oversight. And there’s never a single obvious right call in real situations; it’s always a decision about minimizing harm based on the information available, and maybe never knowing whether an action or inaction was the best choice. I am happy that Lobsters has far fewer cases where any intervention is necessary, compared to other places I’ve been in a moderator role; I think that’s a sign of a healthy venue.

                          As context that may not be obvious to everyone here - it wasn’t to me, but I have now looked into it a bit:

                          The person in question wanted to remain anonymous - at least in the context of this controversy - but had been de-anonymized elsewhere on the web; using her name here repeats that information and makes it easier to find with a web search. Without making any inferences about the intent of users here, and without looking deeply enough into this news item to check whether there is an organized harassment campaign around it, it is generally a goal of such campaigns to make damaging personal information about their victims as easy to find as possible.

                          That said, it’s also very easy to spread information these days, and hard to make a case that any individual site allowing it to be hosted is significantly contributing to the harm; a pastebin would have almost the same effect, except that Lobsters comes up higher in search rankings.

                          Some questions that I don’t think need immediate answers and don’t feel up to discussing now, but that I’d like people to think about:

                          • What are the effects on this community of this being one of the places this woman’s name is repeated?
                          • What are the effects on her?
                          • Is this analogous to naming and shaming a highly visible politician or activist for their actions, or should we treat it differently? Why and how?
                          • If there is an action in this thread which it would be preferable to not have on Lobsters in future, what was it and what made it unacceptable?

                          As a final plea, please don’t make it necessary to address hard questions like this, or even to write long messages explaining them. :) I think everyone here shows good judgment almost all of the time; please try to make it all of the time.

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                          I didn’t want to talk about your pocket support for someone spreading hate. I wish you wouldn’t support someone like that because you’re a community leader and people are going to listen to you.

                          What pocket support? The firing at FSF and Leah’s request to have libreboot removed from the GNU project are two separate issues though related. I was only speaking about the request to have libreboot removed from the GNU project.

                          I never commented on the firing at the FSF that triggered recent events with Leah. I simply don’t know enough to really know the circumstances surrounding it and definitely don’t know enough to make any judgments for or against Leah / the FSF and their actions.

                          She wants to confuse her “right” to the libreboot name and gender equality, so that people who have support for one of these will be dragged into supporting both of them.

                          You are doing this very thing, choosing to connect these issues together and picking a side without having full information. I am personally reserving judgement on the firing of a trans employee because at this time I do not have enough information, and I don’t know that it should even be made public if the person who was fired wishes it to be private. I don’t think people should be going out on a witch hunt against the FSF or Leah and her friend. There are more productive ways to handle conflicts.

                          When I said I couldn’t blame Leah for feeling that the GNU project was transphobic, it was because some people in the GNU project were posting transphobic things in the GNU mailing list thread here: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/libreboot/2016-09/msg00036.html and were not chastised for it.

                          When I said I thought GNU should allow Leah to remove the software she wrote from the project, it was because I feel that a project maintainer/developer should be able to remove their code from a project when they feel strongly that it needs to be removed, just the same as nano or any other current or future free software project that is part of GNU.

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                            What pocket support?

                            Honestly I cannot blame her for feeling that the gnu community is hostile after reading some of the posts on the mailing list

                            If you can’t blame her for the replies she gets from flaming a bunch of people, then what can you possibly blame her for?

                            When I said I couldn’t blame Leah for feeling that the GNU project was transphobic, it was because some people in the GNU project were posting transphobic things in the GNU mailing list thread here: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/libreboot/2016-09/msg00036.html and were not chastised for it.

                            I know that’s what you meant, and that’s wrong.

                            When someone (Leah) stirs up hate, and is met with hate, it isn’t because she is trans that people responded with mean words, but because she is spreading hate.

                            And in fact, RMS did criticise someone for responding to hate with hate with hate!

                            When I said I thought GNU should allow Leah to remove the software she wrote from the project, it was because I feel that a project maintainer/developer should be able to remove their code from a project when they feel strongly that it needs to be removed, just the same as nano or any other current or future free software project that is part of GNU

                            I know that’s what you meant, and that’s wrong.

                            The whole point of a contract is that it’s supposed to mean something. If you assign someone something, changing your name doesn’t allow you to un-assign it. If you think it should, then you think that a contract is meaningless.

                            You are doing this very thing, choosing to connect these issues together and picking a side without having full information.

                            No I’m actually not.

                            I haven’t made any decision about the “firing of the trans employee”. If I have been unclear that I believe something inappropriate might have happened, it’s because I don’t want that to be misconstrued as support for Leah.

                            That I think Leah is doing something horrible has nothing to do with that, but it is causing me to draw ire from trans people who now believe that I am their enemy because I don’t like a horrible person doing something horrible.

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                  I support the right of the project creator and lead developer to dictate which is the canonical version of the project.

                  Think about what this would mean for 3rd parties trying to count on GNU and other free/libre software.

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                    It would just mean they switch the source code repo they use. Things like this happen frequently in FOSS. Open Office was forked to Libre Office and many Linux distributions changed their upstream. Same for mysql/mariadb.

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                  Food for thought: All of the people who responded on the GNU Prog discuss mailing list are cisgendered men

                  What a nice oneliner to lose all moral authority.