Personal attacks are off-topic for the list.

>From the GKCG:
"Please do not take a harsh tone towards other participants, and 
especially don't make personal attacks against them. Go out of your 
way to show that you are criticizing a statement, not a person."

Communicating directly with a third party whilst sending a copy
to the list should not absolve anyone from that responsibility.

Please refrain from carbon copying the list or alternatively replace 
the personal attacks with criticism of actual statements made by the 
person in context of the GNU project.

        thanks,
        Andreas R.
        
On Sun, Feb 09, 2020 at 11:13:03PM +0100, Andy Wingo wrote:
> Hello,
> 
> This mail is intended to provide feedback related to
> https://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-and-gnu.
> 
> I will start with my understanding of what we offer each other.  My
> background is that I maintain some GNU software but have never been a
> part of the FSF in any way.
> 
>  - GNU gives the FSF a kind of "hacker credibility".  Besides the FSF's
>    own independent long history, the GNU being close to the FSF allows
>    the FSF to e.g. fundraise for new things using the GNU brand.  Many
>    people have historically donated to FSF because of GNU.
> 
>  - Many GNU packages have their copyrights assigned to the FSF; it has
>    costs in admin time to both projects.  I think the benefits are small
>    here, but they mostly derive to the FSF as copyright holder.  Because
>    GPL foes prefer to rewrite software these days, legal defence of GNU
>    is less important.
> 
>  - The FSF has the right to update the GPL, which is the GNU license.
>    This is a large and important responsibility.
> 
>  - The FSF gives GNU a lot of administrative help: copyright assignment,
>    servers, sysadmins, and so on.
> 
> I should note that the all activity of GNU is by volunteers.  It has no
> paid staff.  (Some people do contribute to individual GNU projects as
> part of their jobs, of course.)  The FSF has some volunteer and some
> staff activity.
> 
> There is a natural synergy here.  In the early days this was all there
> was: the FSF's activity was essentially GNU.  But now the FSF is bigger,
> and GNU is relatively smaller, both relative to a few years ago and
> relative to the wider world of free software.  So is it important to the
> FSF to support GNU?
> 
> The question becomes more poignant when we consider the events that led
> to the leadership change in the FSF.  What liabilities does GNU present
> to the FSF?  Clearly the historical identification of the FSF with the
> person of its founder has been a boon but also more recently a burden.
> Many people have stopped donating and cancelled their associate
> memberships due to this association.  With the leadership change,
> perhaps this will pick back up, but probably the FSF will have to make
> other steps.
> 
> It is also clear that GNU as a brand is aging.  I say this with some
> personal chagrin, because projects that I have spent a lot of time on
> and are attached to have this collateral association.
> 
> Conversely from the GNU side, sometimes it seems like the FSF is
> drifting away: it is difficult for projects to request resources, even
> via the "working together" mechanism, for example, especially when we
> compare to colleages' experiences with resources managed by other
> foundation structures.
> 
> In summary, I think there is a natural affinity, and a natural way in
> which GNU and the FSF help make each other better, but that the
> relationship now is not ideal: neither of us is giving what we should.
> 
> As a GNU maintainer, I think the fault is mainly on the side of GNU
> leadership.  I do not think that RMS is effectively leading the GNU
> project.  If things continue as they have in the past, I suspect we will
> continue to see a decline in active GNU projects.  Faced with this
> problem, instead of addressing it, this winter RMS and his delegates
> have attempted to stifle internal discussions of the problems:
> 
>  - A request for a public mailing list for GNU stakeholders only was
>    denied.  Therefore the only public gnu.org discussion is on
>    gnu-misc-discuss, which includes non-stakeholders (people who are not
>    developers of GNU packages).
> 
>  - Moderation of gnu-misc-discuss was seized, with the policy being to
>    allow the only public forum available to GNU to become quite
>    unpleasant.  I would apologize for the mails you may receive in
>    followup, as it is on Cc, but it is a self-inflicted wound.
> 
>  - A request for a wiki was denied.  A similar request to the FSF for a
>    VM was denied.
> 
>  - Requests for various forms of experimental collective decision-making
>    were denied.
> 
> Now, ordinarily these would be just internal politics within GNU, but
> the FSF bears some responsibility enabling them.  In the recent update:
> 
>   https://www.fsf.org/news/gnu-fsf-cooperation-update
> 
> the authors take Richard Stallman as the only voice on the table from
> the GNU side.  This does not give me confidence as to the outcome of
> this feedback process.  If the FSF wants a healthy GNU project, it
> should support efforts to make GNU a better place -- and existing GNU
> maintainers are the best placed to make these changes.
> 
>                              *  *  *
> 
> In the world we all want, there is a healthy GNU and a healthy FSF
> working together.  We should learn from the past, yes, but focus on the
> future, and make decisions that create the future we want.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Andy
> 

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