(OT) FSF involvement

Peter Lebbing peter at digitalbrains.com
Fri May 6 16:01:54 CEST 2016

On 06/05/16 15:22, flapflap wrote:
> Previously, I believed to have read these rules in the "Information for 
> Maintainers of GNU Software" [0] but could not find it any more.

Perhaps chapter 13: [1]

> A GNU package should not recommend use of any non-free program, nor should
> it require a non-free program (such as a non-free compiler or IDE) to build.

Furtheron it says:

> Please don’t host discussions about your package in a service that requires
> nonfree software. For instance, Google+ "communities" require running a
> nonfree JavaScript program to post a message, so they can’t be used in the
> Free World. Google Groups has the same problem. To host discussions there
> would be excluding people who live by free software principles.
> Of course, you can’t order people not to use such services to talk with each
> other. What you can do is not legitimize them, and use your influence to lead
> people away from them. For instance, where you say where to have discussions
> related to the program, don’t list such a place.

You could consider promoting non-free services on the mailing list a form of
"legitimiz[ing] them" and the fact that it is not allowed here "us[ing] your
influence to lead people away from them".

Still, the way Werner phrased it:

> I think this is a good rule in general because I started GnuPG as a
> replacement for its proprietary counterpart.  I am not as strict as the
> Boston folks; so it is okay to speak about PGP etc. as long as it does
> not feel like advertising.

Combined with the earlier part of that mail, it doesn't sound to me like he is
doing this to conform to some rule from the FSF or the GNU Project.

Anyway, thanks for pointing us to a written source of the "FSF does not want
this" rule I had never seen written down before!



PS: I converted the curly quotes from the gnu.org quote to straight quotes since
we're talking about netiquette and some don't like non-ASCII ;-).


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