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[Discuss] licensing: who freakin cares?

On 4/10/2016 6:55 PM, Robert Krawitz wrote:
> If that's really what they do -- and I have a very hard time believing
> that -- it's just plain foolish.  Whoever's running has

"Whoever" is the GCC team, a group of volunteers.

> every right to say "we're only going to distribute this particular 
> snapshot of gcc; if you want to distribute your own, find somewhere 
> else to distribute it from".  And no, *RMS* can't impose restrictions
> on gcc, but RMS isn't even working on it any more so far as I know.

RMS is on the GCC steering committee so yes he most certainly is
involved in the major decisions. And he says he does not have... lemme
see if I can find the exact quote....

Okay, GNU Emacs was the context, specifically how the Emacs maintainers
badly broke pop3.el, failed to incorporate upstream fixes from me, and
generally dropped the ball over it. But GCC and Emacs are both FSF
projects with RMS involved in the decision making if not actual coding.
Here is the relevant part of RMS's message. This is from a semiprivate
mailing list, not private correspondence, so I think I'm okay pasting:

> You are talking about "the FSF", but the people who work on Emacs are
> not FSF staff.  They are volunteers.  They do this work for the GNU
> Project.  The FSF is relevant only to enforce the GPL when necessary.
> The "maintainer" slot in a file is to tell the Emacs developers who
> they can ask for help with work on that particular file.  They ought
> to do that, when it is pertinent.  I want the developers to try to
> keep packages' developers involved.
> But they are volunteers just like you, and sometimes they don't think
> of that.
> I understand that it is frustrating for you when they don't discuss
> the changes with you.  Sometimes people install their own fix, and
> later they do talk with you and you're surprised that there are
> changes you didn't know about.
> We can't demand they be perfect, because they are volunteers and we
> are fortunate that they are willing to help.
>   > They will modify your work.
> Of course the Emacs developers will modify it.  The Emacs developers
> need to fix bugs and integrate other features.  We can't mark some
> files off limits to change by all except one person.
> We can't impose stiff discipline on a group of volunteers.  But we
> could do a better job of taking care to cooperate well.

Do you believe it now?

> Again: the Linux kernel is a big GPL project that does not have
> governance issues of this kind.

Again: because Linus Torvalds willfully violates the spirit of the GPL
and possibly the letter as well.

Rich P.

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