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FSF and GNU

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GNU

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project were both started by Richard M. Stallman (RMS), and he served until recently as the head of both. Because of that, the relationship between the FSF and GNU has been fluid.

As part of our commitment to supporting the development and distribution of fully free operating systems, the FSF provides GNU with services like fiscal sponsorship, technical infrastructure, promotion, copyright assignment, and volunteer management.

GNU decision-making has largely been in the hands of GNU leadership. Since RMS resigned as president of the FSF, but not as head of GNU ("Chief GNUisance"), the FSF is now working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future. As part of that, we invite comments from free software community members at fsf-and-gnu@fsf.org.

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FSF Is Re-Evaluating Its Relationship With The GNU

  • The FSF Is Re-Evaluating Its Relationship With The GNU

    With RMS resigning as head of the FSF but ultimately is remaining as head of the GNU, the Free Software Foundation is now publicly re-evaluating its relationship with the GNU.

    The FSF and GNU have long had a close relationship with the Free Software Foundation providing for GNU's financial needs, technical infrastructure, copyright assignment, volunteer management, and related duties. With RMS out of the FSF but not GNU, it has complicated this relationship especially with some still calling for RMS to be ousted from the GNU.

Joint statement on the GNU Project

  • Joint statement on the GNU Project

    We, the undersigned GNU maintainers and developers, owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Stallman for his decades of important work in the free software movement. Stallman tirelessly emphasized the importance of computer user freedom and laid the foundation for his vision to become a reality by starting the development of the GNU operating system. For that we are truly grateful.

    Yet, we must also acknowledge that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to.

    We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project.

By Mark J. Wielaard

And now Bruce Byfield

  • What’s the Future of Free Software?

    Whether you think Richard M. Stallman is a creep who got what he deserved or a great man toppled by petty spite, one thing is certain: free software will never be the same without him. For better or worse, for the first time the movement does not have one man’s vision influencing goals. As a result, an unprecedented opportunity exists for self-evaluation.

    Of course free software in general and the Free Software Foundation in particular may not want to take the opportunity. Yet the suddenness of Stallman’s resignations makes at least one long-neglected issue impossible to ignore: how are the current leaders of free software to be replaced? Or do they need to be replaced at all? After all, much of the work of the FSF is already done by its executive director.

    Free software may not have any choice except change if it is going to survive. The last decade has seen an erosion of FSF authority that, if allowed to last another decade, might very well reduce free software to a private club that is ignored by others. The FSF needs badly to publicize its efforts, to cultivate the relations it had with journalists in the first years of the millennium, and to make common cause where possible — yes, even with those who prefer the term “open source” to “free software.”

Richard Stallman and the GNU project

  • Richard Stallman and the GNU project

    While Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT, he continues to hold onto his position as the head of the GNU project. Now, the FSF has announced that it is "working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future" and is seeking comments from the community on what that should be.

    Meanwhile, a group of maintainers for specific GNU project has posted a joint statement calling for new leadership at GNU. "We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project. The GNU Project we want to build is one that everyone can trust to defend their freedom."

"18 maintainers want him out as leader"

  • GNU means GNU's Not U: Stallman insists he's still Chief GNUisance while 18 maintainers want him out as leader

    On Monday, a group of maintainers of the GNU Project, the free operating system created by Richard Stallman, questioned Stallman's leadership and emitted a joint statement for rethinking how the project should be managed going forward.

    Late last month, after resigning as president of the Free Foundation in the wake of catastrophically insensitive statements posted to an MIT mailing list, and a social media backlash, Stallman also appeared to resign as the head of the GNU Project.

    A statement saying as much appeared on his personal website. But then it disappeared, leaving speculation that his site had been hacked.

    In an email to The Register, Matt Lee, a free and open-source software developer and one of the 18 signatories of the joint statement, offered support for that theory.

    "Regarding his website being defaced, Stallman's personal site has been hosted by Positive Internet in the UK for a long time and he has many volunteers who update parts of the site daily," Lee said.

[Some] Maintainers Move to Oust Richard Stallman from Leadership

  • GNU Project Maintainers Move to Oust Richard Stallman from Leadership

    The Stallman saga has continued to grow stranger in the aftermath of his resignations, as many were concerned that he would be homeless after his website featured a notice that he was “Seeking Housing,” accompanied by a link leading to his specific requirements for a temporary residence. His personal site was also reportedly vandalized nine days ago with a message that he was stepping down from the GNU.

    The defacement with the false GNU resignation message was reverted shortly thereafter on September 30, and replaced with the header saying he continues to be “Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project” with no intention of stopping soon. Stallman has not yet publicly acknowledged the statement from the GNU maintainers. He has also not yet responded to our request for comment.

thoughts on rms and gnu

  • thoughts on rms and gnu

    Yesterday, a collective of GNU maintainers publicly posted a statement advocating collective decision-making in the GNU project. I would like to expand on what that statement means to me and why I signed on.

    For many years now, I have not considered Richard Stallman (RMS) to be the head of the GNU project. Yes, he created GNU, speaking it into existence via prophetic narrative and via code; yes, he inspired many people, myself included, to make the vision of a GNU system into a reality; and yes, he should be recognized for these things. But accomplishing difficult and important tasks for GNU in the past does not grant RMS perpetual sovereignty over GNU in the future.

Ludovic Courtès (Guix) accusing Stallman of Thoughtcrime

  • Ludovic Courtès (Guix) accusing Stallman of Thoughtcrime

    It is in contradiction to GNU Kind Communication Guidelines: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/kind-communication.html where by it says: "The only political positions that the GNU Project endorses are (1) that users should have control of their own computing (for instance, through free software) and (2) supporting basic human rights in computing."

    My domain gnu.support is not connected or sponsored by FSF, neither it is part of GNU project. It is there to publish my opinions or maybe opinions of other people, I am welcoming opinions on every page of this domain.

    I have asked Ludovic Courtès to state the facts that will prove and evidence their statement "that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to." -- as such statement is baseless, fact-less, pure generalization and rumour.

Mark J. Wielaard's Take on GNU

SJVN at it again

  • GNU Project developers object to Richard M Stallman's continued leadership

    Sergey Matveev, a free-software supporter, wrote on a GNU mailing list that he was shocked about attacks and insults to Stallman -- as shown by some developers asking him to leave the GNU Project.

    Stallman himself appeared to have resigned from the Gnu Project when he resigned from the FSF. But this announcement was deleted. It's suspected his website had been hacked. Stallman, himself, has not said what happened.

RMS: No Radical Changes In GNU Project

  • RMS: No Radical Changes In GNU Project

    With Stallman sticking around as head of the GNU and with that the Free Software Foundation re-evaluating their GNU relationship, Richard Stallman is already saying there will be no major changes to the project he founded.

    RMS yesterday sent out a new message on the matter (though it only cleared the mailing list moderation queue a few minutes ago) on info-gnu. His newest message is simply:

    As Chief GNUisance, I'd like to reassure the community that there won't be any radical changes in the GNU Project's goals, principles and policies.

    I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are made, because I won't be here forever and we need to ready others to make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so. But these won't lead to unbounded or radical changes.

Stallman: No radical changes in GNU Project

  • Stallman: No radical changes in GNU Project
    As Chief GNUisance, I'd like to reassure the community
    that there won't be any radical changes in the GNU Project's
    goals, principles and policies.
    
    I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are
    made, because I won't be here forever and we need to ready others to
    make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so.  But these
    won't lead to unbounded or radical changes.
    
    -- 
    Dr Richard Stallman
    Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
    Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

Octave.app Statement on Richard Stallman

  • Octave.app Statement on Richard Stallman

    Octave.app is not itself a GNU effort, but depends heavily on and is involved with the work of the GNU Project, especially GNU Octave itself. As such, we feel the need to speak out about the issue of GNU founder Richard Stallman’s behavior.

    Octave.app’s maintainers believe that the Free and Open Source community should be welcoming to a wide population of users and contributors. We also believe that the ideals of Free and Open Source software can best be supported through inclusion, equality, and respect for diversity. Our community’s leadership needs to support those goals, in both words and actions.

    The Octave.app maintainers are deeply troubled by Stallman’s recent statements trivializing sexual assault, and by his history of other exclusionary or offensive statements and behavior. We join the Software Freedom Conservancy in calling for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in the Free Software movement. We are glad that he has resigned from the Free Software Foundation, and call for the GNU community to reassess his role as head of the GNU Project, and to find a governance arrangement that better supports the need for an inclusive, welcoming community.

Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman

  • Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman

    Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman (born 16 March 1953), often known by his initials rms, and occasionally upper-case RMS, is an American free (libre) software movement activist, hacker and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute, and modify that software. Software that ensures these four freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.

    Richard Stallman is currently the object of an Internet defamatory campaign which forced him to resign from his position at MIT and even from the FSF which he founded himself. He has actual flaws, but the campaign is largely motivated by mischaracterizations, disproportionality and intolerance.

How Richard Stallman repealed Dodd-Frank Act

  • How Richard Stallman repealed Dodd-Frank Act

    In a democracy people should have the right to free speech. Stallman only used that. But his idea was wrong. He accepted that and corrected it. By asking his resignation FSF made lot of confusion. They should have to apologize to Stallman and the public for making this unnecessary issues. Lets bring back Stallman to FSF and Gnu.

    Free speech should be projected. (hate speech and lies are not free speech. its violence)

Regarding an Erroneous Allegation in Richard Stallman’s Disgrace

  • Correction: Regarding an Erroneous Allegation in ‘Richard Stallman’s Disgrace’

    As soon as I read this, I was nearly certain my email correspondent had made exactly this mistake, conflating Stallman with Raymond, and that I had passed the error along. I sincerely and deeply regret the error. I should have known Stallman would never have worked with VA Linux (he’d have insisted upon it being named “VA GNU/Linux”, and likely would have had no interest in what was a very commercial enterprise no matter what its name) and also should have remembered that Stallman was never married.

    [...]

    To be clear, my source is a man, and it was he who conflated Raymond (“ESR”) with Stallman (“RMS”). His former colleague at VA Linux, the woman who was propositioned by Raymond, surely remembers it clearly.

    I have updated the original article to remove the anecdote quoted above, and to point to this correction. My source for the anecdote made an honest error — as Shaw suggests conflating two well-known “TLA Old Nerds”. It was my fault and mine alone for publishing it. Again, I regret the mistake, and apologize for it.

Censorship going on

  • Freedom from censorship on mailing lists

    One prominent tool used to construct the fake community is the email discussion list.

    When people join a discussion list, they assume and believe that they are being exposed to a wide range of opinions. Therefore, when some opinions or critical information is hidden, ordinary members of the list are deceived. People have not consented to this deception.

    In 2018, FSFE used these tactics to make it appear that nobody supported elections any more. In 2019, rogue elements of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff used the same tactics to undermine their own founder, Richard Stallman. FSF is the organization that explains their use of the word Free using the phrase Free as in speech, not free as in beer. When they don't even allow Free Speech on their own LibrePlanet-discuss mailing list, the organization loses all credibility.

GNU Project maintainers push to remove Richard Stallman from GNU

  • GNU Project maintainers push to remove Richard Stallman from GNU Project

    At first, it was unclear if Stallman was also resigning from the GNU project after his comments were made public. A message on his website said he was resigning from the GNU project, but it was later deleted. He also released a message that stated: “I recently resigned as president of the FSF, but the FSF continues to provide several forms of crucial support for the GNU Project. As head of the GNU Project, I will be working with the FSF on how to structure the GNU Project’s relationship with the FSF in the future.”

    While the group of GNU maintainers and developers do point out that they own Stallman “a debt of gratitude” for his “decades of important work in the free software movement,” they also acknowledge that “Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users.”

No justification for Stallman’s resignation

  • No justification for Stallman’s resignation

    Richard Stallman, the founder of Free Software Movement, resigned. Did he do something wrong? No. He had some wrong beliefs that he openly told to a semi private email list. Thats a good thing. He openly said things. So others get opportunity to correct him. Right? No. It created a land slide. Finally he was forced to resign from the same institution he founded in 1984 to protect software user’s rights. Then his own project members rejected them. I could not find any genuine reason for all these.

    All these happened because he said something about a news article appeared on a news portal. Actually he was analyzing the words used in news article. Ok let it be a bad thing. So you decided it was wrong and asked for his resignation. You have to make a press release about things. Every is fine. I will accept it.

    But this was not happened. In the same email discussion somebody wrote that that person was worried about the mail get leaking to press. That happened. Email reached outside. Online lynch mob began. Facebook events organized for protest against him. There was a smear campaign event in officially started. Lot of media telling all kinds of lies about Stallman. Then Stallman’s comment came that he was forced to resign from FSF president position.

    This is wrong. I cannot accept it. But FSF did that. By accepting the resignation what FSF tell the world that they approves all smear campaign and lies spread in the society. In another words you can say that FSF secretly conspired with others for these smear campaign to fire Stallman. That usually happen in power structures.

LWN Reproduced

Audio on this topic

  • Linux Action News 127

    Richard Stallman's GNU leadership is challenged by an influential group of maintainers, SUSE drops OpenStack "for the customer," and Google claims Stadia will be faster than a gaming PC.

    Plus OpenLibra aims to save us from Facebook but already has a miss, lousy news for Telegram, and enormous changes for AMP.

Use and throw culture based on lies...

  • Use and throw culture based on lies can’t be coming from Free Software philosophy

    Similar thing happened to Stallman. Actually in an ironic way. This community is created by Stallman only. By 1980s beginning software sharing community was ceased to exist. Then 1983 Stallman himself gave birth to a new community with all legal protection. Because before there were no legal framework for sharing software. Stallman used copyleft idea and GPL to create such a community. There were no help and there were no support. Last 35 years he worked for that.

    Now some new bosses think that he dont look good. He is boring, repeating same thing all these 35 years. Lets get rid off him. You idiots, actually this is his house. You people piggybacked there.

    Still you can have a say if Stallman did anything wrong about free software. But there is nothing he did wrong. Still again I may support you if you with some guts initiate a trial against him on your own behalf. But you did nothing. Instead what you a shameless creature did? Hiding bind an upset woman reacting to smear campaign and lies. This is unacceptable and unethical.

Another go from Mark Wielaard

  • Re: Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization
    
    Various GNU project actually already work a bit like this. First you
    become a contributor by submitting some trivial patches, then you add
    more meaningful patches and a copyright assignment/disclaimer, when
    consistently providing meaningful patches and showing you can cooperate
    with other developers following the GNU way you get committer status
    and can mentor others by reviewing and installing their patches, you
    might become a subsystem maintainer or even a GNU (co-)maintainer and
    be trusted to and responsible for writing policy for the project. The
    GNU maintainers of related packages can then come together to form a
    technical committee to coordinate GNU policy to make the GNU system
    more consistent that others might then adopt for their packages.
    
    
  • GNU Project Developers Debate A Restructuring As A "Bottom Up" Organization

    GNU developers unhappy with Richard Stallman sticking around as head of the GNU Project and not planning to make any "radical" changes are now expressing their desire for the GNU to be restructured as a "bottom-up" organization whereby those active developers and volunteers involved could potentially have more say.

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    We issued our billionth certificate on February 27, 2020. We’re going to use this big round number as an opportunity to reflect on what has changed for us, and for the Internet, leading up to this event. In particular, we want to talk about what has happened since the last time we talked about a big round number of certificates - one hundred million. One thing that’s different now is that the Web is much more encrypted than it was. In June of 2017 approximately 58% of page loads used HTTPS globally, 64% in the United States. Today 81% of page loads use HTTPS globally, and we’re at 91% in the United States! This is an incredible achievement. That’s a lot more privacy and security for everybody. Another thing that’s different is that our organization has grown a bit, but not by much! In June of 2017 we were serving approximately 46M websites, and we did so with 11 full time staff and an annual budget of $2.61M. Today we serve nearly 192M websites with 13 full time staff and an annual budget of approximately $3.35M. This means we’re serving more than 4x the websites with only two additional staff and a 28% increase in budget. The additional staff and budget did more than just improve our ability to scale though - we’ve made improvements across the board to provide even more secure and reliable service. Nothing drives adoption like ease of use, and the foundation for ease of use in the certificate space is our ACME protocol. ACME allows for extensive automation, which means computers can do most of the work. It was also standardized as RFC 8555 in 2019, which allows the Web community to confidently build an even richer ecosystem of software around it. Today, thanks to our incredible community, there is an ACME client for just about every deployment environment. Certbot is one of our favorites, and they’ve been working hard to make it even easier for people to use.

  • The “Cloud Snooper” malware that sneaks into your Linux servers [Ed: Sophos citing itself, hyping up the threat is installing malicious software on one's own server]

    SophosLabs has just published a detailed report about a malware attack dubbed Cloud Snooper. The reason for the name is not so much that the attack is cloud-specific (the technique could be used against pretty much any server, wherever it’s hosted), but that it’s a sneaky way for cybercrooks to open up your server to the cloud, in ways you very definitely don’t want, “from the inside out”. The Cloud Snooper report covers a whole raft of related malware samples that our researchers found deployed in combination.

  • OpenSMTPD Email Server Vulnerability Threatens Many Linux and BSD Systems [Ed: It is this package, not the operating systems (GNU/Linux rarely uses this)]

    A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the OpenBSD email server OpenSMTPD. Exploiting the flaw could allow remote code execution attacks. The seriousness of the vulnerability poses a threat to the integrity of OpenBSD and Linux systems.

  • A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security fla

    More than a billion internet-connected devices—including Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Echo—are affected by a security vulnerability that could allow [attackers] to spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.

  • New ‘Haken’ Malware Found On Eight Apps In Google Play Store

    Eight apps – mostly camera utilities and children’s games – were discovered spreading a new malware strain that steals data and signs victims up for expensive premium services.

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  • What does it take to commit to 100% open source?
                                 
                                   

    While experts in the database market in particular agree that open source is becoming the norm, the question remains, just how open is this sector’s open-source software? Can software providers realistically succeed with a company that’s 100% open source? Furthermore, would a proprietary infrastructure software provider with a freemium tier be able to achieve the same benefits as those committing to open source?

                                   

    The short answer is, yes — a proprietary infrastructure software company with a freemium tier could theoretically achieve the same benefits as companies going fully open source. However, it’s important to recognize that it would take a freemium model company a significantly longer period of time for its software to mature to the same level as that of an open-source company. Also, the loss of collaborative development and slower feedback loops would likely lead to a higher probability of the software never achieving market traction and ultimately fading away into oblivion.

  • Mirantis: Balancing Open Source With Guardrails

    Mirantis, an open infrastructure company that rose to popularity with its OpenStack offering, is now moving into the Kubernetes space very aggressively. Last year, the company acquired the Docker Enterprise business from Docker. This week, it announced that they were hiring the Kubernetes experts from the Finnish company Kontena and established a Mirantis office in Finland, expanding the company’s footprint in Europe. Mirantis already has a significant presence in Europe due to large customers such as Bosch and Volkswagen.