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GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the taking-their-toys-and-going-home dept.

GNOME 587

blozza2070 writes "In a recent posting from Philip Van Hoof, he suggests that GNOME split off from the GNU Project and has proposed a vote. He was informed he will need 10% of members to agree for a vote to be put forth. At the same time, David Schlesinger (on the GNOME Advisory Board) has agreed on a vote. Stormy Peters said she doesn't agree with this, but then gave everyone instructions on how to proceed with a vote. She mentioned that roughly 20 members are needed to agree." The mailing list server is timing out as of this writing, but iTWire has the Cliff's notes.

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Because? (1)

HNS-I (1119771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413700)

Maillist appears to be under some sort of dos attack of unknown cause. Does anyone know why they would want to split off?

Re:Because? (5, Informative)

memphis.barbecue (1402253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413714)

According to the article [pwnage.ca], Richard Stallman wants GNOME to quit presenting proprietary software as legitimate. Assuming I read that right.

Re:Because? (3, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413972)

Rather than Gnome leave GNU, wouldn't it be easier for Richard Stallman to just fork reality? It seems he's always wanted his own.

Re:Because? (3, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414160)

Only Steve Jobs can fork reality.

(written from my macbook)

Re:Because? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414372)

And Ballmer can go fork himself!

Bada Bing!

It's a Planet Issue (3, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414118)

The issue is one that I wish more Planets would take seriously. Why are former GNOME devs which now work and post primarily about non-GNOME, proprietary software still being syndicated on the GNOME Planet? Why are some Ubuntu Planet members constantly posting about their Mac and Win desktops 9since they apparently don't eat their own dogfood)?

If you're on a Planet, do us all a favor: create a tag for posts that should be on the Planet and don't syndicate the other stuff. We don't want to know what you bought at the grocery store. If the Planet's ToS says the language is English, post in English (substitute appropriate language for other Planets).

Glad I got that off of my chest.

Re:Because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413728)

In the linked article:

> An outcome whereby GNOME is no longer a GNU project could cause a lot of > harm to the free software and open source movements in general - there > would be massive negative publicity. I agree but we cannot be blind when the leader of the Free Software Foundation is requesting that the "minimal" thing GNOME should do, is to support it by, and I quote, "avoiding presenting proprietary software as legitimate". I fully understand that ignoring Richard's request is the easy way. But his request cannot be ignored any longer. He really wants this as a "minimal" commitment from GNOME. No matter what feels good for us. We've been ignoring this for too long. Such a commitment is, as far as I understand our community, not entirely compatible with the current mindset of a lot of its members, so ... I think we should be intellectually honest; by doing this vote.

So it has to do with Gnome refusing to flagging propietary software as such.

Re:Because? (2, Informative)

prayag (1252246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413786)

iTwire says its because of article [tirania.org] by de Icaza that resulted into Stallman protesting and the whole shit hitting the fan.

Re:Because? (1, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413884)

iTwire says its because of article by de Icaza that resulted into Stallman protesting and the whole shit hitting the fan.

Miguel should just go and work for Microsoft.

Although Moonlight has supported this mode of operation since day one, turning this into a standard way to develop applications was going to take a long time. We would have needed to port Moonlight to Windows and OSX and then we would have to bootstrap the ecosystem of "Silverlight+" applications.

But having Microsoft stand behind this new model will open the gates to a whole new class of desktop applications for the desktop. The ones that I was dreaming about just two weeks ago.

This was a big surprise for everyone. For years folks have been asking Microsoft to give Silverlight this capability to build desktop apps and to compete with Air and it is now finally here. This is a case of doing the right thing for users and developers.

RMS is 100% right on this one. Again.

Then again, Gnome has always been an ugly desktop.

Re:Because? (1, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414104)

RMS is 100% right on this one. Again.

While I agree that Miguel is as fox in the henhouse, I don't think that Stallman is right here.

His tantrum basically boils down to "you can't present proprietary software as legitimate". Which is BS. Your own decision on how to do things is your decision, you can NOT tell others that their way of doing things is not legitimate. If companies want to do things the proprietary way, that's their decision. If your approach is better, then time will prove that.

Theo De Raadt did this. He's also an arrogant prick, but when he decided that everyone else's way was inferior to his, he fork offed. Which, in his case, was the best thing he could do, because he was able to deliver the ideals he believed in, giving the world OpenSSH and OpenBSD, both of which are shining examples of "fine I'll do it my way and show you".

Stallman needs to STFU. He's ruining free software by trying to make it exist in some kind of walled garden where nobody who uses it can interact with anyone or anything else.

Re:Because? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414374)

Actually, for a GNU project, he arguably might be right.

The split proposal assumes he is, actually.

Re:Because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414430)

Miguel should just go and work for Microsoft.

He tried, but they turned him down. [wikipedia.org]

So now like some "Twilight"-esque needy vampire-lover, he does everything he can to kiss Microsoft's ass while selling out the Free software community.

Re:Because? (1)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414444)

Also in that article: "He declared in an interview that he tried to persuade his interviewers to free the IE code even before Netscape did with their own browser."

I can't imagine why MS didn't hire him.

Re:Because? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414508)

Much as I dislike MdI, that might actually have been a good strategy for MS. It would have freed them from antitrust concerns (it's a third-party, community-developed, browser, they just happen to ship it with their OS) and they could still have included a lot of Windows-only technologies in it. Other people would have forked it, giving the illusion of competition in the browser marketplace, confusing regulators, but things like ActiveX would still have required Windows. IE is not a core product for MS, it's a tool for maintaining Windows' market dominance.

Re:Because? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414278)

actually some people do want to know about their grocery shopping.

If you do not ant to reach such posts, you havbe editorial control over your own eyes and browsing habits. Use it.

Re:Because? (3, Insightful)

cntThnkofAname (1572875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413778)

This is just off the top of my head, but I would assume that while gnome interacts with many programs in the GNU project it is almost big enough to be a separate project in it's own (like KDE or other DE). This would probably allow for quicker discussions as far as packages and more centralized management. Improving things for developers and the users.

Planned Outtage (2, Informative)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413968)

Red Hat is currently in the process of consolidating all its community hosted servers to a single hosting facility. As part of that, the gnome.org servers are being moved *this weekend*. You plan on doing something other than working on GNOME this weekend, or find a programming task that doesn't rely on access to GNOME servers. Time ==== Start: Sat, Dec 12 approx. 1200 UTC End: on or before Mon, Dec 14 The plan is for a 48 hour outage window; we would hope to have major services back up and functional sooner than that. Affected systems ================ Most gnome.org services other than ftp.gnome.org and irc.gnome.org. This includes: www.gnome.org master.gnome.org bugzilla.gnome.org git.gnome.org mail.gnome.org live.gnome.org IP Changes ========== The gnome.org servers will all be moving to new IP addresses; in general this will be invisible to users, but you might notice messages from SSH in some cases. Selected new IPs: master.gnome.org: 209.132.180.167 git.gnome.org: 209.132.180.173

Re:Planned Outtage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414162)

Thus poofeth The Cloud.

Well, take a "sunny day in the internet" check, I suppose.

Schlesinger is a marketing drone for ACCESS, Inc. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413702)

QUOTE

Stone Mirror aka David “Lefty” Schlesinger
to me
show details Oct 3 (10 days ago)

These messages were sent while you were offline.

2:01 PM
Stone: don’t be a ninny, no one’s trying to “fuse Linux with Microsoft”. that’s paranoid rhetoric, but coming from a mental case such as yourself, it’s not surprising.

Groklaw is taking much abuse for their stance, as can be seen in the comments. Bad move on PJ’s part.
2:04 PM
Do you happen to know Celeste Lyn Paul.? She’s the head of the KDE Foundation Board
2:05 PM
She was in the audience at GCDS and tweeted her dismay at Stallman’s “bit of harmless fun” while it was happening

May you know Stormy Peters?

She’s the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation.
2:06 PM
she was there, too, and not happy, either.

it’ll be interesting if “Dr.” Stallman finds himself blacklisted from both KDE and GNOME events in the future, won’t it?

UNQUOTE

documented evidence, mainly from his own emails and blogs, of David “Lefty” Schlesinger (he is an ACCESS employee) and his long career of illegal and menacing threats, stalking, harassment and blackmail.

here:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4902686590059408050&postID=7665635887324397605

and here:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4902686590059408050&postID=7149350615784434698

Lefty has written heinously sexist troll articles for the notorious troll site encyclopediadramatica.com.

” I try to stop a bit short of full-blown monster-hood.” – David ‘Lefty’ Schlesinger aka stonemirror

Re:Schlesinger is a marketing drone for ACCESS, In (1)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413860)

The mere mention of Schlesinger's name in this kind of article prompts a lot of replies such as the parent post.

If anyone is interested in knowing why, this timeline of events [blogspot.com] can be a good read.

Mod parent down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413910)

Lefty has written heinously sexist troll articles for the notorious troll site encyclopediadramatica.com.

Mod this crap down.

Lefty called bullshit on that personally, read

http://mdzlog.alcor.net/2009/07/13/backlash-feminism-considered-harmful/#comment-1146 [alcor.net]

RMS : lefty a "troll like enemy of free software" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414006)

it's not bullshit, these links prove it with complete documentation, mainly from Lefty's own emails and blogs. documentation the partisan mdz blog refused to print.

the truth is winning, despite your attempts to drown it in lies.

RMS called Schlesinger a "troll like enemy of free software" for a very good reason, RMS doesn't use this kind of language often.

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4902686590059408050&postID=7665635887324397605

and here:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4902686590059408050&postID=7149350615784434698

Miguel de Icaza (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413708)

What else do you expect from him?

Re:Miguel de Icaza (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413802)

Give the guy some slack, he has mono.

Why would he suggest that? (5, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413720)

Philip Van Hoof
Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:21:53 -0800

On Fri, 2009-12-11 at 10:12 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:

> But GNOME is part of the GNU Project, and it ought to support the free
> software movement. The most minimal support for the free software movement
> is to refrain from going directly against it; that is, to avoid presenting
> proprietary software as legitimate.

I understand your position. I think you might not understand the
position of a lot of GNOME foundation members and contributors.

Their position isn't necessarily compatible with your position that
GNOME should "avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate".

The way I see it is that most members want GNOME to stay out of that
philosophic discussion. Although GNOME usually advises to "work
upstream" and to "do things opensource when possible, as much as
possible". This is just a personal point of view, of course.

You, as one of the key FSF people, appear to be keen[1] on enforcing a
strict policy on how GNU's member-projects should behave. So ...

I propose to have a vote on GNOME's membership to the GNU project.

> I think Planet GNOME should have a rule to this effect.

I think it's clear that I disagree. Philosophically.

> There are many ways to implement such a rule, of which "block the
> whole blog" is about the toughest one we might consider. I'd suggest
> rather to try a mild approach; I'm sure that can do the job.

Let's first get a consensus from our members on GNOME's status as being
or not being a well-behaving GNU project, or having its own identity.

Original thread, alternative link: http://www.mail-archive.com/foundation-list@gnome.org/msg04068.html [mail-archive.com]

Re:Why would he suggest that? (5, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413922)

So in other words: the Gnome folks (those who love Microsoft technologies) is telling the FSF folks to get bent. I image Microsoft is very pleased with this new direction with Gnome. I predict in 5 years, perhaps less Microsoft will have maneuvered these short sighted individuals to accepting Microsoft to buy Gnome. By that time it will have forked and these "forward" thinking Gnome folks will have changee the license making it possible. It is unfortunate some of the Gnome folks are so blinded to not realize just the kind of manipulation they have been exposed to; it is the proverbial frog+cold water+a fire.

Re:Why would he suggest that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414046)

The FSF say proprietary software is evil (morally wrong, like a crime). The Gnome folks ignored that lunacy for a long time. Now they don't want to anymore.

Gnome# (3, Insightful)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414406)

Pretty much so, there is a major push to switch Gnome to C# as it core development language and now that the whole of Gnome is spliting you can bet that .NET will become the core dependency. Remember, MS can void its "promises" over .NET at any moment, the EEE is is progressing well.

Re:Why would he suggest that? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414066)

I never knew that gnome was part of gnu - finally the complete lack of "man" pages is explained!
Oh wait, no "info" pages either :(

ISOified! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414106)

> Their position isn't necessarily compatible with your position that
GNOME should "avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate".

Do they know what Gnome stands for? What GNU is?

To me, there's a slow process of takeover by M$ ideals -- the same thing which was done to ISO, but on a much more planned way. ISO needed to be taken asap, or ODF would kill Office. Since OOXML was "approved", ODF was sorta defused (OOXML does not need to be good or even work; in fact, if it appears to work but doesn't, so much the better for M$).

Gnome has an ubiquitous presence in the Linux world. Taking over Gnome would deal a serious blow on Linux; if things proceed this way, who knows where they aiming? The kernel?

Things came to a point so bad that the ISO room was full with pro-M$ dudes; it was even physically impossible to enter to vote for Linux (I'm not making this up, as unbelievable as it may seem). This equates in the free collaboration world to forums being crowded -- when a "Maillist appears to be under some sort of dos attack of unknown cause."

Even the division situation is already a defeat for FOSS: every part has now half developers.

From the comments above and following here on /., I guess RMS is right; people are talking about software "which puts food on the table", Stallman being a extremist, seceding Planet Gnome so it has nothing to do with GNU ideas... Wow. I mean, wow!

My view, FWIW, is to go where RMS goes. If not for him, I would have at home the suffering I must endure at work, a M$-only shop.

So it's about women (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413722)

Why am I not surprised?

what else? (1)

Pharago (1197161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413734)

the server has been completely slashdotted to hell, maybe i'll get to read the gnome mailing list tomorrow :P

GNU/GNU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413788)

Nobody would be part of GNU so we cloned a GNU and released GNU/GNU.

So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (3, Insightful)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413796)

From reading the article, I'm getting the gist that part of the problem was that some folks on Planet GNOME, de Icaza included, made a lot of mention of proprietary software and relatively little mention of its open-sourced cousins. I got this impression from several points in the article, such as this one:
 

And in response to Van Hoof's comments about VMware, Stallman said people should not write about their work on Planet GNOME "unless VmWare (sic) becomes free software. GNOME should not provide proprietary software developers with a platform to present non-free software as a good or legitimate thing."

I think that's a preposterous rule! You mean to tell me that folks who work on open source software, but happen to also work on non-OSS for their employers (Microsoft, VMware, etc) aren't allowed to talk about the work that actually helps them put food on the table and may even HELP make open-source software better?

I don't know a terrible lot about the open source movement, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, Stallman's an extremist, and that's NOT a good role model to follow.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413844)

Yes, I have to agree.

If you restrict it and keep proprietary software off, then it will become just hobbyist platform.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (3, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414084)

If you restrict it and keep proprietary software off, then it will become just hobbyist platform.

Personally, I'm not sure about that. There's lots of pure GPL stuff in a standard Linux distro which is being built on, including by companies, however; nobody has suggested that. Gnome is LGPLed and Stallman didn't suggest changing that. Just that Gnome stop promoting proprietary software.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (5, Interesting)

Burz (138833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414500)

OTOH, Gnome had to be written because of KDE's relationship to proprietary software. For many years, KDE was a better overall environment and attracted more users. But as the corporate world began to look for ways to market Linux-based distros, it was Gnome's relative purity (not any of its technical merits, which are few) that got KDE pushed to the sidelines.

Are we now going to see Gnome become the encumbered environment that's more popular with users, and KDE freer one?

Its kind of absurd when you think about it. Copying Microsoft's stuff will only make Gnome more like WINE, only less popular. And can you see GNU making further concessions for Microsoft's patented ideas within their projects?? Don't be ridiculous!

de Icaza and his troop want to continue a career of aping Microsoft's binary components while leaving almost all of the design and other heavy lifting to the latter. They are not worth the trouble that brings. Let them fork Gnome into something else and then see which environment continues to get included in the corporate-supported distros.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413854)

From reading the iTWire wire article, I thought the logical solution would be to spin-off the Planet GNOME site to a third party where the ideologies of the FSF don't reach.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (2, Interesting)

memphis.barbecue (1402253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413878)

I dare say it would make sense to give FOSS priority on a discussion board about a piece of FOS software. But really, GNOME is a desktop environment. Wouldn't it sorta limit the user's freedom to not be able to run proprietary products on his/her main OS? If we follow Stallman's advice, then entire projects (Wine for example) should get abandoned.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (3, Insightful)

dragonmantank (992476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414020)

Have you ever read any of Stallman's rants? Stallman is about the freedom of the /software/, not the end user. He wants all software to be free no matter what the end cost for the user actually is. Why do you think he has a problem with licenses like BSD (which is less restrictive than the GPL)? They give more power the user than the software itself to determine how it can be used. If you take the time to actually read the GPL and some of Stallman's writings, you begin to see that he is a religious zealot who is banging the wardrum for software to forever be 100% free and open. If the user doesn't like that, he doesn't care. As a developer, I personally go for projects that are BSD-based. Yes, there is potential that the code could get locked up in a proprietary stack (MS using the BSD network stack, for example), but as long as it was released under BSD it will forever be open to be used as USERS see fit.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414280)

No, BSD doesn't grant openness forever, as it lets people close it.
GPL on the other hand grants openness forever. Restricting the people's right to close it.

It is just like personal freedom. People has freedom with limits, you are never able to become a slave. Limiting your right to become a slave is a restriction on your freedom so you never lose it.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414410)

People cannot close BSD any more than they can close GPL. They cannot close source they haven't written.

They can use BSD code without having to release *their* code but they cannot close the original code or claim copyright to it. You don't want to share your knowledge, you want to force other people away from their hard work.

You are no different to Microsoft. Icaza realized that and chose to walk with the morally broke people that bathe regularly.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (5, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413916)

Stallman is consistent about his beliefs. Don't read 3rd hand re-interpretations: proceed directly to the GPL, and to Stallman's presentations, to understand what he said and what he believes.

Stallman is a visionary, not an "extremenist". Sometimes that means the rest of us need to pay the rent and don't follow his grand visions, but he's consistent and historically very perceptive of the risks of the slippery slopes often presented by people, and their corporations, who don't share that vision. In this case, Silverlight does in fact present some nasty risks to Gnome and free software development. We've seen Microsoft's "embrace and extend" behavior too often to trust them in this case.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413986)

You know what else is a slippery slope?

Everything that there is any disagreement on, even if it only involves 2 people.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (2, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414154)

Stallman is consistent about his beliefs. Don't read 3rd hand re-interpretations: proceed directly to the GPL, and to Stallman's presentations, to understand what he said and what he believes.

You can read the thread in question to decide whether the characterization above is accurate; it's his posts that seem to have triggered this argument. It looks pretty accurate to me.

On the other hand, it doesn't look to me like anyone actually took Stallman's recommendation seriously (in terms of actually making any policy changes.) Seems to me like it would be a little silly to make a major organizational change based on the statements of one man who is known for shooting his mouth off.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414208)

My vision is a little bit different to his. Unlike RMS I like the idea of having authentication for some systems instead of letting everyone on the net get in and read my email. There's also the thing about whether it is acceptable to pretend to have some sort of association with linux to advertise GNU - he's always been up front that was why he tried the silly renaming but I still think it is extremely bad manners.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413960)

I think Stallman is way out there, but he isn't quite an extremist, he just considers Free Software (in the sense that he has defined it, ya know, the libre thing) a matter of principle, and works to actually follow it, and to encourage other people to follow it.

(I think he is out there because I think he is wrong about the danger actually posed by closed systems, and there is 20 years of it mostly being inconvenient, not disastrous, to back me up; sure, using open systems often avoids even the inconvenience, but the proprietary world isn't the terrible slide into oblivion that he rants against)

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (4, Insightful)

Device666 (901563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413984)

Richard Stallman is important for the free software movement. However it seems he is losing momentum in inspiring people who are on free software projects. This is a pity. I can partially understand his extremism, because freedom is easily lost. However if freedom has to be defended by dictatorship, there is no freedom either.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (5, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414460)

Have you ever met RMS face to face and listened to him explaining himself?

I have, and from my personal experience, he was nothing like an extremist. He has a rigid and well defined set of core principles WRT software (summarized in the "four freedoms") and he holds fast to them. But on other topics, he is very tolerant and shows great respect to others' views.

And he's very sensitive to the Dark Side, to what could possibly go wrong. This is the same sensitivity a careful programming expert possesses. A good programmer can sense the smell of bugs, terrible design, or poor implementation a mile away from the pile of computer code, and RMS can sense what could possibly breach his principles. A good programmer does not gain the ability of "smelling the bugs" by being an oversensitive, and neither did RMS. He is just careful -- He *thinks* carefully and so he anticipates the possible disaster.

I'm not trying to paint him as a flawless character, and if I sound like I was doing that, I apologize. I was simply telling my fellow /.ers my *personal* *impression* of him.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (4, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414032)

Dear noob, Stallman is an extremist in the same sense Ghandi is an extremist. Different ideals, though. I mean, the guy started GNU/FSF and spends decades with it, instead of going into the industry and raking it in.

What are you, born 20 minutes ago?

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

Sam the Nemesis (604531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414252)

Please, please, please, spell "Gandhi" correctly. I don't know where this wrong "Ghandi" spelling came from, but I see it more often here than not.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414354)

Doesn't matter, really. Not like that will get us to pronounce it correctly anyways.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414110)

People have mistaken the agenda of RMS for their own, but he has a political agenda and not a practical one. If he was really interested in gnome he would contribute to it, but instead he has his own projects. I said the same thing about linux some time ago when the silly LiGnuX renaming suggestion came up which later got some traction with newbies under the name gnu/linux.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (2)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414258)

And in response to Van Hoof's comments about VMware, Stallman said people should not write about their work on Planet GNOME "unless VmWare (sic) becomes free software. GNOME should not provide proprietary software developers with a platform to present non-free software as a good or legitimate thing."

Emphasis mine. Of course they are allowed to talk about it. But they shouldn't expect Planet GNOME to publish it.

I don't know a terrible lot about the open source movement, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, Stallman's an extremist, and that's NOT a good role model to follow.

Stallman has nothing to do with the open source movement, he's the leader of the free software movement. The free software movement is about morals and ideals, the open-source movement is about being liberal with licensing for more immediately pragmatic purposes, such as raising the quality of the code. There is overlap in licensing, code and developer mindshare between the two movements. It seems to me a good portion of the GNOME developer community want to be open-source developers but not necessarily free software developers. If this is the case then GNU is not the right place for GNOME to be organised.

Slipery slope (1)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414478)

The question is: Will Mono further the cause of FOSS or not?
If you are a developer doing cross-platform development under GNU/Linux, there are always two possible outcomes:

  1. users will stay with the proprietary operating systems (Windows,MacOS) because your software runs very well on that platform anyway
  2. users will switch to free software because your software makes them realise that there is a whole world of free software out there

Especially in the first case it is important to get the licensing right. KDE4 for example is being ported to Windows, MacOS, and Solaris. If KDE4 would be licensed under BSD/MIT instead of GPL, Microsoft or Apple could simply take the work and sell it as part of their proprietary software. The monetary gains then would be used to take control of the project.

Re:So they can't talk about proprietary products?? (1)

Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414494)

>I think that's a preposterous rule! You mean to tell me that folks who work on open source software, but happen to also work on non-OSS for their employers (Microsoft, VMware, etc) aren't allowed to talk about the work that actually helps them put food on the table and may even HELP make open-source software better?

Maybe a different perspective would help illuminate the issue:

  • Do you believe that it would be unfair of Microsoft to have a rule discouraging any Microsoft employee to actively promote Apple products while being identified as a *Microsoft* employee?
  • Do you believe that the Coca Cola corporation tolerates employees drinking Pepsi Cola drinks on their premises?
  • Do you believe that Steve Jobs would tolerate even for a minute any Apple employee who took money from Microsoft in order to appear as an Apple employee in a Microsoft sponsored ad claiming the Microsoft Zune was light years better than the ipod? What if the Apple employee's family was STARVING and this was the only way for the Apple employee to feed his POOR LITTLE BABIES? Do you think Steve Jobs would make an exception? Do you think Ballmer or Gates would be different? Do you know their history in management?

If you think it's reasonable for a corporation to have rules discouraging members from promoting competitor's products on the corporation's grounds (and yes, that includes their web sites), why then are you giving Stallman crap for having the same policy?

And that putting "food on their tables" argument is weak. Does anyone get paid for posting on Planet Gnome? No? Then how does posting anything on Planet Gnome "put food on their tables?" Maybe you mean it gives the developers exposure, so folks know who they are? What does that have to do with proprietary software? Exposure is exposure. You don't need proprietary software for that. Certainly not on a GNU web site.

I'm also having trouble accepting the argument that working on proprietary software will somehow make Free Software better. Stallman's experience back in 1984 with Xerox's proprietary laser printer driver demonstrated perfectly why developing proprietary software will not make Free Software better. Proprietary always wants to remain proprietary. That's kind of what proprietary means -- not sharing with others. So how does "not sharing" as a policy lead to a policy of "sharing"????

Since you've mentioned that you don't have much experience with the open source movement (which is NOT the same as the Free Software movement) I would urge you to learn more about Stallman and the Free Software Foundation by starting with wikipedia. I think you'll be surprised to discover that Stallman is a) consistent b) usually right. Here are some urls to start you out:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman [wikipedia.org]
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Software_Foundation [wikipedia.org]
  3. And my favorite example of what happens when you choose to use proprietary software over Free Software. Torvalds moved the Linux Kernel project to using the proprietary version control software, bitkeeper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitkeeper), even though Stallman warned him that sooner or later he would get burned on using it due to the proprietary restrictions.

    Stallman, it turned out, was correct. Although you might have trouble getting Torvalds to admit it. The gist of it is that Torvalds was forced to create his own version control system, git (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_(software) ), as a result of having the bitkeeper license revoked for the Linux developers.

GNOME GNU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413810)

Suddently GNOME loks more appealing to me.

would it become the "NOME" project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413832)

Q. Excuse me, is this the "GNOME" project?

A. Nome.

Another brick in the wall (2, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413836)

So this is just one more step for Gnome to become fully encased with Microsoft technologies. Have at boys.

seems right to me (2, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413846)

I don't know whether Stallman's latest diatribe is about VMware, Mono, or whatever other thing he happens to be ill informed about these days, but it may be time for Gnome to sever ties with him and GNU. He has contributed a lot, but it looks to me like he's losing touch both with the economics and the technology of free software.

Stallman should perhaps rather worry about the future of GNU itself; I haven't seen much innovation coming out of the GNU project itself recently, and GNU is getting rather long in the tooth.

Go, it's not GNU/Linux (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413848)

But GNU/Gnome/Linux now?

Re:Go, it's not GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414132)

that would be
GNU/Linux/X/GTK/GNOME

Re:Go, it's not GNU/Linux (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414234)

The first silly attempt, about two minutes after RMS stopped pretending that he'd never heard of linux, was LiGnuX - presumably rhyming with "lick nuts".

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413896)

The first rule of GNU is: do not talk about non-free software.
The second rule of GNU is: DO NOT TALK ABOUT NON-FREE SOFTWARE!

hilarious soundboard mocking the corny Schlesinger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413900)

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/518539

corny, arrogant, clueless and vile... that's David "Lefty" Schlesinger aka 'stonemirror', who works in marketing and PR for ACCESS, Inc.

ACCESS pays the Gnome Foundation 20k per year to let Schlesinger troll Planet Gnome.

Schlesinger is a paid astroturfer and corporate troll.

It's straightforward (3, Insightful)

udippel (562132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413926)

I know RMS is unpopular in /.
I know Miguel de Icaza is more popular.

But I also know that I am a fan of Free Software. I'd be too happy Gnome could shed non-free software (like Tomboy notes - based on Mono) instead of priding themselves for functionality. KDE is not much of an alternative, they are hopeless. German engineering, for the sake of engineering, great ideas, but agnostic to the concept of 'user requirements'.
I might have to go back to xfce?

Re:It's straightforward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413980)

I am an user and I have my requirements and I can tell you that kde meets mine but gnome doesn't come close to a second place.
User requirements? I think you meant something else.

Re:It's straightforward (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414054)

The only thing KDE gets right is sucking less than Gnome. That doesn't mean it isn't shit.

Re:It's straightforward (5, Insightful)

dschl (57168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414052)

I don't think that Miguel is all that popular. The last time I saw a long thread with him here, he suffered pretty badly. Making mono a dependency in Gnome exposes the project to unnecessary risk.

I respect Stallman far more than de Icaza, both for his thoughts and his actions over the years. Stallman is often taken out of context, but he is very consistent, and his statements almost always make sense years later - sometimes prophetically so.

There are a group of people (mostly affiliated with corporations) who have a hate-on for Stallman, because he values his principles more than he does development speed, ease of use, profits, or being able to use the latest shiny thing from MS.

Re:It's straightforward (3, Insightful)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414248)

I just wish that the GNOME folks can look at what happened with (ex)FAT, both with TomTom and now with the licensing costs/requirements from Microsoft for what is likely going to happen with the .NET platform and Mono in the future.

Re:It's straightforward (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414366)

I respect Stallman and his ideas in the exact same way I respect Ron Paul. He has clearly given it a lot of thought and he has balls enough to say exactly what that is, but mannnn in reality things don't always work that way.

Re:It's straightforward (5, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414120)

And pushing Tomboy means it's nothing but a ploy to get Mono distributed. Choosing a minor app that takes 189 freaking MB of memory for nothing but displaying sticky notes on the screen is preposterous when you have similar programs which do the same in a few MBs. It's waste for your high-end desktop/laptop with 2-4GB RAM, it's a deal breaker for slimmer configurations.

Mono was a trap from the very beginning. Let's not let it drag us down.

GNOME slides further into irrelevancy. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413934)

This is just GNOME sliding further and further into irrelevancy. It's basically a dead project at this point. There is little innovation happening, and most discussion these days is bickering over philosophical issues like in this case.

Even if it wasn't great when initially released, at least the KDE project was able to get their KDE 4.x releases out and stabilized relatively quickly. They've built a good foundation for future development. GNOME, on the other hand, hasn't seen a major release since GNOME 2.0 in 2002! GNOME 3.0 is basically a bunch of mocks at this point, and even then, the proposed changes are quite minor.

A lot of people will say, "But GNOME is the main desktop of Ubuntu and Fedora!" Yes, that is true, but it is really only an artifact of history, dating back to when the Qt licensing wasn't as open as it is today (and thus making KDE a less-appealing option). These days, both Ubuntu and Fedora could switch from GNOME to KDE within one release cycle. I predict this will happen soon enough, probably with Ubuntu switching first.

At some point, the Ubuntu community is going to realize that GNOME has stagnated, and all of the real innovation is happening with the KDE project. It'll take time, but people are already moving over to KDE, especially as the more recent KDE 4.3 and the upcoming KDE Software Compilation 4.4 releases have shown to be of a very high quality.

KDE is just technically better these days. It is implemented in a better programming language (even C++ is better than the C-and-GObject hellhole), built upon a better GUI toolkit (Qt kicks the fuck out of GTK+), and offers much better desktop applications and a more integrated desktop experience. Unless there are some huge changes within the GNOME community, they will not be able to match KDE's current environment, let alone exceed it.

Can someone post the root cause? (2, Interesting)

fly1ngtux (1504905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30413942)

I seem to be missing something. "avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate."?!!! I really don't understand why "proprietary" can't be "legitimate". What ever it is, can someone post the reason why RMS made such a remark?

Re:Can someone post the root cause? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414010)

What ever it is, can someone post the reason why RMS made such a remark?

It's on the mailing list. Somebody was talking about VMware and Stallman made the remark that it's not appropriate to even mention proprietary software on the mailing list (or something to that effect).

He is an extremist with all that implies.

Re:Can someone post the root cause? (2, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414172)

What's the point to even consider VMware if you have a range of alternatives which do the same? For those who want everything to be nice and user-friendly, there's VirtualBox. For those who want emulating other architectures, qemu. For when you don't need to pretend that it's a stand-alone system, there's Xen and vserver.

Using proprietary software may be a reasonable choice if there are no alternatives with feature parity. For VMware, this is not the case.

Re:Can someone post the root cause? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414012)

Basically, it is because RMS is a complete Open Source zealot and doesn't consider proprietary software to have any legitimacy (certainly not when it comes to mention of it in the Plant GNOME aggregated feed).

I agree to a tiny degree in that Planet GNOME should be about GNOME stuff, and that I'd rather have OSS than proprietary most of the time, but I still know when to compromise.

Re:Can someone post the root cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414126)

RMS an "Open Source" zealot???!!!
It's "Free Software"--a term that existed long before "open source". C'mon, this is Slashdot; have you been living under a rock?
It's should be obvious to everyone that official GNU facilities aren't the appropriate place for discussion of proprietary software--duh!
I know little about VMware, but Mono/Moonlight doesn't even pretend to not be a trap.
Fortunately for me, KDE 4 kicks GNOME's ass, so I can be pragmatic and idealistic at the same time!

Re:Can someone post the root cause? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414166)

What's surprising about it?

Picture somebody in your favourite enviromental organization speaking of acquiring material from an organization that keeps dumping poison into the river. At most, the leadership would probably be unhappy with such things.

GNU is dedicated to Free Software, and as such proprietary software isn't something they're interested in supporting, less inside their own organization. Proprietary software may be legitimate in the world at large, but it's not legitimate in a GNU project.

Re:Can someone post the root cause? (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414496)

Proprietary software is not legitimate as a component of Gnome (this is, after all, why Gnome exists in the first place).

Big mistake by Gnome (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413990)

Stallman will drop them from GNU Hurd now. They'll be on the outside looking in...

mailing lists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30413992)

don't you think it's time to move on? The 80's are over and we have FORUMS now...

"Sirens of Blud(sic)" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414090)

Going private already ? So, who is the buyer going to be ? Gag-gle, (Er)pple, M$, ???

Let me act like a Linux fanboi if this were MS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30414350)

Ah yes! Another nail in Linux's coffin.

That's it! Gnome is finally irrelavent!

Live OSS or die!

This is the reason I stopped using Linux in the first place. I've been Linux free* for a decade.



* Except for using it at work, using it to game, using it on my cell phone, using it on 4 out of 5 systems in my home because my wife needs it... blah blah blah.

Please refer to Stallman Properly (2, Insightful)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414388)

The proper form of address for Stallman is "The Hippie Dictator". It's his vision and idealism that created the entire FOSS community and he is its one true patriot and defender and needs to be referred to as such. In this case, he does have a legitimate complaint because some Gnome folks have been discussing their employers closed source products without any comparison/contrast or even reference to any open source alternatives, making it seem as though their employers have the only solution to certain problems. Furthermore as the creator of the FOSS concept, he fills the same role as Linus Torvalds in defining what constitutes FOSS, yet unlike Linus, he is not an absolute dictator that accepts/rejects apps based on his beliefs only.

Another thing at stake here is the historical efforts by MS to Embrace/Extend/Extinguis that appears to be in play with the Moonlight project, which isn't based on a clean room reverse engineering of the dot net protocols or even abi's. If they were to use published API's to provide the functionality, then the issue would not be as severe but when someone decides to drink the "MS Coolade" and accept their reasoning as right while accepting a paycheck from them, it raises the question of "Conflict of Interest" and follows the Extend/Embrace/Extinguish path that MS has followed in the past.

From what I've seen of the Moonlight/Mono project, it is in the extend/embrace stage right now by getting the Gnome folks so dependant upon MS Patents, that they're running the real risk of being shut down due to patent violations, which is the final Extinguish stage and they're damn good at playing that game. Oblig Quote "Do you want to play a game?" "It seems the only way to win is not to play at all." /Oblig Quote: That's the situatation as I see it, yet Stallman has been a very lenient dictator in this regards as he's only asking the fools to

  1. Label Moonlight as Proprietary and not base their desktop efforts on it
  2. Expand your discussion of the products to include their OSS alternatives, no matter what state they're in

neither of these seem to be an onerous request but if they continue to misuses the FOSS label, the only option that will remain is the removal of the Right to declare themselves a FOSS project, thus destroying them as independant from MS in the eyes of the community. To me the only benefit of this actually going to court would be getting the FOSS Foundation declared as the Authoritive Answer to usage of the FOSS Label and Status. If that happens, the final step taken would be the removal of the right to use FOSS project, thus destroying Gnome as a Community Project unless it's completely forked.

Think about that. If the FOSS foundation revoked the authorization of the Gnome Project to label themselves as a FOSS project, how many Distro's would quit using it? Damn near all of them and I can already hear the screams of rage from the Debian Folks in regards to Gnome because it violates their FREE SOFTWARE TENANTS and COMMITMENT. They might still offer Gnome but it couldn't be in the Base distro anylonger since it wouldn't meet their definition would it?

The Short Story (5, Informative)

quantaman (517394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414396)

There is a blog aggregator called Planet GNOME which pulls together blog posts from various Gnome developers. One of these developers is Miguel de Icaza, a fairly senior GNOME developer (I believe he started both the GNOME and Mono projects, though I don't know his current position in them). Miguel is known, and somewhat infamous, for supporting MS Standards like C# (hence Mono, an opensource implementation of it), and OOXML.

In this instance Miguel wrote a blog post about Silverlight that reads like a press release [tirania.org]. Silverlight is a proprietary and patent-encumbered replacement for Flash written by Microsoft.

Thus a promo for Silverlight was showing up on Planet GNOME.

This was not the only time something like this had happened, these are blogs afterall, people write about all sorts of stuff. Thus people started discussing a code of conduct about appropriate topics for blogs on Planet GNOME.

Stallman stopped by to offer his opinion (just couple very short posts in a long discussion) saying that people shouldn't use Planet GNOME to talk about proprietary projects like promos for Silverlight or even talk about using vmware since Gnome is a GNU project and opposed to proprietary software.

Philip Van Hoof responded saying he disagreed and started talking about a split, a few other people started talking about the rules surrounding the vote and the rest kept talking about the idea of a code of conduct.

I don't really know who anyone is other than Miguel and Stallman, but my gut says that no vote is going to occur.

GNU's not worth it. (1, Redundant)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30414434)

If the GNU project wants to restrict the speech of it's members on GNU discussion boards regarding the merits of proprietary software, it's not worth it. Restricting the voicing of opinions is absolutely the antithesis of what we should expect from open-source communities. If someone thinks Mono or VMware is worth using, fine. Stallman seemed to be suggesting that removing a blog could be considered as punishment for voicing such an opinion; that's hardly an open and frank discussion conducted in a open community. I can't see how censorship could possibly be an appropriate course of action.

Gnome is attempting (and succeeding) in presenting itself as a viable alternative to proprietary desktops. Dogmatic insistence that it be developed in a vacuum, uninfluenced by any proprietary developments is absurd and not in the goal of developing Gnome into a truly versatile platform. Open-source software will utterly fail if it's community is not open-minded. Thankfully, that's not the case and if the GNU project wants to take Gnome down that narrow path I hope Gnome will choose to find it's own way instead.

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