On philosophy, hierarchy of orgs, definitions, and the logo

Alessandro Rubini rubini at gnu.org
Thu Jan 4 22:43:30 UTC 2001


> Firstly, the greater philosophy is absolutely not anti-anything.  It's 
> just pro- ideals that I find slightly harder to pinpoint.

Ok, agreed.

> [...] It is this spirit, not the details, which should concern
> FSF(E).

Fine. However, you must focus on something and avoid trying to cover
everything (and be unable to do anything real). And the issues related
to different fields are pretty different, and must be dealt with by
people versed in the specific area.

Also, I still think software is different, and more important to
citizens at large than other fields are.

Why is software different? Because software is shaping our lives. Our
documents are locked by the software that creates them (think about
".doc": too many people can't recover their ideas unless they have
that specific program), our money is managed by software, our
factories are governed by software.

Freedom to distribute music and (better) books is important, but it
doesn't shape our lives. Books don't control our work and our stuff;
sofware does. Publishing houses don't force us to re-buy the same
books over and over; software houses try to do that, and often manage
to. Sure I know that music companies are very bad mates when you are
an author, but people at large is not affected (I know I may be naive
in these points, but it's not my field).

> IMO, you have to stop thinking as programmers, or at least 
> recognise that as more appropriate to GNU.

You talk about separating FSF and GNU. But they are already different
things: one is an organization and the other is a project.  The
organization sponsors the project, but nothing prevents it from
sponsoring another (software) project in the future (ok, this was
trivial, sorry about that).

> Jonas wrote:
> "As I said earlier though, we should definitely support such 
> activities, and the FSF makes a point out of linking and in other 
> ways supporting free music, free books and everything else where 
> the freedom associated with it is similar in philosophy to that of the 
> freedom of software which we advocate."

As you may imagine, I agree wholeheartedly.


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