The FSF Europe recommends: avoid SourceForge

MJ Ray markj at
Tue Nov 13 10:51:26 UTC 2001

> The amount of reaction seems to show that this was a sensitive point
> and one that was important to be made. When a community becomes so
> dependent on a single resource controlled by a single company, it
> becomes necessary to raise questions.

Yes, but I feel the overall tone of the piece and focus on a single company
is the wrong way to do it.  It would be far better to have an article called
"Beyond SourceForge" that described the CoopX and Savannah NG ideas,
mentioning why they have come about (SF's moves towards lock-in and
non-free) later in the article.  This piece leads in with lots of negative
comments about the market leader and is headed "Avoid SourceForge", only
mentioning SNG in passing and not mentioning CoopX directly at all.

Regardless of the problem, I believe strongly that this breaks two golden
rules of good publicity: it focuses on problems, not solutions; and it
mentions a competitor by name.  Quite understandably, this has put VA's
people onto the defensive and they're FUDding about FSF like there's no
tomorrow.  I'm no expert, but I don't think this is a good outcome for

The leader for the article actually has a flawed premise in it: that VA hid
their agenda to take control of software.  As other people have commented,
one of SF's original developers, Bowie, has been saying this loud and clear
for years.

No matter how dangerous we think other players have become, the free
software movement must concentrate on promoting itself, not bashing the
other players.  No good will come from it and we'll destroy the good will
towards us, the same as VA have.

> Loic raised valid questions and only got insufficient answers, so he
> raised them publicly.

Why not create one's own solutions and present them publically?  After all,
the SNG doc seems to be such a set of solution suggestions.  It would have
been far better to lead on that.

I think "right idea, wrong headline," I guess.  Is it too much to ask for
this article to be pulled?


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