GNU Business Network Definition comments

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Tue Jun 20 08:36:23 UTC 2006

 || On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 23:03:04 +0100
 || "Shane M. Coughlan" <shane at> wrote: 

 smc> A point was made earlier in this thread that the GBN should
 smc> encourage members to strive for Free Software best practice.
 smc> Perhaps this is the area we should turn our collective
 smc> intelligence to, and thereby make additional headway in
 smc> considering how engagement can foster understanding and
 smc> participation.

Collecting best practice is definitely part of the idea.

As with everything, the devil is in the detail: How do you decide what
is truly a Free Software best practice? How do you draw that line?

There are people presenting "Microsoft Office on Wine" as "Free
Software best practice" and they would certainly ask to be listed on
any such initative -- most companies understand this to be a very good
tool of customer acquisition and thus have a vested interest in being

Would you list them? If so, how? And how would you say no in a neutral
and encouraging way if you decide that allowing to replace OpenOffice
for Microsoft Office may not be in the best interest of Free Software?

It is very easy in this field to be well-meaning and end up doing
something that will backfire. That is why we do not want to move in
this direction until we can be reasonably sure to do it right.

We are painfully aware that people would like to see this moving
faster, and indeed we would like to see this move faster ourselves.
But I hope that you will understand our reasons to be careful, and
agree with them.

Naturally, if you want to speed this up you can always help us move
the obstacles out of the way: get involved in FSFE with your work,
join the Fellowship [1] or help getting more companies interested in
supporting FSFE to build these activities. ;)



Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!     (
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