Kernel developers' position on GPLv3

Sam Liddicott sam at
Wed Sep 27 08:55:49 UTC 2006

* Alfred M. Szmidt wrote, On 26/09/06 13:34:
> You say that simply because you cannot use it how _you_ want, the
> whole system must be junked, you could simply install a webbrowser and
> use the system, or a PDF viewer, all of this is free software and not
> very hard to do.  PDF viewers and web browsers are the most basic
> tools these days.  
> Maybe if you paid the people who made the whole GPLv3 commenting
> infrastructure you might get what you want, but until then, they are
> going to work on something the majority of people can use easily, and
> they have done a wonderful job achiving that IMHO.
This is why you should not have kept out of politics.

The participation mechanism acts as a pre-selector of participants. How
are we to know how many would-be participants are excluded and silent
because the participation mechanism excluded them. Naturally it will
seem like the majority [of those we know about ~ participants] can
easily use the participation mechanism. And anybody else is probably an
enemy-of-the-state / attempting-to-cast-unclean-votes / an-agitator /

Tony Blair used pre-selection before democratic vote to try and override
true democracy for the Welsh Assembly and for London Mayor, and failed
in both cases. I don't know where else he has tried it.

Pre-selection of participants on criteria that correlates with desired
outcome is a usable mechanism of obtaining the desired outcome while
permitting free and full discussion and input from all participants. -
i.e. an open process with closed inputs is as bad as a closed process.

I'm not saying that this is what happened, but it doesn't look like FSF
have made it easy to say that this is what has not happened.

"Oh, we were short of money to make a standards compliant fully
accessible system, but the one we have permits participation from
everyone we like" is a typical response.

So in short, "a wonderful job" and "majority of [participants] can
easily use" is positive spin, opinion, but no defence.

And not being the FSF it is of course not up to you to defend it either,
I'm not really interested in whether or not the FSF (or you) can defend
what (as it may be said) they were constrained by circumstances to do, I
merely observe that it doesn't look good.


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