Kernel developers' position on GPLv3

MJ Ray mjr at
Wed Sep 27 12:00:59 UTC 2006

Alfred M. Szmidt <ams at> wrote:
> >  Firstly, I have a couple of web browsers installed, including
> >  Firefox, but they do not work with the system.
> Have you reported the bugs you have experienced to the GPLv3
> commentary people?

Yes.  From memory, after a sequence of here's how to reproduce the 
bug/works for me/what settings are you using/<fx:silence /> exchanges, 
they published the stet source code, but it was undocumented to the 
point of not even saying what version of RT and what configuration it 
needs to be used with.  Questions about the published source were 
unanswered because the maintainers were too busy.  It definitely did not 
follow the Distribution tar Files from the Information for GNU 
Maintainers.  I have not looked since then, so it may have changed, but 
I prefer to contribute to projects that welcome contributions - hope 
that's understandable.

Some minor bugs, like the search erroring out, were fixed, but have 
reappeared later.  There appears to be no bug tracker or regression 
testing for the comments system software.  Trying to report a bug and 
track it is unnecessarily difficult.  GNU has bug trackers at Savannah - 
it should be used for this.

Finally, it seemed that GNU's accessibility and usability webmaster had 
stood down, although this is still not reflected on

>    I say it should be junked simply because it makes various
>    undocumented particular software demands, instead of using
>    widely-available accessible tools.
> They are using widely-available tools, standard web browsers and
> document viwers.

It was not accessible with a Firefox-name-changed(*) browser, Links or 
Emacs-w3 for me.  What do you call standard web browsers?

(* - It is necessary to change Firefox's name and some icons to make a 
free software web browser from it.)

> You seem to be in the minority (like me actually),
> and if you wish to have your needs catered for you can always pay
> someone or even improve the commenting system yourself.

Maybe, but the cost of doing so has been artificially inflated by the 
developers of the system failing to document it.  As previously 
mentioned, I do not want to pay the current maintainers.  I have access 
to an RT hacker, but he did not determine the setup required and it 
would be relatively expensive to use trial-and-error on it.

Shouldn't the FSF's GPLv3 consultation be an example of best practice?
Shouldn't it be liberal in what tools can access it?
Shouldn't it be conservative in what tools it requires?

> Saying that a perfectly usable system for the majority of people 
> should be junked simply because you dislike it isn't useful.

"The majority" is just a guess.  Even so, there is no need for 
consultations to discriminate against minorities on unrelated issues.  
One should be very suspicious of those that do.

It is useful to say this consultation should move to any one of a number 
of the more widely-used open protocols with many free software clients.
At the very least, the requirements for access should be accurately 

MJ Ray - see
Somerset, England. Work:
IRC/Jabber/SIP: on request

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