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Re: GCC 4.4.0 Status Report (2009-03-13)

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 7:18 PM, Mark Mitchell <> wrote:
> Richard Kenner wrote:
>> The matters to which we defer to the FSF are any matters that they *ask*
>> us to! ?They own the code. ?If RMS, for some reason, decides that he doesn't
>> like the phrasing of a comment somewhere, we have to either convince RMS
>> he's wrong or change the comment.
> Indeed.
Err, sorry, but no.
They are certainly the legal owners of the code. That does not mean
they can force you to do anything.
That is in fact, the beauty of the GPL.
Nobody is suggesting forking, or anything of the sort, but the idea
that "they own the code, we are just at the mercy of whatever they
tell us!" is wildly wrong, and you all know it. In fact, you've said
as such at public meetings!
About the only thing they could do is kick us out of the GNU project.
I guarantee if you took a poll of developers (and users), and asked
whether they care about this or not, the answer would be a resounding
We run the repository, we run the bug tracking, and the mailing lists.
 The only thing the FSF has really handled so far is copyright
assignments and enforcement. The first is a trivlal matter. Google has
processed more copyright agreements using a simple app i wrote in the
past 3 months than the FSF has in it's 20 year history (at least if
the copyright files are correct. It's not even a close number).  We've
also never lost one or had a single real complaint.  The SFLC would
certainly be more than  happy to take care of any negotiations about
assignments and enforcement for us.
So what exactly are we so afraid of here?
Not to mention the FSF isn't stupid, just slow.  I don't think anyone
believes that given the choice between "get this done" or "tell us off
and break ties" they would choose B.
Can we at least stop pretending that we simply have to do whatever the
FSF says, all the time, and we are just oppressed with no choices?
> I do not understand RMS' resistance to creating the branch. ?I have
> explained that branching and releasing are different things, that at
> this time we've made no changes to the age-old exceptions, and so forth.
> ?I have asked RMS to allow us to go forward. ?He hasn't directly
> responded, but he has indicated that there is an FSF meeting this
> weekend in which this will be discussed and seems to be suggesting that
> something will happen soon after that.

Great, i hope something finally happens!
Of course, I see this as just another example of a much larger
problem, but i'm sure if it got done reasonably quick it would calm
everyone down enough that we could continue this discussion in another
year when they give us another directive!
> As developers, our leverage is the ability to go play in a different
> sandbox if we do like the rules the FSF imposes. ?As an SC member, I can
> (and do) lobby the FSF, but when given an explicit directive my choices
> are to go along with FSF policy, or resign. ?I don't think it's
> appropriate to disobey the FSF's directives in the FSF's official
> repository.
Even when those directives have 0% support from the developer and user
community you are meant to serve?
Because that is the point where i would believe it is more than
appropriate to disobey the FSF's directives and let them make the hard

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