RMS removed from the GCC Steering Committee

Giacomo Tesio giacomo@tesio.it
Fri Apr 2 10:05:41 GMT 2021

Hello Thomas, Jonathan, David, Nathan Jean and... everybody. :-)

I'm sorry for this long mail that rivals with the original Nathan's
request, but I wanted to back my request properly.

On Wed, 31 Mar 2021 18:25:23 -0700 Thomas Rodgers wrote:

> Not to argue counter to the observation that there is clear bias in 
> terms of large US and EU corporations

Well, to be precise, it's 9 members from US corporations and 2 from
German corporations. I mean: the bias is not even balanced between US
and EU! Not even remotely!

And obviously it totally excludes thousands of different interests.
China, Russia, Brazil, Switzerland, Cuba, Iraq, Palestine...
I guess you do not need me to continue.  ;-)

> Quickly eyeballing the output of -
>    'git shortlog -s -n --all releases/gcc-9.1.0...master'
> Seems to show a similar bias in participation.

As I said before, history is always used to justify Power and
(obviously) Power affects history.

Thanks for proving my point by referring to `git shortlog`! :-D

> It reflects the economics of whose willing and able to commit to
> that work as a full time undertaking.

This is another very interesting argument, Thomas.

Just like the Jeff's one "it's more historical than anything", it looks
quite neutral on the surface, even obvious as an argument, until you
look at it "cum grano salis".

Why most contributions to GCC come from employees of large corporations
from the greatest military power since the fall of the Berlin Wall?
I know: a very good question that cannot be answered here.
But for sure, it's not just a matter of fair merits[1]!

Yet, the fact you look at the economics to explain power (instead of the
other way around) proves my other point.
You are just showing (in absolute good faith!) how your US-priviledge
blinds you from itself and its dogmatic roots that Weber called "the
Spirit of Capitalism" [2].

It's not your fault, but it more than a danger to the rest of the world.
It's sistematic discrimination based on power (that's is expressed and
enforced through wealth and giustified through "economics" and
clearly captured by `git log`s).

But from outside your "cultural bubble", we all see that a bunch of
highly controversial [3][4] US corporations (with long term ties with
the USA DoD [5]) are kicking out of the GCC Steering Committee their
only connection with both the FSF and the GNU project.

A member of FSF and GNU that was representing the only non-profit in
the Steering Committee credibly dedicated to preserve Free Software[6].

You just need to read what David wrote:

On Wed, 31 Mar 2021 08:59:41 -0400 David Edelsohn via Gcc wrote:

> GCC SC whose major purpose is to be a buffer between the GCC
> Community and the Free Software Foundation.

On Wed, 31 Mar 2021 11:23:09 -0400 David Edelsohn via Gcc wrote:

> members of the GCC SC have worked diligently behind the scenes to
> ensure that GCC and GNU Toolchain development can proceed as smoothly
> and unhindered as possible.  We have prevented or resolved many
> conflicts and issues without disturbing the broader community and
> allow the community to focus on its important tasks and great
> progress for the toolchain itself.
> [...]
> It's like a good manager: regardless of the openness, hopefully the
> GCC community feels that the GCC SC "has their back", manages the
> politics, and removes real or potential roadblocks so that the
> software engineer can focus on being productive.

it is quite evident that the interest represented by the members of the
Steering Committee while "managing the politics" will align with that
of their employers (and with their own values and culture).

Please, do not offend our intelligence by pretending otherwise.

On Thu, 1 Apr 2021 10:23:03 +0100 Jonathan Wakely wrote:

> But if you think simply being American causes the same (or "more
> severe") image problem, maybe you missed the point of Nathan's
> original email.

Quite the opposite: I've totally seen the point from the very
beginning[7]: a Facebook employee from the US asked to the US
corporate-members of GCC Steering Committee to remove Stallman 
(and FSF and GNU with him) from the Steering Committee.
And the Steering Committee, did it [8].

Also, note that I focused on your culture just because you accepted
the Nathan's request to remove RMS from the GCC Steering Committee
because of his "are extremely offensive repugnant opinions"[0].
You did the removal NOW, not years before or years later.
And you know how this particular timing will be interpreted.

But I do NOT ignore the geopolitical hazard of a GCC Steering Committee
whose members are mostly under US legislation while GCC is used to
compile fundamental software all over the world!

Let's not pretend that we didn't read Thompson reflections on trusting
trust or, if you need a more recent example, we haven't read about
Solar Wind supply chain attack or about the backdoor introduced
in PHP [13]!

Nor I do ignore the ECONOMICAL hazard to rely on US corporations to "do
no evil": the world is seeing this VERY well with the Covid vaccines[9].

So please, if you really want to attract contributors from all over the
world, fix these geopolitical hazards NOW. Today, literally.

As I said, it's just as easy as it was to remove Stallman.
By removing him (and FSF and GNU, with him) NOW, and on Nathan's
request, you joined a mob based on hearsay[10] and on incidents
that REALLY look like hatred kids squabbles, where nobody can
really decide who was right and who was wrong [11].

So if you promptly removed Stallman on these weak foundations, you
should now fix IN THE SAME WAY this huge hazard that severely demage
(and demaged for decades) not just a US-priviledged minority, but the
vast majority of peoples around the world using or contributing to GCC.

If you will not, if you will "drop the ball on this" as you did
before on different stuffs [12], it will become evident how it is
NOT SAFE for peoples outside the US to use, rely or contribute to GCC.

I'm pretty serious on this.

Maybe I'm not the kind of "new talent" you (and Nathan, or your
employeers) aim to attract to GCC development, but for sure I feel
betrayed by your decision to cancel your ties with FSF and GNU.
All of my efforts to port GCC look now to me as effect of a
naive and misguided trust in GCC name: GNU Compiler Collection.

I wanted to contribute to a fair and global Free Software, not to a
bunch of dangerous US corporation or to yet another global threat to
the world's freedom and autonomy [13].

Please, fix the GCC Steering Committee. Today.

OR, let GNU and FSF to step in, and fix it fairly, for everybody.



[0] https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-March/235091.html

[1] You might like "The Rise of the Meritocracy", Michael Dunlop Young,
    ISBN-13: 978-1138538306  ISBN-10: 1138538302 

[2] https://archive.org/details/protestantethics00webe or, in HTML,

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_and_the_Holocaust

[4] https://www.google.com (I do not know were to start! Really! :-D)

[5] most of them: IBM, Google are well known for their contract but I
    cannot collect all samples, I'm sorry. Here is one about Red Hat

[6] as my experience shows, branding themselves as "the Good Guys(TM)"
    alternative to FSF does not mean actually be trustworthy or credible

[7] https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-March/235183.html

[8] because he WAS a Steering Committee member, receiving all exchanges
    in CC and thus providing an actual oversight over the GCC evolution
    in the interests of Free Software


[10] https://jorgemorais.gitlab.io/justice-for-rms/ but also note the
     corrections the authors of the rms-open-letter had to add to the
     appendix to reduce the legal risk for the subscribers a bit
     (defamation is a crime in many countries, and for sure it is in
     Italy, article 595 of our Penal Code)

[11] https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-March/235211.html

[12] https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-April/235269.html


More information about the Gcc mailing list