Remove RMS from the GCC Steering Committee

Giacomo Tesio giacomo@tesio.it
Tue Mar 30 21:28:49 GMT 2021


Hi everybody, thanks for your feedbacks.

I've to say I'm a bit confused, but maybe we have different sources and
experience so we have different perspective on the matter.

Let's start with something I want to clarify:

On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 13:07:07 -0400 JeanHeyd Meneide wrote:

>  You state it here and many others say it throughout the thread
> that Stallman is the only reason they contribute to GCC, or similar
> Free Software projects. This deeply concerns me

I'm sorry, but apperently I was not clear.

I do NOT follow RMS as a prophet or something. He does NOT "lead" me.
We do not agree on several relevant political issues (even some
important one related to Free Software!) and I find statements like
https://stallman.org/notes/2016-jul-oct.html#31_October_2016_(Down's_syndrome)
plain disgusting.

So I'm NOT, in any way, a RMS fanboy.

That being said (and for full disclosure), I also consider his return to
the FSF fair, because the shitstorm that caused his resign two years
ago was built on top of a severe misrepresentation of his words, as
described here https://jorgemorais.gitlab.io/justice-for-rms/ and
admitted also by the people arguing against his return (see the
various edits at https://rms-open-letter.github.io/appendix ).


But I'd want Stallman in GCC's SC for a totally different reason:

On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:50:52 +0200 Martin Jambor wrote:

> Nobody suggested that GCC would be relicensed and certainly not to a
> non-free license.  If you decide to contribute your port upstream, it
> will be safe with us, regardless of who will or will not be on the
> steering committee

When I joined the Harvey project they were all fun and welcoming.
When I asked how and where to write my copyright statement, I was
answered by the seasoned and well known Google's engineer that a few
years later completely removed my name from the project without
removing the contributions.

Harvey is copylefted too (GPLv2) and as you know, this sort of
behaviour would trigger GPL termination, but Harvey is part of
Software Freedom Conservancy and the violation of my copyright
likely occurred during the working hours of the above engineer.

So they were the good guys and the most powerful guys, together.
I had no hope in a US court (and I'm Italian and... let say "not rich").


They taught me a valuable lesson, though.

In the long run, even the good guys betray your trust if they have a
reason to and they think they can get away with that.


Stallman cannot betray Free Software AND get away with it.

So to me (and to many others) Stallman is a sort of a living warranty.

Unless, obviously, you have reasons that I ignore to not trust him on
his loyalty to the Free Software vision and movement. Do you have any?

For example when I read

On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 17:45:24 +0000 Joseph Myers wrote:
> One of the key functions of the SC is actually saying no to RMS.

My bad experiences with Google and SFC makes me ask: "about what?"


So if you (all) have good reason to think that RMS could betray
Free Software, well... THAT would be a good argument to put on the
table!


But note that to many of us, GCC is not just a great compiler suite!
More importantly, it's a Free Software compiler suite.

This means that its core value, its main "selling point", is not how
cool it is, but how it is designed, developed and distributed to
maximise software freedom.

IOW, I can imagine scenarios where some features should NOT be
introduced to reach this political goal which is MORE important
than the technical goal of compiler suite

To this aim, I'd prefer to see RMS in the GCC's SC.
Because to me GCC is not just "open source", it's not just matter of
seeing the source: it's Free Software, it should be designed and
developed TO maximize software freedom!

That's a fundamental difference that still stay between Free Software
and Open Source.


On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:56:02 +0200 Markus Böck wrote:

> At least I would hope that most countries are in pursuit
> or see value in having an inclusive environment where no one has to
> feel treated unfairly due to either their gender, race or other
> things.

I want to clarify that I hope this too. Really. 
And in fact thousands of people of very different races and genders
worldwide expressed their support for RMS and FSF by signing
https://rms-support-letter.github.io/
Some of them are my close friends, but I will not, obviously, doxe them.

However you can find very variegate people arguing on the web for RMS
from all of genders and races. Just a few valuable examples are 
Leah Rowe https://mobile.twitter.com/n4of7/status/1374844604101591047 and
Mary Kate Fain https://mobile.twitter.com/mkay_fain/status/1374766567544737793


On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:56:02 +0200 Markus Böck wrote:

> I am also of the opinion that legally wrong does not equal morally
> wrong. RMS does not have to have committed a crime for the developers
> of GCC, the SC or whoever, to feel like he is not representing their
> values as a member of the SC well.

This is the point, I think.

__In the context of software development__ RMS actually REPRESENT me.

And many other. We do not have to LIKE him.

But we trust HIM, on this regards.


Giacomo


Post Scripta

On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 18:50:52 +0200 Martin Jambor wrote:

> Unfortunately, all people are also able to close their eyes and ears
> and ignore mistreatment when they are not the victims and when their
> friend or their favorite public figure is the perpetrator.

Martin, what you imply here, is an insult I do not deserve.

I do NOT ignore injustice or mistreatments whenever I see them and I
fight them strongly through nonviolence. ALWAYS. 

But in Italy we have a legal principle called "Presumption of innocence".
It's a principle sadly abused by criminals, but it stands
because otherwise, the same criminals would abuse Law (and Power)
against the weakest.


On Tue, 30 Mar 2021 14:09:26 -0400 JeanHeyd Meneide wrote:

> >      My problem is Dr. Richard M. Stallman stands credibly and
> > factually accused of Doxxing and GCC contributor/participant and
> > knowingly manipulating the project for his own personal reasons.  
> 
> This should be "RMS explicitly sanctioned, encouraged, and
> blessed the Doxxing of an individual". Apologies, he did not do the
> doxxing himself; this was a fat finger on my part. 

Thanks for the clarification. I was quite surprised actually, because
I didn't read such accuse among the others in the rms-open-letter.

Did it happen on a public mailing list I can read?
Or maybe in a public forum? Or something that has been published
somewhere?

Don't get me wrong but I saw so much slanders and lies about Stallman
in the last two years that I prefer to double check primary sources to
form an opinion. 


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