RMS removed from the GCC Steering Committee (was: Remove RMS...)

Giacomo Tesio giacomo@tesio.it
Wed Mar 31 23:11:33 GMT 2021


Hi David, thanks for sharing!

On Wed, 31 Mar 2021 14:27:29 -0400 David Edelsohn via Gcc wrote:

> In 2012 RMS was added to the GCC Steering Committee web page
> based on his role in the GNU Project [...]
> we are removing him from the page.

I have to admit that I had never carefully observed the list of members
of the GCC steering committee. As I explained before in this thread,
the presence of Stallman gave me enough reassurance that GCC would have
honoured the values of Free Software.

As I said, enough to chose to port GCC to Jehanne instead of another
C compiler, in the hope to contribute back the port upstream, to GNU.


But now that I'm comparing the old web page [1] and the new one [2],
I realized something entirely new to me.


10 out of 13 members of the GCC steering committee work either for
American corporations (8), their subsidiaries (1) or an American 
University (1) recently covered by the press in India [3].
Also, 4 of these work for the same corporation (IBM / Red Hat).

The other 3 are from German GmbH (2) or from a Nederlands public agency.


To me, and to billions of people, this shows a huge cultural bias.

Even ignoring the huge, unfair and invisible influence that such
American companies could have on the project development, even ignoring
that so many members are subject to the same Law (a Law that includes
the US Cloud Act, FISA, PPD 128, E.O. 12333, etc) decades after the 
Thompson's lecture on trust in compilers development [4], the sole fact
that a single culture and economy can influence so heavily GCC
development through its leaders decisions should be fixed.

GCC is an international project.

I didn't saw this before because I trusted RMS to defend Free Software
values at any cost, but now I do not even need to recall my previous
adventures with Google and Software Freedom Conservancy to see a huge
risk not only to contribute to GCC development, but to rely on GCC.

Just like the Galactic President in The Hitchhiker's Guide, our trust
in RMS was distracting all of us from the very real and very dangerous
geopolitical-diversity issue in GCC leadership.


I'm afraid that if you wanted to attract more developers by cutting
GCC's ties with Stallman, you just proved that he was not even enough.


The GCC Steering Committee doesn't look more inclusive, without RMS.
On the contrary,  it reveals itself as very "exclusive" to the world.


Please, fix it.


Giacomo

[1]
http://web.archive.org/web/20210330171044/https://gcc.gnu.org/steering.html

[2]
http://web.archive.org/web/20210331192841/https://gcc.gnu.org/steering.html

[3]
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/twitter-faceoff-rutgers-university-backs-controversial-historian-audrey-truschke-netizens-react/articleshow/81412939.cms

[4]
https://users.ece.cmu.edu/~ganger/712.fall02/papers/p761-thompson.pdf


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