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GNOME GNU is Not Unix Software Linux

GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project 587

blozza2070 writes "In a recent posting from Philip Van Hoof, he suggests that GNOME split off from the GNU Project and has proposed a vote. He was informed he will need 10% of members to agree for a vote to be put forth. At the same time, David Schlesinger (on the GNOME Advisory Board) has agreed on a vote. Stormy Peters said she doesn't agree with this, but then gave everyone instructions on how to proceed with a vote. She mentioned that roughly 20 members are needed to agree." The mailing list server is timing out as of this writing, but iTWire has the Cliff's notes.
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GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project

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  • Re:Because? (Score:5, Informative)

    by memphis.barbecue ( 1402253 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:25AM (#30413714)
    According to the article [], Richard Stallman wants GNOME to quit presenting proprietary software as legitimate. Assuming I read that right.
  • by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:26AM (#30413720) Homepage Journal

    Philip Van Hoof
    Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:21:53 -0800

    On Fri, 2009-12-11 at 10:12 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:

    > But GNOME is part of the GNU Project, and it ought to support the free
    > software movement. The most minimal support for the free software movement
    > is to refrain from going directly against it; that is, to avoid presenting
    > proprietary software as legitimate.

    I understand your position. I think you might not understand the
    position of a lot of GNOME foundation members and contributors.

    Their position isn't necessarily compatible with your position that
    GNOME should "avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate".

    The way I see it is that most members want GNOME to stay out of that
    philosophic discussion. Although GNOME usually advises to "work
    upstream" and to "do things opensource when possible, as much as
    possible". This is just a personal point of view, of course.

    You, as one of the key FSF people, appear to be keen[1] on enforcing a
    strict policy on how GNU's member-projects should behave. So ...

    I propose to have a vote on GNOME's membership to the GNU project.

    > I think Planet GNOME should have a rule to this effect.

    I think it's clear that I disagree. Philosophically.

    > There are many ways to implement such a rule, of which "block the
    > whole blog" is about the toughest one we might consider. I'd suggest
    > rather to try a mild approach; I'm sure that can do the job.

    Let's first get a consensus from our members on GNOME's status as being
    or not being a well-behaving GNU project, or having its own identity.

    Original thread, alternative link: []

  • Re:Because? (Score:3, Informative)

    by prayag ( 1252246 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `aluran.gayarp'> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:32AM (#30413786)
    iTwire says its because of article [] by de Icaza that resulted into Stallman protesting and the whole shit hitting the fan.
  • Planned Outtage (Score:3, Informative)

    by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:58AM (#30413968)
    Red Hat is currently in the process of consolidating all its community hosted servers to a single hosting facility. As part of that, the servers are being moved *this weekend*. You plan on doing something other than working on GNOME this weekend, or find a programming task that doesn't rely on access to GNOME servers. Time ==== Start: Sat, Dec 12 approx. 1200 UTC End: on or before Mon, Dec 14 The plan is for a 48 hour outage window; we would hope to have major services back up and functional sooner than that. Affected systems ================ Most services other than and This includes: IP Changes ========== The servers will all be moving to new IP addresses; in general this will be invisible to users, but you might notice messages from SSH in some cases. Selected new IPs:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:06AM (#30414010)

    What ever it is, can someone post the reason why RMS made such a remark?

    It's on the mailing list. Somebody was talking about VMware and Stallman made the remark that it's not appropriate to even mention proprietary software on the mailing list (or something to that effect).

    He is an extremist with all that implies.

  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:17AM (#30414084)

    If you restrict it and keep proprietary software off, then it will become just hobbyist platform.

    Personally, I'm not sure about that. There's lots of pure GPL stuff in a standard Linux distro which is being built on, including by companies, however; nobody has suggested that. Gnome is LGPLed and Stallman didn't suggest changing that. Just that Gnome stop promoting proprietary software.

  • The Short Story (Score:5, Informative)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:52AM (#30414396)

    There is a blog aggregator called Planet GNOME which pulls together blog posts from various Gnome developers. One of these developers is Miguel de Icaza, a fairly senior GNOME developer (I believe he started both the GNOME and Mono projects, though I don't know his current position in them). Miguel is known, and somewhat infamous, for supporting MS Standards like C# (hence Mono, an opensource implementation of it), and OOXML.

    In this instance Miguel wrote a blog post about Silverlight that reads like a press release []. Silverlight is a proprietary and patent-encumbered replacement for Flash written by Microsoft.

    Thus a promo for Silverlight was showing up on Planet GNOME.

    This was not the only time something like this had happened, these are blogs afterall, people write about all sorts of stuff. Thus people started discussing a code of conduct about appropriate topics for blogs on Planet GNOME.

    Stallman stopped by to offer his opinion (just couple very short posts in a long discussion) saying that people shouldn't use Planet GNOME to talk about proprietary projects like promos for Silverlight or even talk about using vmware since Gnome is a GNU project and opposed to proprietary software.

    Philip Van Hoof responded saying he disagreed and started talking about a split, a few other people started talking about the rules surrounding the vote and the rest kept talking about the idea of a code of conduct.

    I don't really know who anyone is other than Miguel and Stallman, but my gut says that no vote is going to occur.

  • by gzipped_tar ( 1151931 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:00PM (#30414460) Journal

    Have you ever met RMS face to face and listened to him explaining himself?

    I have, and from my personal experience, he was nothing like an extremist. He has a rigid and well defined set of core principles WRT software (summarized in the "four freedoms") and he holds fast to them. But on other topics, he is very tolerant and shows great respect to others' views.

    And he's very sensitive to the Dark Side, to what could possibly go wrong. This is the same sensitivity a careful programming expert possesses. A good programmer can sense the smell of bugs, terrible design, or poor implementation a mile away from the pile of computer code, and RMS can sense what could possibly breach his principles. A good programmer does not gain the ability of "smelling the bugs" by being an oversensitive, and neither did RMS. He is just careful -- He *thinks* carefully and so he anticipates the possible disaster.

    I'm not trying to paint him as a flawless character, and if I sound like I was doing that, I apologize. I was simply telling my fellow /.ers my *personal* *impression* of him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:55PM (#30414944)

    (Qt kicks the fuck out of GTK+)

    It doesn't matter. Don't you read the news []? GNOME is ditching GTK for Silverlight 4, a cross-platform technology that only runs on Windows.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:02PM (#30414994) Journal

    Stallman believes that access to source code that the user can modifiy to meet his needs is a right. Denying that right is therefore illegitimate in the way denying any right is.

  • Re:Because? (Score:2, Informative)

    by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:27PM (#30415188)
    If Gnome chooses a non FOSS path it will definitely become 2nd best or even disappear from debian, ubuntu, fedora etc and its new reality is guaranteed slide into oblivion.

    No-one ever suggested that Gnome was ever going to become non-FOSS. In fact it can't, given that the individual components of it are already licenced under the GPL, and nobody would be able to close the source without having a large-scale insurrection on their hands. But there is no logical reason why the Gnome developers must exist under the aegis of the GNU project if the latter is making demands of them that are counter to their interests.

    I have a lot of respect for Stallman and the work he has done, but if he refuses to pull his head out of his ass on this matter, then he might as well shove it in the rest of the way.
  • by Windwraith ( 932426 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:58PM (#30415510)

    But, that is GTK software, not Gnome software.
    Aside from it looking a bit ugly (solvable) you can use those programs in KDE without issues at all.
    I use plenty of GTK apps in my KDE desktop, even Gnome ones. One thing doesn't nullify the other.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:41PM (#30415904)

    No, it really was about removing the license and copyright notices from the original files.

    The hypocrisy was just an added bonus. And with hypocrisy I mean calling it theft to use the code in closed products while taking code and closing it away. Every BSD developer is aware that this may happen and has no problem accepting that. What we have a problem with is when people do that and critizise it at the same time.

    Practice what you preach. If you think it is evil to take away the code and put it into a more restrictive license then don't do it. If you want to do it then just shut up about it being evil.

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:3, Informative)

    by codeguy007 ( 179016 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @04:52PM (#30417112)

    Who modded this dribble insightful? Redhat will be fine even if they have to remove Gnome. THis is complete nonsense.

  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn@ea r t h l i n> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @05:05PM (#30417228)

    Even more directly, the versions of the promises that I read contained explicit statement that MS reserved the right to change it's mind whenever it felt like it, no reasons required. Granted, this particular set of promises were the ones it made while signing the contract with Novell, and those might not be the ones you are referring to. Still, the secondary sources reporting the promises ignored the disclaimers. I'd be quite suspicious of any reports of what the promises were that appear in secondary sources.

  • by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @05:28PM (#30417390) Homepage

    Funny, that's the main thing that stops me from using KDE (that and the continued instability of plasma). I have a hard time finding nice simple kde equivalents to audacious, deluge (vastly prefer it to ktorrent), gimp, pidgin and of course firefox (and now chrome). Since all my productive apps are GTK based, it is very hard for me to justify switching to KDE4.

    You do realise that KDE do not intend to NIH every application that doesn't use Qt, right? You do realise that GTK+ apps still run perfectly fine on a KDE4 desktop? You do realise that both GNOME and KDE developers work together in order to make sure that KDE and GNOME apps can happily coexist, to the extent of holding their annual developer conferences together in 2009?

    There's even plugins available for GNOME (Qt) to make it look like Qt (GNOME).

    If you want to use GTK+ apps on a KDE desktop, go for it. The Desktop Homogeneity Inquisition aren't going to break down your door for doing so.

  • Re:Because? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @06:08PM (#30417732)

    My Radeon 9200 is no longer supported by ATI; they stopped work on the proprietary driver 3 years ago, and that version no longer works with current Xorg releases. This is where having free software really is pragmatic. Why should I have to buy a new video card just because ATI closed the source to the driver?

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:3, Informative)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:56PM (#30419238) Homepage

    Why? Have you tried writing a dbus-aware program in C, and then in C#? There is a world of difference, in favor of the C# version.

    But the problem has nothing to do with C#'s technical merits.

    This irrational fear of all-things-Microsoft is out of control. There are good engineers at Microsoft, and some of them are even free software proponents.

    The potential problem isn't the engineers, it's the lawyers.

    Regardless all that, Mono is a GPL language, free in every sense.

    No, it isn't. It's covered by patents.

    The basic issue is: MS created a language, patented parts of it, but also said "We're not going to sue you for implementing this. Though we reserve the right to change our mind at any time". They also created a standard that might be safe, doesn't cover all that much, so most useful programs will go beyond that into the less certain patented territory.

    You can write GPL/whatever licensed code all you want, if somebody has a patent on your algorithm that won't save you from the trouble.

    That is the problem. It's not about C#'s technical merits, or MS's engineers' abilities, it's about what could possibly happen if MS decides to change their mind. And there's ample evidence of that getting involved with Microsoft too deeply is almost a guarantee for getting screwed.

We declare the names of all variables and functions. Yet the Tao has no type specifier.