Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
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.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:23AM (#30413702)


    Stone Mirror aka David “Lefty” Schlesinger
    to me
    show details Oct 3 (10 days ago)

    These messages were sent while you were offline.

    2:01 PM
    Stone: don’t be a ninny, no one’s trying to “fuse Linux with Microsoft”. that’s paranoid rhetoric, but coming from a mental case such as yourself, it’s not surprising.

    Groklaw is taking much abuse for their stance, as can be seen in the comments. Bad move on PJ’s part.
    2:04 PM
    Do you happen to know Celeste Lyn Paul.? She’s the head of the KDE Foundation Board
    2:05 PM
    She was in the audience at GCDS and tweeted her dismay at Stallman’s “bit of harmless fun” while it was happening

    May you know Stormy Peters?

    She’s the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation.
    2:06 PM
    she was there, too, and not happy, either.

    it’ll be interesting if “Dr.” Stallman finds himself blacklisted from both KDE and GNOME events in the future, won’t it?


    documented evidence, mainly from his own emails and blogs, of David “Lefty” Schlesinger (he is an ACCESS employee) and his long career of illegal and menacing threats, stalking, harassment and blackmail.


    and here:

    Lefty has written heinously sexist troll articles for the notorious troll site

    ” I try to stop a bit short of full-blown monster-hood.” – David ‘Lefty’ Schlesinger aka stonemirror

  • by memphis.barbecue ( 1402253 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:45AM (#30413878)
    I dare say it would make sense to give FOSS priority on a discussion board about a piece of FOS software. But really, GNOME is a desktop environment. Wouldn't it sorta limit the user's freedom to not be able to run proprietary products on his/her main OS? If we follow Stallman's advice, then entire projects (Wine for example) should get abandoned.
  • by fly1ngtux ( 1504905 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @10:55AM (#30413942)
    I seem to be missing something. "avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate."?!!! I really don't understand why "proprietary" can't be "legitimate". What ever it is, can someone post the reason why RMS made such a remark?
  • Re:Because? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:19AM (#30414104) Homepage

    RMS is 100% right on this one. Again.

    While I agree that Miguel is as fox in the henhouse, I don't think that Stallman is right here.

    His tantrum basically boils down to "you can't present proprietary software as legitimate". Which is BS. Your own decision on how to do things is your decision, you can NOT tell others that their way of doing things is not legitimate. If companies want to do things the proprietary way, that's their decision. If your approach is better, then time will prove that.

    Theo De Raadt did this. He's also an arrogant prick, but when he decided that everyone else's way was inferior to his, he fork offed. Which, in his case, was the best thing he could do, because he was able to deliver the ideals he believed in, giving the world OpenSSH and OpenBSD, both of which are shining examples of "fine I'll do it my way and show you".

    Stallman needs to STFU. He's ruining free software by trying to make it exist in some kind of walled garden where nobody who uses it can interact with anyone or anything else.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:19AM (#30414110)
    People have mistaken the agenda of RMS for their own, but he has a political agenda and not a practical one. If he was really interested in gnome he would contribute to it, but instead he has his own projects. I said the same thing about linux some time ago when the silly LiGnuX renaming suggestion came up which later got some traction with newbies under the name gnu/linux.
  • It's a Planet Issue (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:20AM (#30414118) Homepage Journal

    The issue is one that I wish more Planets would take seriously. Why are former GNOME devs which now work and post primarily about non-GNOME, proprietary software still being syndicated on the GNOME Planet? Why are some Ubuntu Planet members constantly posting about their Mac and Win desktops 9since they apparently don't eat their own dogfood)?

    If you're on a Planet, do us all a favor: create a tag for posts that should be on the Planet and don't syndicate the other stuff. We don't want to know what you bought at the grocery store. If the Planet's ToS says the language is English, post in English (substitute appropriate language for other Planets).

    Glad I got that off of my chest.

  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:20AM (#30414120)

    And pushing Tomboy means it's nothing but a ploy to get Mono distributed. Choosing a minor app that takes 189 freaking MB of memory for nothing but displaying sticky notes on the screen is preposterous when you have similar programs which do the same in a few MBs. It's waste for your high-end desktop/laptop with 2-4GB RAM, it's a deal breaker for slimmer configurations.

    Mono was a trap from the very beginning. Let's not let it drag us down.

  • Re:Because? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:38AM (#30414278)

    actually some people do want to know about their grocery shopping.

    If you do not ant to reach such posts, you havbe editorial control over your own eyes and browsing habits. Use it.

  • by Burz ( 138833 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:05PM (#30414500) Homepage Journal

    OTOH, Gnome had to be written because of KDE's relationship to proprietary software. For many years, KDE was a better overall environment and attracted more users. But as the corporate world began to look for ways to market Linux-based distros, it was Gnome's relative purity (not any of its technical merits, which are few) that got KDE pushed to the sidelines.

    Are we now going to see Gnome become the encumbered environment that's more popular with users, and KDE freer one?

    Its kind of absurd when you think about it. Copying Microsoft's stuff will only make Gnome more like WINE, only less popular. And can you see GNU making further concessions for Microsoft's patented ideas within their projects?? Don't be ridiculous!

    de Icaza and his troop want to continue a career of aping Microsoft's binary components while leaving almost all of the design and other heavy lifting to the latter. They are not worth the trouble that brings. Let them fork Gnome into something else and then see which environment continues to get included in the corporate-supported distros.

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

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:06PM (#30414508) Journal
    Much as I dislike MdI, that might actually have been a good strategy for MS. It would have freed them from antitrust concerns (it's a third-party, community-developed, browser, they just happen to ship it with their OS) and they could still have included a lot of Windows-only technologies in it. Other people would have forked it, giving the illusion of competition in the browser marketplace, confusing regulators, but things like ActiveX would still have required Windows. IE is not a core product for MS, it's a tool for maintaining Windows' market dominance.
  • by mikelieman ( 35628 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:09PM (#30414528) Homepage

    You're not going to be able to call it GNOME, will you?

  • by ACS Solver ( 1068112 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:41PM (#30414842)
    I respect Stallman's consistency, energy and dedication. I agree with him on some points but these days I wish he could be as distant from free software as possible. Stallman is an idealist and a visionary. I'd much rather see practical improvements and results. I would like to see Linux adopted more widely and I believe that it should be getting improved from a practical standpoint. If it means non-free drivers or extra efforts to be compatible with proprietary software, that's okay.

    Stallman isn't a great messenger for free software. To "normal" people who aren't involved with technology, he just appears to be a weirdo, and that sort of reaffirms the belief that all that "Linux stuff" is for geeks and weirdos. Stallman is a free-thinker that doesn't always even bother to conform to notions of politeness. I remember his article on BBC [] where he consistently refers to Bill Gates as "Gates", not once as "Mr Gates". Of course the latter would be more in line with today's polite writing. I understand that Stallman doesn't much care for such formalities, but again this does nothing to make him seem "normal" or acceptable to non-techies.

    My real problem with Stallman, though, is that I view him as a hypocritical person. He mentions freedom at every chance he gets. Free software is free, proprietary is non-free, merely open source without FSF-defined rights is non-free, etc. At the same time, GNU policies don't much look like freedom to me. As seen here, Stallman doesn't want a GNU project to assist a non-free project in any way. GNU documentation, according to their standards [] shouldn't even mention most non-free software, shouldn't recommend software that itself recommends other non-free software. And the standards even say not to link to or mention sites that describe or recommend non-free software.
    Those kinds of standards aren't about freedom. GNU/Stallman may view the existence of proprietary software as an ethical problem. It's an assessment I disagree with, but I can respect that opinion. It's an opinion that should, then, be supported with information and clearly showing the ethical advantages of free software, as opposed to "don't mention them" mentality.

    Footnote: as for Stallman's political/ethical ideals, I don't think they're very compatible with today's reality. A lot of his ideas would be better off if all computer users had some interest in computers and the software they're using. I would prefer it that way, too. But the reality is that most people only want to know as much as they need to operate the computer, and that isn't going to change.
  • Re:Gnome# (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @12:55PM (#30414952)

    Pretty much so, there is a major push to switch Gnome to C#

    [citation needed]. There's exactly a single GNOME desktop dependency using C#, Tomboy, and even that's been cloned in C++ (GNote []). and is gaining adoption instead of the Mono-based variant by many major distros including Fedora. I really wouldn't be surprised to see it proposed to replace Tomboy in the upcoming months.

    Furthermore, if GNOME's heading in any direction on the desktop, it's towards enabling 3D, networking, web and presence technologies through the stack. There has been a heavy push to add networking to the lower libraries so that libraries above can take advantage without reinventing the wheel. A D-Bus layer is merging into GLib next. GNOME Shell is written mostly in Javascript with Clutter being used as a 3D toolkit, after Gtk+ itself was extensively modified for better offscreen rendering support. Webkit replaced Mozilla's Gecko, and is being used by more up-and-coming GNOME projects. Telepathy and Empathy were adopted into GNOME and gives us an instant messaging client. There are half a dozen new projects around the rather small-but-growing geography and cartography communities. GNOME technologies are also heading towards the more-deeply embedded direction, with Clutter-GTK+ pushing Moblin to new heights and products like the Litl webbook (which is also very heavily Javascript-based).

    There have been no new .NET components accepted or even proposed to be included in GNOME in years. The Mono fear is a sound one, but it's not one you realistically have to worry about today as a GNOME user. With the recent improvements in GThumb and newer photo cataloging apps like Shotwell, not even F-Spot can be considered a 'killer app' for Mono anymore. That community has long since left GNOME along with Miguel.

  • Once upon a time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:10PM (#30415048)

    There was a project named GNU. Then came GNUstep. Then came GNUstep + WindowMaker. GNU looked upon this and called it good, and declared it the official desktop of the GNU project. But GNUstep was not finished, not even close.

    Then kame KDE. It was based upon the not-so-free Qt. Everyone at GNU cried "oh shit." Fire and brimstone began to fall.

    Then came Miguel, a shit-disturber from the NetBSD holy wars. GNOME was cooked up with an official "fuck you" to the KDE team on their mailing lists. The 0.33 release was based on a bunch of free tools hastily thrown together and re-branded with the never-proven CORBA thrown into the mix.

    Then came RedHat, wading into the morass and inspiring GNOME to jump from version 0.33 to version 1.0 overnight, resulting in much crash-age and tooth-gnashage. But the gospel had been preached and accepted in the West, and even Slashdot jumped on Miguel's bandwagon. Yea, even the Rasterman was drawn into the mighty whirlpool for a time and Enlightenment was lost to history. So the holy wars were joined.

    Over time, KDE became more free. The dreaded, reviled Qt became GPL, then LGPL. On the flipside, GNOME began adopting questionable technologies like MONO. The grinning spectre of Dread Lord Gates lurked in the shadows. The wheel had turned.

    And yet back in the dustbin of history, GNUstep waited. And all along this would have been the best choice of all, had Stallman & co not thrown their weight knee-jerk behind "anyone but KDE". Given the return of NextStep under the name "Mac OS X," just imagine the interoperability and cross-compatibility we could have today?

  • Re:Gnome# (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fwarren ( 579763 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:18PM (#30415100) Homepage

    But De Icaza has said that mono is implementing bits of .net stuff not covered under the patent covenant. That leaves the mono project open to trouble. If they write Gnome 3.0 is C# it will rely on so many of those proprietary bits they will have to stop distributing it while they fix the mess.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @01:31PM (#30415232)

    People have mistaken the agenda of RMS for their own, but he has a political agenda and not a practical one.

    RMS's agenda is eminently practical. It's just a long-term practicality over immediate gratification.
    The Free software ecosystem is now well past the point where sacrificing the functionality of free software is a requirement for the general community. There are certainly niches where that is still true, but something like GNOME is not a niche.

  • Re:The Short Story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:01PM (#30415558)

    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.

    I read that more as "Silverlight 4 finally supports these totally awesome features that everyone's been asking for, and that we already had in Moonlight. So now we (the Mono people) need to implement the rest of Silverlight 3 and 4, so we can run the upcoming flood of apps that use these features but don't specifically worry about being cross-platform."

    Hmm, on second reading I think your interpretation is fairly accurate, I think the style threw me the first time I read it because it really does read like an official press release.

    I still feel the emphasis really is on Silverlight, not Moonlight (the free implementation), which isn't ideal but is fine with me if the blog normally focuses on Moonlight and the post fits into the wider picture.

    I should note I don't really know if that post in particular was a big issue, the iTWire summary drew that conclusion.

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

    by Sheik Yerbouti ( 96423 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:21PM (#30415732) Homepage

    Why is Miguel a fox in the hen house? As I understand it he is making an open source implementation (Moonlight) of a closed source virtual machine for C# (Silverlight). Why does this make him somehow the bad guy. Gnash is an open source implementation of a closed source virtual machine (Flash Player). And yet they are largely held up as heroes because they are making it possible to use a full open source environment and still see flash content. How is this any different from what Miguel is doing with Moonlight?

    I would say people are being wholly irrational about this simply because Microsoft is the maker of Silverlight. Because logically speaking it makes no sense hold up Miguel as a villain and the Gnash team as heroes when they are doing the same types of projects. And ultimately they both are allowing a full open source operating environment to be able to run more content. How is that bad?

  • Re:The Short Story (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KwKSilver ( 857599 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @02:23PM (#30415766)
    Good summary. I for one ain't that crazy about seeing my FSF dues going to host a MS/Silverlight ad. What's next, a rave review of Office 2010? Windows 8? Is MS so impoverished they can't afford to buy ads anymore? Wouldn't this [] be a better place for a Sliverblight endorsement? With all the money those parasites have, you'd think they'd be too ashamed to leech off of GNU!

    As long as I'm ranting, Dear GNOME, if you find that the 4 freedoms make you philosophically uneasy, feel free to leave GNU. While you are at it why not re-write GNOME in .NET to work on the the NT kernel?! Won't be any skin off my butt, XFCE, KDE, and Fluxbox, are all better alternatives. /end rant.

    About your bruised feelings: Tough shit. Now, feel free to use your sock-puppets to mod me down: "-1 unympathetic."
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @04:45PM (#30417040) Journal

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

    I have and after he was done with his ridiculous straight delivery of the whole St. IGNUtius spiel, I asked a simple question. "How do you counter when people suggest that OSS is harder to use". His reply was dismissive. "It is? I haven't heard that". Why? Possibly because I was the only person in the room dressed in a suit. I'd just come from work. My conclusion is that the man has no social skills and brings all the ridicule and misinterpretation he garners upon himself.

  • Re:Once upon a time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dasher42 ( 514179 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @05:24PM (#30417372)

    GNUStep hasn't died; they just released version 2.0 of their live CD [], and the Etoile project [] continues to make GNUStep more modern and aesthetically pleasing. The advantage of the open source world is that if the technology's still good, you can start that old girl right up when you need to. I get the impression that the project could move very quickly given some programmers backing it.

  • by johnnnyboy ( 15145 ) on Saturday December 12, 2009 @11:49PM (#30419634) Homepage

    All the old complaints about Qt are no longer valid. I find it ironic that Gnome is getting more and more Mono/.NET dependant when Gnome project was started for way less than that, because Qt wasn't GPLd. But now it is.

    We have an advanced GPLd toolkit widely available and it can do more than just GUIs.
    I would really love to see what the Gnome project can do with Qt along with their interface philosophy of simplicity.

    KDE != Qt it's just one implementation of Qt.

  • by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 13, 2009 @12:33AM (#30419952) Homepage Journal

    The GNOME servers are down right now so I can't copy the posting guidelines for you, but I have read them before. Take a look at the Ubuntu Planet guidelines, which are likely very similar.

    As a rule of thumb, English should be considered the "lingua franca" of Planet Ubuntu. ...posts to be of a non-advertising nature. Planet should only be subscribed to a subset of blog entries where a conscious decision is made to put the blog post on Ubuntu Planet. For example, tagging entries with an "ubuntuplanet" tag, and subscribing planet to a feed of blog posts with that tag, would be acceptable.

    Most Planets have long posting guidelines with rules on how to join and when you should ask to be removed. The guidelines likely stipulate that you need to syndicate the full feed, which some people don't do. There's more to it than "insight into the lives of members of the $PLANET community, what they're working on and what makes them tick," which is the standard blurb atop every Planet.

    People read Planets to find out what's going on in the community. A little noise in the signal is fine. You want to talk about your Christmas plans? No problem. You want to use your Planet blog as a time management application (I'd find the blog I'm talking about, but he's been quiet for a week or so)? No thanks. Spending _all_ your time on political messages? Also no.

    Oh, and devs who are no longer working on a projects aren't part of the project's community. I'm talking about Miguel, but there are others. The Mono issue is not a reason to ban him from the Planet, but no longer working on GNOME at all is.

  • by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Sunday December 13, 2009 @02:22PM (#30423892)

    Gnome was created by GNU guys

    No, it wasn't created by "GNU guys", it was created by a handful of programmers from various backgrounds. The reason it was adopted as a GNU project was down to KDE using Qt which at the time was under a license that wasn't considered Open Source or Free Software. There seems to be a certain amount of revisionism in the official GNOME history, as reflected in the Wikipedia entry for it - for starters, it was more people involved from the start than were Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena. As well as the Qt licensing issue, a number of people were interested in starting an alternative to KDE that was coded primarily in C rather than C++.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn