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12.12.09

GNOME at Risk of Losing Its GNU Status

Posted in Apple, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: The core of the Free desktop finds GNOME Planet incompatible with its philosophy

A disagreement between Richard Stallman and some people in the GNOME Foundation (whose director is a Novell employee, which means part of his wage comes from Microsoft) has led to tensions and severe action. GNOME is currently at risk of losing its GNU status and there is a news report about it already.

A senior member of the GNOME Desktop Project has proposed that the project hold a vote on whether it should remain a part of the GNU Project.

Senior GNOME developer Philip Van Hoof made the proposal in a post to the GNOME Foundation’s mailing list. He was seconded in this by GNOME Foundation advisory board member David Schlesinger.

His post was part of a long thread that began back in November when Lucas Roche informed members that the GNOME Foundation Board had received complaints from community members about some of the posts on Planet GNOME.

“Is this good or bad” was the question asked by a reader of ours who found this out via Slashdot. Well, from the point of view of GNOME, disconnect from GNU would be a major loss and damage to its status. It would put KDE in a favourable position among more Free software supporters.

“Just looking at news from the past few days, Novell’s Mono is not even targeting Free software anymore.”From the point of view of the FSF, maybe it would not be a total loss. It is actually KDE which often insists on using the term “Free software” and also abstains from supporting OOXML (unlike GNOME). Just looking at news from the past few days, Novell’s Mono is not even targeting Free software anymore. Novell aims Mono at the iPhone and others use Mono to advance the use of Microsoft’s Active Directory. The FSF has already distanced itself from Mono; it was an unfortunately-belated departure because here in Boycott Novell we have warned about Mono for almost 3 years.

“[I]t doesn’t excuse developing proprietary software. A desire for profit is not wrong in itself, but it isn’t the sort of urgent overriding cause that could excuse mistreating others. Proprietary software divides the users and keeps them helpless, and that is wrong. Nobody should do that.”

Richard Stallman

“Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn’t all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.”

Richard Stallman

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3 Comments

  1. Dennis Murczak said,

    December 12, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Gravatar

    I saw that coming too, all the way. What was once the “official” GNU desktop (because very early Qt versions were partly nonfree) has lost much of its focus and integrity, especially with folks in the boat that don’t care a lot about freedom.

    That said, GNU shouldn’t have (or recommend) an official desktop in the first place.

    your_friend Reply:

    Be careful not to confuse Gnome leadership with the Gnome community. Let’s see if they can muster the 5% vote needed to consider the issue in an official way and then let’s watch out for the usual Microsoft tricks. With Novel employees on the board, Microsoft has already stuffed the panel. Let’s see if they pull ISO style tricks.

  2. uberVU - social comments said,

    December 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #GNOME at Risk of Losing Its #GNU Status http://boycottnovell.com/2009/12/12/gnome-and-gnu/

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