03.28.19

Constructive Suggestions for the Linux Foundation

Posted in GNU/Linux at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Priority should be freedom, not money, otherwise nothing substantial will be accomplished

The GNU/Linux Foundation

Summary: The GNU project and the Linux Foundation aren’t exactly friends; in fact the people of the Linux Foundation like to call everything that is GNU (e.g. Bash) “Linux” and it represents a difference in worldviews — one that may theoretically be possible to reconcile

WHEN institutions measure their success in terms of their power/impact rather than principles and in terms of money rather than adherence to ideals we end up with corporations-led organisations that control speech with codes of conduct (or similar) and no ability to introspect, challenge oneself, revisit one’s mission.

As I stated at the very start of this ‘series’, I was extremely reluctant to write about this subject and my intention is not to bash but to highlight real, legitimate problems. We have received positive feedback on this ‘series’ so far. People agree. Some people argue along the lines of, “it’s well overdue.”

“Free as in freedom means free speech, too. I never wrote anything vulgar or rude about Jim Zemlin. Maybe I criticised some things that he had done (or hadn’t done, e.g. speaking against Microsoft’s blackmail of companies that ship GNU/Linux). To me, personally, the fact that he blocked me said a lot about what his foundation stands for. Freedom has little (or any) priority. It’s all about power and domination, like a classic PAC (or trade group).”I personally think that the foundation led by Zemlin should be more proactive in explaining the value of free as in freedom software. Proprietary software should not be treated as normal, benign, and acceptable. They should also battle software patents, which are inherently not compatible with free software. Should it be so hard to habitually write on the subject? When your budget is something like 100 million dollars a year, lack of resources just isn’t a viable excuse.

I have got a very busy weekend ahead, so I cannot write much on this subject except the above. But we have several more parts on their way. Some will be guest posts. The message about these matters has been getting out and I got feedback from some high-profile people. They agree. I think we should all pursue this further (explaining what Zemlin does). Bryan Lunduke told me yesterday that he and Zemlin don’t agree on a bunch of things, but Zemlin has not blocked him (in Twitter). He did, however, block me (maybe half a decade ago). How can one expect free speech in his foundation when he simply blocks his critics?

Free as in freedom means free speech, too. I never wrote anything vulgar or rude about Zemlin. Maybe I criticised some things that he had done (or hadn’t done, e.g. speaking against Microsoft’s blackmail of companies that ship GNU/Linux). To me, personally, the fact that he blocked me said a lot about what his foundation stands for. Freedom has little (or any) priority. It’s all about power and domination, like a classic PAC (or trade group). This ought to change.

Zemlin likes to speak out against Donald Trump (I can’t blame him), but both he and Trump have blocked me in Twitter because they cannot tolerate those who aren’t “true believers”. These are dictatorial tendencies (I never block anyone in Twitter myself). And so the ‘community’ becomes just like another corporation. Dissent is impermissible. It gets you ejected, just like community members whom the Foundation ejected from the Board, making way to Microsoft staff. Why? Because Microsoft pays.

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