Re: Intro to GNOME and the FSF

Hugo Gayosso wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> "James M. Cape" <> writes:
> > I'm afraid I have to comment on this. Using GNOME to directly promote
> > the GNU Project is very, very shortsighted, and will lead to
> > problems.
> huh?
> GNOME IS PART of the GNU Project.

Yes, I am aware of that. I'm opposed to using GNOME-specific resources
to fight GNU's fight. Let "GNU-proper"

> > First is confusing the marketing and business types who do not
> > understand Unix
> mmm.. I think that YOU are confused.
> GNU's not UNIX.
> GNOME is aimed to work on the GNU Operating System.


Yes, I know what GNU means.

Yes I know GNOME is part of GNU.

However, I believe that only the GNOME cabal can speak to what GNOME's
aim is.

> > as it stands now, potentially leading them to believe
> > that GNOME will not work on non-Linux Unix systems
> huh?
> Actually GNOME should work in the GNU System, not specifically a
> GNU/Linux system.

Well, there is no other "GNU system" being offered at the moment. Yes,
yes, we've all heard about HURD, but in all honesty, that is not being
promoted to the same degree that Linux is, which makes Linux the only
serious choice right now for those not familiar with the entire

> > -- when dealing with
> > business types, it is helpful to remember that if there is a stupid road
> > that a presentation can be mentally taken down, chances are at least a
> > few in the audience will take the presentation down that road.
> That's why we should fight to promote the GNU Project, they should be
> aware of our philosophy, that's the *main* difference between the Free
> Software movement and the Open Source Movement.

See, I am dealing with conflicting aims here. One is that we should put
a blurb in the help browser about GNU. Then there is the above.

I think that Putting a "GNOME is a part of the GNU Project, which
means..." paragraph in the "About GNOME" dialog is one thing (something
I would support). "fight[ing] to promote the GNU Project" is quite

> > Another is the (IMHO) waste of GNOME's limited resources. GNOME does
> > not have a whole lot of "marketing" per se to throw around promoting
> > GNU. A third potential problem is the alienation of the vendors of
> > non-GNU systems -- if you're company had to choice between two
> > desktops, and one of which was making noise as a GNU system
> > component, the other as a desktop, which would you choose?
> mmmm... your reasoning is biased, or... can you tell me why BIG
> companies are using GNU gcc for their compilations?
> And when I say, BIG, I really mean BIG companies.

Well, you'd have to define exactly what you mean by "BIG". Microsoft is
the largest software company in the world, and they do not use gcc. :-)

Also, last I checked, Sun, Irix, HP, and Compaq all ship their own
propriatary compilers (a decision I disagree with and think is generally
unfriendly, but sound given their original business models -- if they
control everything, they can separate themselves from the rest of the
crowd, or so the reasoning goes).

And as for the the unnamed "BIG companies", I believe the major reason
is "they use gcc because it fulfills their needs" far more often than
"they use it because they believe in the principles of the FSF".

> Shouldn't it be more attractive a desktop that is portable, that means
> that you can run it on your laptop (GNU/Linux), on your workstation
> (HP-UX, Solaris, etc.), and even your servers.
> GNU assures this portability.

Well, I would credit GNOME with that portability, not GNU, just as I
would credit the Apache people or the HURD people, or whoever else may
achieve that portability. GNOME may be part of GNU, but I do not really
think that just because one part of the GNU system is portable to
non-GNU systems does not necessarily mean "GNU assures this

> > IOW, rather than potentially confusing those who are not familiar with
> > Unix, potentially wasting resources and time, and potentially alienating
> > the non-Linux Unix system owners and vendors, why don't we concentrate
> > on using GNOME to sell Unix in particular.
> mm.. I see, you are into the Open Source movement, rather than the
> Free Software movement. Now I understand your opinions.

I consider myself very pragmatic when it comes to these things, yes.

> > then we can worry about selling people on the
> > advantages of the GPL over the commercial unices and the *BSD systems if
> > we so choose. For now, let the GNU promoters promote GNU, they know
> > better how to do it anyways. :-)
> Open Source point of view, again.

Well, if "Open Source" == "Pragmatic", then yes, I would consider myself
a member of the "Open Source movement". But aside from being neatly
pidgeonholed due to one of my views, I do not consider it particularly
worthwhile to spend GNOME money on promoting GNU over any other Unix
clone, even if GNOME is part of GNU (just as I would not expect the MS
Office team to promote Windows over Mac -- in fact, one of the selling
points of Office itself is that it works on non-MS systems). If FSF
wants to spend FSF money to promote GNU, then I say more power to them.
I would consider it far more worthwhile to promote the Unix-style-OS
(since Unix is referred to by me in these messages as a type of OS, not
the trademark) worldview, then worry about promoting the FSF worldview

But (and this is the most important point :-)) all this is academic. It
depends on what the GNOME cabal wants to do, and they have been silent
on this issue.

    Jim Cape

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
     pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
        -- Winston Churchill

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