I have an opinion on leadership in free software.
@liw "the long-term problem is that we have so few people who could replace him." - Think of it as "none". The time he was away, I didn't see any effective person as a leader to replace him.
If you think that single leadership is bad, there are thousands of projects which have that. We can't just say that we'll just replace him because why is he the only one to lead project x.
Single leadership is probably not the problem. The attack is. And the attackers are mostly not from #freesw movement.
@adnan360 You describe the letter calling for RMS and the FSF board to step down as an attack on free software movement. I reject that description utterly.
@liw It's up to you what you want to believe.
But if you check the list of the people who signed, it has Open Source Init. and Ethical Software people who are against #freesw.
And M$ seems also happy that such a thing is going on: http://techrights.org/2021/03/23/still-libeling-rms/
These are the people who would be happy if Free Software Movement fails or weakens. Similar things were done to Linux as well.
@adnan360 I continue to think you are entirely wrong about this. I reject utterly the characterization of myself as an attacker of the free software movement.
Furthermore, since the only things you seem to want to bring to the discussion is that characterization, I'm not going to engage with you further.
@liw In ~2016 Leah complained and demanded that some people from FSF should be removed. So FSF must be bad? But afterwards she apologized:
"I acknowledge that what I did was wrong. Although I felt justified at the time, I ended up hurting a lot of people...
I’m especially sorry to John Sullivan and Ruben Rodriguez of the FSF, both of whom I publicly slandered on the Libreboot website. They did not deserve any of that. I was being highly abusive towards you both."
@liw Another thing is that I don't think removing the whole board is at all justified. This feels similar to what Leah did, blaming it on people who are not related to the discussion.
Moreover, it will leave the whole FSF leaderless, which is exactly what Free Software Movement haters would want.
If you still want to be on that side, go ahead. You have freewill to do so. But I can't company you with that.
@liw Wrt leadership we've always confounded strong personalities that don't compromise on ideals with people whose thoughts ossify the moment they have them. RMS was the latter.
Leaders have done some good, but that's totally obscured by the failures & wrongdoings of them.
Rather than community leaders or thought leaders, we need thinkers, and we need to decentralise and democratise production of philosophy and policy.
Our institutions do not consist of "us", and that's the big problem IMHO.
@liw This is of course a bigger problem than FSF or free software even, it's a societal problem that seeps into all our endeavours.
My words are not meant as criticism of your post (which I largely agree with), but more like the next logical step in the same thought process.
@be @liw Stallman's gang is composed of people who fight something they've last seen in 1990. They have no idea about the proprietrary software world. They are like a surgeon who hadn't touched a scalpel ever.
While I agree you 100%, I also think there's value in cultivating thinkers and giving them to space to discuss, produce and disseminate thought, but with RMS and some of his fellows it's more like they're keeping themselves employed through status quo.
So he's really R. M. "Stall" man...
@cadadr @liw I didn't have formal education in computers, but my understanding from mentoring GSOC students is that most of their schoolwork consists of small projects that they work on individually. What if that was shifted towards working in groups with classmates using Gitea? What if part of the education was learning how to set up project infrastructure, choosing a license, setting up CI and a discussion forum, and reviewing classmates' code?
@cadadr @liw Why does it take Google and Outreachy to get students involved in cooperative software? Why aren't schools making that a class where the school's faculty work together with maintainers to review students' code? This would do so, so much more for cooperative software than giving a one time lecture in an auditorium for an hour then leaving.
For a long time I have an idea of a course for students called "Introduction to Software Engineering without writing code"
It would cover version control, infrastructure, CI, deployment, pull-request and code reviews, docs,.. but not any kind of code or programming language. Other then couple of lines of bash.
As a model project in this course one can use statically generated personal blog. The goal would be to set it up _properly_.
Licensing is a good topic to include too.
@bookwar @cadadr @liw That would be a good start, but IMO the key part is teaching students how to cooperate with others, not just how to use tools on a proof-of-concept demonstration. I like the idea of not focusing on the code itself, but I think it would be abstract and boring if there wasn't some real code involved, even if it's a small, simple CLI tool.
@bookwar @be @liw I kinda took a stab at that: back in the first sem of my MA, I was to introduce my colleagues to programming as soc-sci students through a couple sessions, so I started prepping material, but it stalled and didn't take off. This intro was produced https://gkayaalp.com/blog/20200123_what_is_prog.html and a lot of notes, the goal was to teach them enough so that they could productively and quickly learn what they needed, and what to look for & where. It's a project I wish get back to tho, maybe a book or sth
@bookwar @be @liw The idea in general is to respect the learners' intellectual capacity and diversity in how they work, and instead of micromanaging their learning, to rather show them enough that they have the knowledge needed to make their decisions, and where they need to learn, they know enough to plan how to do that most effectively.
The point of the text in blog post was to answer some "why" and "what" questions that could undermine and distract from that process.
@cadadr @liw How about integrating a short 20-30 minute lecture or video screening into install fests? How about producing guides to help people gradually replace proprietary applications with free applications until they no longer are tied to proprietary applications on a proprietary OS and can switch their OS?
@liw Who are the opposite of Free Software Movement? Open Source and Ethical Software. They signed the open letter. So, I already don't see any weight to this. They're probably trying to weaken competition. Things like that happened to Linux as well. So both GNU & Linux got attacked.
FSF was complained against by Leah from Libreboot and left GNU. But later it turned out it was a misunderstanding. This is also a misunderstanding and it probably won't last long.
@liw I think the very existence of the open letter is owed to the fact that the free software movement has grown itself a whole new generation of leaders.
@liw I share opinion with you on this matter.
"We don’t need leaders with power, or with authority. We need thought leaders, who can persuade and convince people to do right things, and people who set good examples. We need many of them."
@lxo I don't recognize myself in your description. I claim that I certainly can be convinced by new information. However, you don't provide any, you rant and attack. I don't find there is any point in engaging with someone who's first reaction is to to do that.
@lxo @liw I share your concerns but I think your response to addressing them is misguided. I'm sure Microsoft and Apple and Google are delighted to see Stallman criticized and removed from leadership. But I don't think that means we shouldn't do it. We can more effectively fight our adversaries by decentralizing leadership and building a bigger, broader, more inclusive movement than relying on the will of one man (who of course is only mortal and won't be around forever anyway).
@lxo @liw This reminds me of the story of Leland Smith and the SCORE software he wrote for sheet music engraving. He refused to let anyone continue his legacy, and as a result the software became unmaintained and abandoned. Fortunately the MuseScore community has kept it alive in their new music font inspired by Leland's work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGo4PJd1lng&t=971s
Lars and friends