post: Add post on GNU and RMS.
[software/elephly-net.git] / posts / 2019-09-17-rms-gnu.md
1 title: Thoughts on GNU and Richard Stallman
2 date: 2019-09-17 14:05
3 tags: planet-fsfe-en, free software, gnu, rms
4 ---
5
6 Richard Stallman has [resigned as president and from the board of
7 directors of the Free Software
8 Foundation](https://www.fsf.org/news/richard-m-stallman-resigns). I
9 welcome this decision.
10
11 As a co-maintainer of GNU packages (including Guix, the Guix Workflow
12 Language, the Guile Picture Language, etc), and as a contributor to
13 various other GNU software, I would like to state that while I'm
14 grateful for Richard Stallman's founding of the GNU project and his
15 past contributions to GNU, it would be wrong to continue to remain
16 silent on the negative effects his behaviour and words have had over
17 the past years. His actions have hurt people and alienated them from
18 the free software movement.
19
20 When I joined GNU I used to think of Richard as just a bit of a quirky
21 person with odd habits, with a passion for nitpicking and clear
22 language, but also with a vision of freeing people from oppression at
23 the hands of a boring dystopia mediated by computers. Good
24 intentions, however, aren't enough. Richard's actions over the past
25 years sadly have been detrimental to achieving the vision that he
26 outlined in the [GNU
27 Manifesto](https://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.html), to benefit all
28 computer users.
29
30 GNU's not Unix, but Richard ain't GNU either (RAGE?). GNU is bigger
31 than any one person, even its founder. I'm still convinced that GNU
32 has an important role to play towards providing a harmonized,
33 trustworthy, freedom-respecting operating system environment that
34 benefits all computer users. I call upon other maintainers of GNU
35 software to embrace the responsibilities that working on a social
36 project such as GNU brings. The GNU Manifesto states that "GNU serves
37 as an example to inspire and a banner to rally others to join us in
38 sharing". Let us do that by welcoming people of all backgrounds into
39 GNU and by working hard to provide a healthy environment for fruitful
40 collaboration.