|FROM ||firstname.lastname@example.org (Alfred M. Szmidt)
|SUBJECT ||Re: A GNU “social contract”?
|Is it meant as a short summary of what the GNU project does? I could
see how it would serve such purpose, but then it isn't a contract. If
it is a contract, who is agreeing to it? The GNU project? In that
case, those goals are already written in the GNU manifesto, no?
What is the exact _goal_ of this text?
Apart from rare historical exceptions, all software written by the GNU Project
is distributed under copyleft licenses, designed to ensure that developers
cannot strip off users' freedom from GNU software.
This would exclude those cases where we might want to distribute
something under a non-copyleft license for strategical reasons. Not a
GNU project case, but a good example, when RMS argued that Ogg/Vorbis
would be better served under a permissive license than a copyleft
license, as a means to replace MP3.
* The GNU Project provides a consistent system
The GNU Project develops, in the form of GNU packages, an operating system
and a set of applications, the GNU system. GNU package developers work
together to ensure consistency across packages. GNU packages should follow
the design and development guidelines of the GNU Project.
The GNU system isn't just GNU packages, there are many non-GNU
packages that also make up the GNU system, that the GNU project
* The GNU Project welcomes contributions from all and everyone
The GNU Project wants to give everyone the opportunity of contributing to
its efforts on any of the many tasks that require work. It welcomes all
contributors, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
level of experience, or any other personal characteristics. It commits to
providing a harassment-free experience for all contributors.
This is quite different than what we our guidelines say, it would be
best to use that text instead:
The GNU Project encourages contributions from anyone who wishes to
advance the development of the GNU system, regardless of gender, race,
ethnic group, physical appearance, religion, cultural background, and
any other demographic characteristics, as well as personal political
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