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Re: PLEASE SHUT UP! Was: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

On Jun 25, 2008, Richard Hughes <hughsient gmail com> wrote:

> On Tue, 2008-06-24 at 22:21 -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> And then, "shut up or I'll leave" is quite tempting.  If you don't
>> want to participate, just don't.

> You are posting this from your @redhat.com email address. As a fellow
> Red Hatter, I want you to stop posting from your corporate email, and
> instead use something else (maybe oliva gnu org might be best). Doing
> so makes the community think this is the view of Red Hat, when quite
> clearly it's not.

That's quite a leap of logic.

It doesn't follow that, if I use say my gmail address, I'm speaking on
behalf of Google; if I post from my GNU address, I was speaking on
behalf of the GNU Project; if I write from my university address, I'm
speaking on behalf of the university; if I post from my FSFLA address,
I'm speaking on behalf of FSFLA; if I post from my ACM or IEEE
addresses, I'm speaking on behalf of these associations; etc, etc.

All of these assumptions would be just as unwarranted as assuming I'm
speaking on behalf of Red Hat.

Even more so when my signature you read and picked on earlier states
I'm a compiler engineer and I'm clearly not talking about compiler
issues.  If you look at it, you'll see there's more of 'free software
philosophy activist' in there than there is 'free software code
monkey', which is quite in line with my personal priorities.

> If you are indeed writing these emails in work time,

I'm not, but then I am, but then I'm not.  It's hard to tell.  Red Hat
formally supports my work at FSFLA, and I work on linux-libre and on
promoting awareness of Free Software for FSFLA, so you could count
that as (voluntary) work time if you wanted to.

But my decision to invest time on this thread, and FSFLA's general
guidance for me to put time into linux-libre and spread awareness of
Free Software issues in general is not something my manager or Red Hat
would have any say on, and it didn't cost Red Hat anything other than
it would have cost if I had used any other e-mail address.

> Sorry to sound harsh,

No reason to apologize.

> but I _am_ part of Red Hat and you are making _me_ look bad.

Now you lost me.  Please help me understand what you're getting at.

Why would speaking of Free Software, promoting freedom, clarifying
common misunderstandings of the Free Software philosophy, of copyleft,
and of the GPL, make us look bad?  Red Hat does all of that on its

Why would discussing Fedora policies on the mailing list where Fedora
policies are discussed make us bad?

Now, maybe some developers' allergy to policies that are not strictly
technical suggests a need for a mailing lists in which such policies
could be discussed.  Of course they'd then be better advised to follow
those lists as well, otherwise they'd not participate in discussions
that would affect them as much as or even more than strictly technical
policies.  And then we'd have created a list for the purposes of
either keeping people uninformed about ongoing discussions, or for the
purpose of requiring people to subscribe to multiple lists for the
sake of remaining informed.

None of these sound better than what we have now, and it sounds to me
like the only ways to avoid this kind of argument you've just started
would be to get people to understand that some discussions will take
place that won't be interesting to them, or to rule out certain kinds
of discussions from Fedora.

Based on Fedora's history, I wouldn't expect Fedora to rule out
discussions on moral and ethical principles related with software
freedom, as well as on goals and policies to comply with them, even
when such discussions make some people here uncomfortable.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva {lsd ic unicamp br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva {redhat com, gcc.gnu.org}

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