everything wrong with free software
"obedience breeds foolishness"
*originally posted:* jan 2022
*update:* jan 2022
when i ran an organisation dedicated to free computing, it was done in the likeness of an application; this meant you could make copies of it and fork it as well.
the thrive guidelines were created to maintain the integrity of several instances and forks of that application, allowing each to explore different issues and potentially collaborate (voluntarily) on key issues.
2021 was a good first year for ewwfs:
=> an-entire-year-of-ewwfs.html an-entire-year-of-ewwfs
i accomplished more than i expected to. one of the original goals was to stand up to techrights and its spiteful, treacherous and long-running campaign against a former contributor (me). i really just wanted to leave, roy treated me more like property than a person, and i still owe him for what he did to me-- and to other people whose generosity he exploited. the main issue here is someone using and abusing people, with lies, deceit, arbitrary punishment and with everything under false pretenses.
just as important was to continue the work that i had done while i was there, which is also the work i was doing BEFORE i was there, and in that regard too i would say that it was a pretty good year.
this agenda is about more than just transparency-- it wouldnt be the first website (or development page) to talk about upcoming plans, even blogs do that sometimes.
this page should be a reasonable summary of plans for 2022, which may even help someone who wants to contribute, fork or adapt this to something of their own.
### first item: a continuation of directory work from 2021
the first half of january has seen the pagination of most of the more libre software directory, nearing the phase where additional data is added.
to get to this point, title data had to be extracted from thousands of pages online-- this was very useful in discovering which projects had moved (to github for example) or were no longer online. this data is still being processed and the pages are still being organised.
the pages are presently sorted automatically, using a case-sensitive method. this is a common caveat in such websites but it is less useful for someone who is trying to find something by name, not by literal string. this should be given further consideration and possibly fixed.
### second item: the open source coup against free software
techrights has foolishly advanced a narrative that the coup is not ongoing, as if they were forced at any point to "regroup" due to some imaginary failure.
this is misleading on their part; each coup-related event has expanded their range of influence and put stallman and the fsf in a worse situation. efforts by the fsf to reestablish a "business as usual" facade are to expected from the satir change model and derivative models of organisational change; what appears to be the fsf "fixing" problems looks to me more like theyre cementing the changes in place. people who assume incorrectly that this was a small plan involving few people who are now gone, really should note the uncanny comparisons with what happened to linux and torvalds-- and even other fsf-related organisations (i mean the fsfe, not osi-- although osi does have an interesting story at least).
opportunities will likely present themselves to discuss the coup further; what techrights says is the coup "regrouping" is actually the coup taking over the front page of the fsf website and becoming the status quo within the gnu project. im not sure how relevant the gnu.fools agenda is presently to the overall picture, but the fsf has decided to do nothing about it which i think will lead to dilution or genericisation of the gnu trademark-- just as ibm erodes the fsfs control of its copyright.
in 2019 or possibly even before, techrights ran a story about gnu/linux (or free software) being carved up by corporations. this is accurate; gnu is being liquidated. ewwfs has discussed various perspectives around the idea of salvaging gnu and keeping it in the hands of grassroots activists, while corporations seize control over the main project.
these are trends that will continue, and techrights has no plan other than to wait and occasionally bullshit.
the plan for ewwfs is to continue prioritising parts of gnu that (for now) remain vital, to encourage activists to replace or maintain them separately from the corporations taking control of and sabotaging them.
its worth noting that this plan is most likely to fail in the short run; in the long run it may help, though we are going to lose more of the gnu project before we begin to salvage anything. salvage is not just about mirroring, its about organising efforts around mirrored projects. the volunteer developers associated with gnu and the fsf have absolutely sold out; some are traitors, more are apathetic or clueless as to what has happened, others simply accept the status quo while others assume (without any basis at all) that they are actively defending it somehow. there are good people in the gnu project, the question is how many and what good that is doing now.
the new fsf is a fake, gnu is corporate servitude posing as freedom, and this is not what either of these were created to accomplish. the free software movement will split into two factions: the treacherous corporate-serving side that has sympathised and sided with open source, and the side that will no longer bear this corruption. techrights of course, will schmooze the open source side (techrights works for open source) while claiming to be on the side of freedom. in this sense techrights is part of the coup, but only because it is stupid enough to fall for their bullshit (and because techrights only pretends not to work for open source when roy literally does, for money).
most of the (planned) ewwfs response to the coup will play out in the more libre software database, but additional strategies may be considered.
### third item: possible further distancing from techrights
i tried to leave techrights (TWICE) in 2020-- first in august (but roy lied, i believed him and stayed) then again (more forcefully) in december. that would have been the end of it, but for months roy ran a smear campaign against me where he even lied to stallman (one of my favourite people on earth, and in computing history) to smear me. i started ewwfs as an act of self defence against this smear campaign, and to continue the work i was doing before and during my time writing at techrights.
without the smear campaign and various lies and other bullshit, i would have simply started a website about other issues (basically everything EXCEPT what happened at techrights). it was roy who repeatedly tried to get me to stay, punished me severely for walking away, and then even fabricated my return months later! he really does think he OWNS YOU, people. you are his PROPERTY. hes got that much ego-- to him, your entire identity and existence is BASED on his own, NOT on yours. to paraphrase mitt romneys take on his american presidential campaign, your own existence will not "be dictated by facts"-- roys treatment of you (indeed, of everything else) will happen DESPITE facts.
2022 COULD BE a year spent further from techrights. when i started ewwfs, i quoted david sheridan (captain sheridans father from babylon 5) who said "never start a fight, always finish it".
to be honest, i doubt the fight is finished-- i plan to continue to respond to sneak attacks and side attacks from roy. but as far as the proactive response to techrights i demonstrated in 2021, i envision a slower-paced and somewhat more conservative campaign this year, more of a cold war. as of december, roy has planned to do more videos-- im seeing a video with (nearly?) every subject he covers now. the videos are NOT freely licensed-- this is a surprise, because techrights has always (as long as ive known about it) used a (free) creative commons license for roys articles at least-- they are the bulk of the website by far.
with the blanket / template license and various contributions being published as exceptions to the template, roys no-derivs licensed video posts include text that makes it completely ambiguous (and even doubtful) that the accompanying text is freely licensed.
this effectively means that anything i would respond to this year appears to possibly be non-freely licensed, and fair use doesnt guarantee that i can respond to things line-for-line if i want (as i strongly prefer) nor does it really tell me how much i can reuse. techrights is considerably less free now, but a bit of clarification (roy wont bother, hes always been lazy and ambiguous about this sort of thing) could make it possible to produce derivative articles again per the sites license.
since clarification is unlikely (and im not going to bother emailing someone who spent two years lying to me to ask about this-- fix it on the website or dont bother fixing it) ill probably just comment less, keeping it aggregate and summarised. it wont stop me from directly responding to lies regarding or otherwise aimed at me, it does mean ill probably talk less / often about techrights.
curve balls are the only kind roy throws, so this could always change. an agenda doesnt preclude the option of staying flexible on matters that require it.
an upcoming article ought to describe what remains of my relationship to techrights, including how i make use of it in the present. my involvement was never truly official, and roy has given warning that he might try to straw man that, but he may have realised thats pointless. actually, no, nothing really stops him if he wants to bullshit about something. but whatever.
### fourth item: continuing the exodus from a corporate-owned and corrupt free software movement / organisations
this is covered partly (and probably implied by) the second item, though it really deserves its own mention.
ive read and reviewed "digital vegan", its an excellent book and may provide insight into what the free software movement can become-- as the status quo continues to splinter the old guard and stallman continues to get replaced (as osi was) by people working for microsoft.
digital veganism is not our sole option, but it is one with real potential. i have yet to see vegans who-- actually no, they exist-- they simply arent vegans, but VINO: vegan in name only. compare that to projects today that are filo: free in license only.
### fifth item:
the agenda doesnt have a fifth item yet, but its only january.