everything wrong with free software
"free as in speech"
*originally posted:* oct 2021
### where is the project?
=> mlsd-log.html mlsd-log
### why did you remove a project that only used github as a mirror?
a lot of projects claim to only use github as a "mirror" though in practice its more than that.
with that said, actual mirrors usually arent a major problem. theyre a red flag, because sometimes mirrors are the first step towards migration, and this is worth noting. but with literally thousands of removals, its possible (even likely) that some mistakes were made. YOU try going through 1000s of projects like this.
but its not impossible for a project to get re-listed. the vast majority of removals were with due cause, but mistakes are not sacred-- theyre often better fixed than left that way. the trick is making the mistake obvious enough (or sometimes simply worthwhile) to fix. removals are a FEATURE-- this list is supposed to make people MORE free. projects that sell users to microsoft are mostly not worth it.
### so this list is github-free?
no, its HEAVILY github-resistant. youre (extremely) welcome to create a github-free competitor, that would be cool. even gnew recommends a few projects that are github-based, such as noweb. this list is gnew sympathetic-- as for the best course of action for github-based projects that are listed, it would be ideal to fork (or at least, mirror) them. github is like facebook for software development-- surveillance, manipulation and monopoly. it runs entirely counter to the spirit of free software, by design. the fsf used to have a not-on-facebook campaign-- what the fuck happened to the fsf?
### doesnt it send mixed signals to allow anything at all from github?
no, if anything some of these projects ought to be salvaged. mlsd simply focuses on the projects that are best candidates for salvage. that is, it focuses on that regarding the entries that are github-based.
### so its just a (mostly) github-free software directory?
no, its a MORE LIBRE software directory. this list has no sympathy for github, no sympathy for gnome (or linux) and more or less proposes that we WALK AWAY from traitors and backstabbers as well. if a program is freely licensed then youre free to take it with you, but if you dont make a real effort to walk away then you continue to feed the problem.
### werent you in favour of a less passive response to the coup?
when i talk about "walking away" from backstabbers and traitors (and corporations) i mean in the terms of boycotting and not helping github. ive researched what a 100% boycott would take. youre free to try it, but i dont think its possible. theyre holding onto too much.
an active response is alright, but boycotting github (at least as much as possible) is "walking away" from it; it isnt necessarily a passive response.
the goal of boycotting github as much as possible is to eventually boycott it 100%. its possible to work your way towards a goal like that sincerely, without the real goal being compromise and ceding the fight (like open source did). open source has always belittled the real goal of all software being free, because open source was never about freedom; its goal was to recapture people who were walking away from software that gave companies control of their freedom. and it has achieved that, unfortunately. the best thing to do is to pick up the fight where it left off, but the fsf is not doing that-- not anymore. it is defunct.
### what gives you the right to do this?
every user has the right to do this. im exercising the right.
### isnt this copyright infringement?
oh, you mean the copyrightability of databases? this is a fork, and im reasonably confident that this is being rebuilt in a way thats kosher (at worst, extremely close to being kosher). the gnu.fools are committing shameless trademark fraud, but the fsf doesnt have the gnuts to do anything about it because of optics.
this project on the other hand, is probably untouchable in that regard. youd need lawyers to go to battle to be sure, but if they try theyre going to look sco-like stupid.
this is activism-- if debian decides to build a distro (or "spin") based on the fsd, is THAT copyright infringement? probably not; you have to ask yourself why the fsd even exists. all the fsf can do is make it look like theyre hoarding information. the database im building is far too different for them to do more than whinge a little.
besides, in the unlikely event that i have to make changes to "kasher" the database, thats the most likely outcome. instead of doing that later, im making what i consider a good faith effort to do that ahead of time, but the fsf prefers to extend advice and olive branches before they get lawyers involved. i wont accept an olive branch, but that doesnt mean i will necessarily ignore their legal advice.
its probably moot, since it wont be the same database (or the same data). most of the "data" in the original is getting thrown out from the start, along with nearly 20% of the index.
### 20% of the index?
thats roughly the percentage of nakedly github-based entries in the fsd: 19.9%. of course some of those are false positives, but there should be more false negatives. so yeah, 20%. and thats before you count dependencies. plus gnome is getting the axe for the most part as well.
even the gnu project (hundreds of entries) will be pared down-- you think every project thats part of gnu gives a shit about your freedom? how closely have you looked? do you know how many gnu developers are (de facto) working for github? the gnu.fools have defrauded stallman and the entire public-- they dont care about your freedom, they lied and stabbed every single user on earth in the back.
the 20% refers solely to github. thats 19.9% of 17,915. but that exact number already changed this week.
### why recommend LESS free software than the fsd?
are you kidding? why should the fsd recommend software that makes users LESS free? either they dont have a better idea, they simply dont give a shit, or they care and cant do anything. we can out-freedom them on all three counts.
### dont you think people will ignore this and just use the original?
most people probably will. this isnt likely to kill the original, it will simply provide an alternative to people who take freedom more seriously (like the fsf used to).
apart from any practical use, there is a symbolic aspect to this as well, like when gandhi made salt. people will be able to compare the two projects, and draw whatever conclusions or glean whatever wisdom they do from it.
another practical aspect of this is that if youre trying to boycott something as big as github, this will do more than a little to help you get started-- and it will (probably) help more (thoroughly) with that than any other project even can. if youre trying to boycott github in a serious way, this will provide an architecture.
### is the "lsd" a nod to apples co-founding tech tycoon?
no, youre reading it from the middle. read it from the left, and it says "mls", which is a degree in library science. i considered "mfsd" too, which avoids the non-deliberate psychedelic reference (im also a beatles fan, so perhaps i was just referring to lucy) and you can have lots of fun with that acronym too-- but i settled on mlsd for the sole reason that it says what it intends to be: which is MORE LIBRE. the rest of the letters are a nod to its origins.
### when will we be able to see this list?
i wont make any promises, but i thought savegnu was slow-going to the point of being obtuse. and thats just one example, its commonplace these days to find things that take too long to get off the ground, because theyre trying to start "big" instead of starting smaller and growing.
so im aiming for a schedule that is faster than the talk about savegnu. ive been listening to "too funky" by george michael on loop for hours and hours and hours, working on this. more people will probably see the list before they find this faq.