everything wrong with free software
"obedience breeds foolishness"
*originally posted:* mar 2022
generally speaking (few exceptions exist) gnu projects that are part of the coup are not included in the more libre software database. it would be better to include none of them, though what for example, is the alternative to gnupg? not using it? for some projects this would work, but for gnupg it really doesnt. we are possibly stuck with it for now (and for years to come). decisions to include traitors are made with more weight than any other decision-- tor for the most extreme example, is even recommended (their treachery is also noted).
although use of such projects is recommended (rarely, and under protest) funding them is not-- this is not an easy nor hopefully a common decision, because doing it as a general course of action would defeat the entire purpose of the mlsd. there are (arguably) no browsers better for your freedom than tor-browser at this time. thats a condemnation of the web itself, and one of many reasons that web-based projects are listed in a lower category. moving away from the web is a good idea.
also included are a few projects that use github. two of the most prominent examples of this are no longer github-based, and have actually gone to the effort of migrating to other repos. they are listed via their github urls (as they were during forking and migration which started in late 2021) until the entries are edited to list the new repos. its not that these projects dont deserve recognition for doing this, but it has more to do with the level of organisation that is still being established with the listings.
but i declared gnu dead in september 2021, and months ago added that gnu will collapse with 7 years. people have tried to claim that gnu is independent from the fsf-- that is more of a farce than a truth, gnu lives mostly under the roof of the fsf who hold the copyright, trademark and physical infrastructure-- at least, that much is mostly true whenever it is not true of microsoft or ibm instead! but then thats exactly the sort of thing the mlsd is all about.
for gnome, which is traitorous repeatedly over the course of years (if not decades), most gnome-related projects (not always including gtk) are simply removed. why? gnome is both unforkable (i think mate more or less proves this, even if it valiantly tried to demonstrate the opposite) and unjustifiable. there are no plans to include gtk4 in the mlsd. why bother? gtk3 is frowned upon, and gtk2 was as good as it ever got.
for kde, which generally shows complete apathy towards the user having control of their computing, kde applications are moved to the "who are we kidding?" section. this is less for the purpose of mocking gnome and more to acknowledge its completely lacklustre status as a project with anything to do with freedom. perhaps qt is more to blame-- though when the leader of kde (as he did) joined the coup, it is tempting to remove kde from the list altogether. its important to note then, that while gnome is generally a den of freedom-hating trolls and frothing hypocritical corporate fanboys, kde should maybe not be collectively blamed for its horrible and traitorous leader. kde will probably never be forkable again and meet the same fate as gtk2, but theres no rush right now.
being moved to the who-are-we-kidding section need not be a life sentence; for example, if a project is forked it may not receive the same level of condemnation if the fork is of a different nature. mate is mostly ineligible if for no other reason than being github-based. mate proves the unforkability of gnome better than it proves the opposite, but this is gnomes (and even debians) fault more than it is mates fault most likely. all a project needs to do to move out of this lower section is sufficiently demonstrate that it stands for freedom; projects are listed there because this is unlikely to ever happen, yet its remains to be decided if they are truly ineligible for the list.
removing gnu from the mlsd any time soon would not likely serve the interests of rating these projects, but the fsf and even gnu developers are doing so little to stand up for their own (alleged) values that its time to make a very bold statement about this, and move gnu where it truly belongs on the list. projects will be selected individually for this, until one proves itself sufficiently. projects with people who signed the pro-rms list (rms being a symbol for the the free speech and core values of the movement gnu allegedly stands for) are the least likely to be moved down the list at all.
freedom is a process, not a product. lieplanet and the fsf have become malevolent forces turned against both users and freedom, and this has gone on for too long. apathy is not sufficient justification to carry the gnu banner, because the gnu-hosting-fsf and gnu itself have started to rot in terms of the freedom they give to users.
in an ideal world, the gnu developers would focus on the software more, and value freedom. the two cannot be separated, but in an ideal world the fsf would promote freedom while the gnu project builds it.
neither of these things happen anymore. many gnu developers build treachery, the fsf is weaponised against its own cause, and the vast majority of other gnu developers do nothing about it.
lets give credit where credit is due-- please speak up for any gnu developers who do not fit this description. a few exceptions are already worth nothing.
but a few exceptions, while honourable, do not a free software flagship make. gnu was the flagship of the fsf and the movement itself. it has been destroyed. it is unlikely to recover. but you are very welcome to try.
my prognosis for free software itself is not entirely bleak-- we must have free software, for the same reasons we must have free culture-- the works of society belong to society, not to a powerful minority of gatekeepers who exploit and control the rest of society for profit. rms has too often made too much of the (real, but minor) distinction between software and cultural works in this regard-- free culture advocates in turn make too little of the importance of free software. these are both tragedies.
but both of these efforts are so important that (as long as there is a society) it is somewhat pointless to abandon them entirely; it would be almost as absurd as abandoning the idea of art, or abandoning the idea of doing scientific research.
because of the sheer importance, i believe we will get this right eventually. right now, nearly everyone is getting it horribly wrong and letting a movement die. there are some potential opportunities on the horizon, though people who stood against our freedom cannot be trusted-- some of the people with good ideas trust the people who stabbed us in the back too much-- and on our behalf. lxo for example, calls for unity with traitors. this is like roosters calling for unity (and sharing their home) with crocodiles.
unity with traitors and people who seek to destroy our freedom does nothing more than hand over our movement to those who would weaponise it against its own cause. it was the big-ticket item on the open source wishlist. along such lines, enmity is a better course of action than unity. yes, we seek to make every user free, but some people seek to take away our freedom-- it is usually a bad idea to say "lets meet in the middle then" but such rules may have occasional exceptions. (most of the time, such exceptions have proven to be a bad idea).
the status of gnu lies somewhere between "traitor" and "doormat". a doormat is no ally, it will neither help nor allow anyone to defend it properly. the fact that gnu is more of a doormat than a traitor no longer matters-- what matters is that gnu (on the whole) does not stand for freedom, or indeed anything whatsoever. it is dead, starting to reek, and if we seek freedom we have no choice but to move away from it.
should anyone find a way to actually salvage gnu, that may create another choice. as that hypothetical option has existed for years, with no takers-- indeed as things have gotten ever worse-- we should really get away from gnu until someone has a REAL (and effective) plan to save it. after all, the source code is-- right there. just take it and-- what? thats not... i mean, thats the whole point! it seems pretty obvious no one is going to do that. but they are still very welcome to try.