GNU means GNU

On Monday, a group of GNU Project maintainers, the free operating system created by Richard Stallman, questioned Stallman's leadership and issued a joint statement to rethink how the project should be managed in the future.

At the end of last month, after resigning as president of the Free Foundation following catastrophically insensitive statements published on an MIT mailing list and a violent reaction on social networks, Stallman also seemed to resign as head of the GNU Project .

A statement that said both appeared on his personal website. But then he disappeared, leaving speculation that his site had been hacked.

In an email to The Register Matt Lee, a free and open source software developer and one of the 18 signatories of the statement board, offered support for that theory.

"As for his website was disfigured, Stallman's personal site has been hosted by the Internet positively in the United Kingdom for a long time and has many volunteers who update parts of the site daily," said Lee.

"I would expect someone who had access at some time but had been inactive to update their site. It seems that the error was detected quite quickly and Stallman seems to be the owner of his domain once again."

"Pressure & # 39;

In other publications and messages, Stallman has insisted that he will continue to monitor the GNU Project.

After announcing his resignation as president of the Free Software Foundation, a decision he attributed" to the pressure on the Foundation and I on a series of misunderstandings "In the mailing list message it was clear that he plans to continue directing the GNU Project.

" On September 16, I resigned as president of the Free Software Foundation, but the GNU Project and the FSF are not the same, "he wrote." I remain the head of the GNU Project (the GNUisance Chief), and I intend to continue as such. "

The header of Stallman's personal website He currently says so much: "I am still the GNUisance Chief of the GNU Project. I have no intention of stopping him in the short term. "

And in response to a query from The Register Stallman reiterated that he will not go anywhere." I do not intend to resign as head of the GNU Project "He could accept incremental changes in the way some decisions are made if I am sure that will not lead to unlimited radical changes."

Bad behavior

Eighteen maintainers of the GNU Project argue otherwise. Joint declaration, of only a handful of the estimated 300 and 400 responsible for the maintenance of the project, recognizes Stallman's decades of work to advance the cause of free software, but maintains that his behavior over the years has undermined efforts of the project to empower all computer users. 19659002] "GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader distances a large part of those to whom we want to arrive, "says the statement. "We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent every GNU."

The memo asks GNU managers to come together and decide how the project should be organized. "The GNU project that we want to build is one that everyone can trust to defend their freedom," says the statement.

The GNU maintenance memo follows a statement issued by the Free Software Foundation on Sunday. The FSF said that because Stallman founded the GNU Project and the FSF, and until recently he had led both, the relationship between the two organizations continues to change.

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"Since RMS resigned as president of the FSF, but not as head of GNU, the FSF is now working with the GNU leadership in a shared understanding of the relationship for the future, "said the FSF.

Lee said that the two organizations have been intertwined for so long, the FSF provides GNU with financial, technical and promotional assistance, that their relationship is confusing. "For example, the GNU GPL is published by the FSF, not GNU," said Lee. "The key infrastructure on which GNU depends is owned by the FSF, and is used by GNU projects and not GNU equally."

"I am personally disappointed that Richard is choosing to continue as a GNU leader," said Lee. "I think the GNU Advisory Committee is better suited to lead things. I think that both the FSF board and the GAC need deadlines and I hope they implement them."

Lee expressed optimism that the free software movement can become more coherent and supportive, noting that he is part of a newly launched project,, to help make that happen. "I just want people who contribute to the free and open source community to come together and feel welcome," he said. ®

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