[glugot] [Fsf-friends] Freedom, Merit and Control

  • From: Joe Steeve <joe_steeve@xxxxxxx>
  • To: glugot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 13:37:56 +0530 (IST)

Subject: [Fsf-friends] Freedom, Merit and Control
From: Krishna Pagadala <krishnaact@xxxxxxxxx>
To: fsf-friends@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 19:53:16 -0700 (PDT)

There was an interesting discussion on who controls
Free Software development process. I thought that
three  distinct ideas were intermixed, when they
should not have been. I am writing out my thoughts on
the ideas. 

i) Freedom
   Free software is all about Freedom, and nobody can
dictate what you can and cannot do with such software.
In other words nobody has control (`cracy`) over
anybody else.
 With regard to the linux kernel it was written that 
"Linus  Torvalds controls  the  kernel development

That is not true Linus only controls his own tree, he
cannot control anybody else's tree. Anybody and
everybody can have their own kernel tree and kernel
development process.

Also he does not have a road map of where the kernel
is going, and in that sense where Linux kernel goes is
more of a collaborative effort than a form of `cracy`

ii) Merit
    I think that Linus tree has more merit in the
sense that it fits the needs of various people, that
any other tree I have a hope of building myself.

    It has been written on this list that 
"Linus Torvalds has much more influence in the future
direction of Linux than I have."

    I am entirely in agreement with the idea of his
having an influence on the kernel.
   Altough his influence comes from the merit of his
ideas, he still does not have control, and if some of
his ideas do not have merit they must be discarded.

iii) Control
    I am not a believer in control (coercion),
whatever disguised form it might take.

    It has been written on this list that 
"Generally open source software is a meritocracy -
the "best choice" is purely based on a meritocracy.
meritocracy is how all of this functions."

   I think that we must base our decisions on merit,
however the fact that a persons ideas have merit
should not mean that the person gains some form of
control. `Cracy` can be and should be seperated out
from merit.

   I think free software is about being able to
recognize merit in each other and therefore build a
better society, while retaining freedom. i.e. without
giving up freedom, and without giving control to


To Reflect, to Inspire and to Empower

Free the code, free the user.
Homepage : http://www.joesteeve.tk/
Web-log  : http://gnukid.blogspot.com/

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