So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish.

GnuPG - User mailing list
There's a song I really enjoy[*] with a line that always hits me as
being both beautiful and wise:

        "You talk far too much for someone so unkind."

I first heard of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation in
1995.  For twenty-six years I've supported the FSF and FSFE in a variety
of different ways.  For these twenty-six years, Richard Stallman has
been at the forefront of the FSF.  In all that time I have trouble
remembering when I have ever seen him be kind.

My direct experiences with him have all been frustrating.  I know many
hackers whose direct experiences have been harrowing.  I do not know a
single hacker whose direct experiences have been marked by kindness.

Last year when the FSF removed him from the Board of Directors, I
welcomed the news.  I hoped the FSF would appoint better leaders.  They
did not: instead, they've reappointed him to the board.

None of us have to tolerate toxic leadership.  We can always leave.  For
that reason, I'm stepping down as the FAQ maintainer.  It was never a
particularly big job, but I tried to do it responsibly.  I will also be
ending my financial support of the FSF, FSFE, and affiliated groups for
so long as Richard Stallman has influence in these organizations.

I'm not leaving the mailing list.  I'm not leaving the community.
You'll continue to see me around.  And, should Richard Stallman resign
or be removed from positions of influence in the FSF and FSFE, I will be
happy to pick up the FAQ maintainer role again.

Thank you, Werner, for the chance to contribute to GnuPG (in my
admittedly small way).  It's been a true pleasure doing this.

Be kind.  Expect kindness.  Especially demand kindness from your leaders.

[*] "Leave a Trace" by Churches.

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Bernhard Reiter-7
Dear Robert,

Am Dienstag 23 März 2021 06:59:44 schrieb Robert J. Hansen via Gnupg-users:
> None of us have to tolerate toxic leadership. We can always leave.  For
> that reason, I'm stepping down as the FAQ maintainer.

thanks for your contributions to GnuPG and its FAQ!

(And I hope there will be more to come
as you wrote you'll be staying on this list.)

> I will also be ending my financial support of the FSF, FSFE,
> and affiliated groups for so long as Richard Stallman has influence
> in these organizations.

Slightly off topic explanation as I am with the FSFE:
The FSFE is an independent sister organisation with a separate
leadership, and the framework agreement FSFE has with FSF does not give a
single person a special influcence or one of the organisations a special
power over the other.  (You may still be critical of both organisations and
their leaderships and the influence a person from FSF may have on what is
associated with the names, this is not the right list to discuss it.
But you should be aware about the structural independence.)

Best Regards,
Bernhard
--
www.intevation.de/~bernhard   +49 541 33 508 3-3
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

GnuPG - User mailing list
> The FSFE is an independent sister organisation with a separate
> leadership, and the framework agreement FSFE has with FSF does not give a
> single person a special influcence or one of the organisations a special
> power over the other.

Regardless of whether he officially has power, he clearly unofficially
has power.  He's contacted me a few times over the years to insist on
changes to the FAQ, usually over incredibly silly details like saying
our pronunciation guidance was wrong because we advised people to
pronounce GNU as two syllables, guh-NOO.  When I spoke to someone within
FSFE (name omitted for their privacy) about his 'help', I was told to
just do what he wanted in order to make him go away.

If the FSFE was independent of Stallman, no one would feel the need to
appease him.

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Bernhard Reiter-7
Am Dienstag 23 März 2021 10:23:32 schrieb Robert J. Hansen via Gnupg-users:
> Regardless of whether he officially has power, he clearly unofficially
> has power.  He's contacted me a few times over the years to insist on
> changes to the FAQ, usually over incredibly silly details like saying
> our pronunciation guidance was wrong because we advised people to
> pronounce GNU as two syllables, guh-NOO.

GnuPG used to be an official part of the GNU project.
(But this is less relevant now. Personally I believe the GNU project should
have been declared successfully concluded a few years ago. And work
restructured.) So yes, RMS had some influence over GnuPG. I don't think I've
heard about anything in this regard for years. So just like anybody: If he
would send a nice patch or suggestion, we'd look at it.

> When I spoke to someone within FSFE (name omitted for their privacy) about
> his 'help', I was told to just do what he wanted in order to make him go
> away.

I doubt that this was an official advise from FSFE. ;)
This probably was practical advise within the GNU projects development teams:
If the requests are small and you have no particular reasons to not make them,
doing them is a way to handle them quickly. (My personal perspective is that
RMS has done some good work and deserves credit for that, but he can be (and
should be) criticised for the bad stuff he did, too.)

Best Regards,
Bernhard

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Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

GnuPG - User mailing list
On Tue, 23 Mar 2021 14:34, Bernhard Reiter said:

> restructured.) So yes, RMS had some influence over GnuPG. I don't think I've

He has not more influence on GnuPG than on GNOME, which he claims to be
the GNU desktop.  GnuPG still shows the FSF copyright on Unix e as an
appreciation for all the things the _GNU hackers_ did for the free
software movement.

> I doubt that this was an official advise from FSFE. ;)

I won't comment this here.  [I founded the FSFE together with a couple
of friends but left the FSFE a few years ago for a reason.]


Shalom-Salam,

   Werner

--
Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

GnuPG - User mailing list
In reply to this post by GnuPG - User mailing list
Robert J. Hansen via Gnupg-users wrote:
> I first heard of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation in
> 1995.  For twenty-six years I've supported the FSF and FSFE in a
> variety of different ways.  For these twenty-six years, Richard
> Stallman has been at the forefront of the FSF.  In all that time I
> have trouble remembering when I have ever seen him be kind.
>
> My direct experiences with him have all been frustrating.  I know many
> hackers whose direct experiences have been harrowing.  I do not know a
> single hacker whose direct experiences have been marked by kindness.

Perhaps he has turned over a new leaf; I have not had those problems in
my interactions (admittedly all by email) with him.  Also admittedly, my
interactions have all been relatively recent, and in contexts related to
picking up maintaining DejaGnu, so an effort at reform would explain the
horror stories others have told that do not match my experience.

> Last year when the FSF removed him from the Board of Directors, I
> welcomed the news.  I hoped the FSF would appoint better leaders.  
> They did not: instead, they've reappointed him to the board.

The circumstances as I understand them of that removal were quite bad
and reappointing RMS was probably a right thing to do.  That said, I am
somewhat troubled by the apparent inability to find another leader
because it bodes ill for the inevitable day when reappointing RMS will
no longer be an option.


-- Jacob

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Johan Wevers
In reply to this post by GnuPG - User mailing list
On 23-03-2021 6:59, Robert J. Hansen via Gnupg-users wrote:

> Last year when the FSF removed him from the Board of Directors, I
> welcomed the news.  I hoped the FSF would appoint better leaders.  They
> did not: instead, they've reappointed him to the board.

Excelent news, finally a case where cancel culture has been overruled.
That was about time in the current McCarthyism-like culture in the US,
where "communist" is replaced by "non-woke".

--
ir. J.C.A. Wevers
PGP/GPG public keys at http://www.xs4all.nl/~johanw/pgpkeys.html


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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Ángel
In reply to this post by GnuPG - User mailing list
It's sad to see someone like you stepping down by a cause such as this.
But we cannot but thank you for your support to the project all these
years.
So long... and thanks for keeping all the Answers. :-)




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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Bernhard Reiter-7
In reply to this post by Johan Wevers
Johan,
please let us stick to GnuPG topics on this list.

Robert's mail was on topic because he stated why he stepped down as FAQ
maintainer. We also shed light on which influence the GNU project had
on GnuPG (little for many years).

Am Mittwoch 24 März 2021 20:15:28 schrieb Johan Wevers:
> Excelent news, finally a case

So to me, your statement is too general and may provoke some folks.
(You could see that Werner and myself also refrained from general
reasoning. :) )

Best Regards,
Bernhard

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Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner

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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

GnuPG - User mailing list
> So to me, your statement is too general and may provoke some folks.
> (You could see that Werner and myself also refrained from general
> reasoning. :) )

I would also like to say that I have tried to make my stepping-away as
painless and as friendly as possible.  I don't want to see ill will
erupt in our community.  I like this community.  If anyone turns this
into an occasion to launch a political flamewar, I will be very sad.
Please don't do that.

My reasons for stepping away are simple.  I don't like RMS.  I think he
is unkind.  I don't want to be associated with anything where he's in a
position of authority.  It really is that simple.  It has nothing to do
with politics, "cancel culture", or anything else like that.

Kindness counts.  Let's practice some.  :)



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Re: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Bernhard Reiter-7
Am Donnerstag 25 März 2021 15:56:10 schrieb Robert J. Hansen via Gnupg-users:
> I don't want to be associated with anything where he's in a
> position of authority.  

(Though we did establish that GnuPG is indendent of GNU decisions these days.
And FSFE is an independent organisation. Both share some important name-parts
with what RMS did and does, so yes there is an association some people make.
But the authority is not here and hasn't been for many years. Anyhow, it is
your decision of course.)

> Kindness counts.  Let's practice some.  :)

Yes, please, thanks! :)
Bernhard

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Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner

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