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Monday, January 25, 2016

The silencing of the tech lambs

An anonymous developer explains why he has to remain anonymous:
Religious wars in software used to be about a fat bearded man named He-macs wrestling a pencil-neck named Vimmy over what text editor to use, but now FOSS devs are concerned about making sure marginalized human beings feel “welcome,” as if someone was trying to physically block newcomers. That opens the door to social justice and other buzzwords that prigs use to feel better about themselves, and utopian visions documented in "Codes of Conduct,” or CoC.

The sentiment behind a CoC is that there is no excuse for being an ass, which sounds great until you realize that only a select few people get to decide who's an ass. So when open source leaders want to stop you from doing free work they can pretend that its your fault for violating their code instead of admitting they never really wanted to include just anybody. They've managed to make exclusivity look inclusive, and it makes me crazy that so few people see that....

They exempt themselves from their own standards and announce their willingness to proxy dox anyone if persuaded to do so on subjective grounds. There is no privacy for you: If you look privileged and someone makes up a story about you, you might get a concerned email from HR about something making the rounds on Twitter and causing a PR nightmare for your employer. Whether or not you actually did anything wrong won't matter.

Hacker Eric S. Raymond noticed the manipulation at work and indicated that women at tech conferences were targeting male open source leaders with false allegations. Accusations have power, and the 2013 PyCon incident with Adria Richards proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

We need to acknowledge the problem. If you are not considered worthy of protection by ideological CoCs, then there are people out there that want you to at the very least lose your job. If they see you demonstrating even the most innocuous affection or humor, they will likely assume malice and retaliate, especially if you are the wrong color or sex. These are the same people who humiliated a scientist for landing on a comet because of a shirt he wore.
If you think it's bad now, just wait. The next step is going to be taking open source projects and closing them so that they cannot be forked. After all, what is the point of going to all this trouble to take over OSS if the productive people can simply render all their efforts irrelevant by a fork?

They don't want a seat at the table, they want control. And what good is control if you can't control everything?

As for those who say it's not possible because the rules of open source don't permit it, remember, they don't only exempt themselves from their own standards, they exempt themselves from anything that limits their ability to pursue their objectives.

I was hoping to do the Open Brainstorm tonight, but we'll do it tomorrow at 7 PM EST instead. I'll send out the invites to the VFM tonight, and post the link publicly tomorrow afternoon.

Labels: ,

77 Comments:

Anonymous Thales January 25, 2016 12:01 PM  

FYI, it's Melvin & Jim...

Anonymous Toddy Cat January 25, 2016 12:04 PM  

"they don't only exempt themselves from their own standards, they exempt themselves from anything that limits their ability to pursue their objectives."

That's funny, that's just like the Communists. Oh, yeah right, that's exactly what they are. SJW = Commie 2.0

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 12:07 PM  

If you think it's bad now, just wait. The next step is going to be taking open source projects and closing them so that they cannot be forked. After all, what is the point of going to all this trouble to take over OSS if the productive people can simply render all their efforts irrelevant by a fork?

That's generally impossible, since it's not "rules" but hard copyright law that governs the ability to fork. Most projects, including Linux, do not require contributor agreements, and therefore can't even in theory be re-licensed, the classic example being the GPLv3 which was designed to prevent tivoization of Linux. We also see things like companies open sourcing something and then making it proprietary again, but once they release it under a proper FOSS licence it's too late, you can if you wish fork from the last open version.

Then there's the issue of how SJW convergence dooms things, and software is particularly fragile that way. And with so very many alternatives to most every package out there....

OpenID Jack Amok January 25, 2016 12:17 PM  

That's generally impossible, since it's not "rules" but hard copyright law...

And Leftists have never tried to subvert "hard" law?

Just wait, when "misogynist, homophobic, racissss" White guys "steal" the hard work of "a diverse community" by forking a project, there will be calls to "do something."

As Vox said, their goal is control. If they wanted "safe spaces" and a chance to contribute, or even just a different environment, they'd have forked the projects themselves and created CoC for their forks. Instead, they've tried to invade existing projects with their demands.

Then there's the issue of how SJW convergence dooms things, and software is particularly fragile that way. And with so very many alternatives to most every package out there....

Another reason they will attempt to limit competition. I'm not saying they'll be successful, but they will try.

Blogger Dalrock January 25, 2016 12:18 PM  

Very often the fork already exists. If ffmpeg pisses off its talented developers they can easily move to avconv, and vice versa. The same applies for Imagemagick vs GraphicsMagick, and many others. There are a few areas where on player has overwhelming mindshare, like the Linux kernel and Ubuntu on the desktop, but as we've seen SJWs are very harmful to the final product, and as the quality of the product goes down so will the mindshare.

Blogger JDC January 25, 2016 12:18 PM  

This advice is applicable to any male today. Don't ever be alone with a female if you can help it. For counseling purposes I am in a room, but i use an open room with a clear line to our secretary, and I don't do counseling sessions in the evening. This makes me sick...

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 12:27 PM  

@4 Jack Amok:

That's generally impossible, since it's not "rules" but hard copyright law...

And Leftists have never tried to subvert "hard" law?


Sure, they can try, but you think they'll be successful when so many companies depend on the current, and very sane laws of copyright? (Well, not counting the endless terms of it nowadays, but that's not relevant here.)

They'd also require money to sue, and again corporations that depend on this software will pony up in defense, as we saw in SCO v. The World, which even had Microsoft funding that effort to kill Linux.

If you can suggest a mechanism I'm all ears; for now, their best attack vector is not this, but at the jobs and careers of software developers. As long as a number of them can end those with a single tweet....

Blogger JDC January 25, 2016 12:29 PM  

I have also found it is not always helpful to declare this policy publicly. Back in my regional V.P. days, I made a statement to our HR director that I would not meet with female employees alone, but would require another staff person to be present. She wrote me up later for breaking the companies confidentiality agreement after an employee (whom I fired)lodged a complaint. Ironically, the other person was the hospital administrator (who we sub-contracted with), who herself was a raging feminist, and although she wanted the employee fired, agreed that it should have been done privately. You cannot win. I was outta there two weeks later.

When it comes to SJW's, I take a lesson from the Godfather movies, "Never tell anybody outside the family what you're thinking."

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 12:36 PM  

One other FOSS defense: it's thoroughly international. You think a US SJW he-twink like Coraline has any capability of preventing Japanese citizen matz AKA Matsumoto Yukihiro from continuing to work on Ruby as he has for the last 20 years?

Blogger slarrow January 25, 2016 12:41 PM  

Social Justice is a virus. There is no moving to a different platform to escape the virus. It must be fought everywhere it appears.

Codes of Conduct are nothing more than Trojan viruses in human interaction.

OpenID denektenorsk January 25, 2016 12:44 PM  

Fork 'em if you got 'em.

Blogger YIH January 25, 2016 12:44 PM  

@6. JDC:
Exactly, just like with children (male or female, any age) that aren't your own. Don't be alone with them - EVER for any reason.
All it takes is one false accusation, and boom! You're ruined. Your considered guilty, and the odds are it's difficult, if not impossible to prove your innocence.
I'm sure there are many who still believe the well-discredited Rolling Stone story was actually true.

Blogger VD January 25, 2016 12:45 PM  

You think a US SJW he-twink like Coraline has any capability of preventing Japanese citizen matz AKA Matsumoto Yukihiro from continuing to work on Ruby as he has for the last 20 years?

Watch and learn. Coraline is playing Matz expertly. He's already conceded a Code of Conduct, he's merely resisting enforcement powers. I suspect he will give in, because he is determined to be nice.

Nice guys always lose.

Blogger Publius Cicero January 25, 2016 12:50 PM  

For those under attack, and for those who may come under attack, just remember three key points: (1) Find a talented lawyer, who is not an SJW, that knows the way around employment law (state and federal), (2) document absolutely everything you do AND all the accusations made against you, and finally, (3) if and when the times require, sue the employers for any and all slander, defamation, or wrongful termination events imaginable. A talented lawyer might be able to allege a civil conspiracy to pull in the actual accusers/defamers and put them on the hook personally. If this happens enough, business will have to react to protect their bottom line. For the non-profits or open source projects, protective orders against individuals could work, especially when the consequence for violating protective orders could be jail time.

Blogger HalibetLector January 25, 2016 12:55 PM  

That's funny, that's just like the Communists. Oh, yeah right, that's exactly what they are. SJW = Commie 2.0

It's funny you should say that. One of the most vocal personalities involved in the development of the Rust language at Mozilla is an actual, self professed Communist.

The next step is going to be taking open source projects and closing them so that they cannot be forked.

They can try, but it's unlikely they'll succeed. Forking is built into Git, which is controlled by Linus Torvalds. Github may be convinced to forbid forking in certain situations in the name of upholding software licences, but then everyone would move to gitlab or something new.

Blogger Pinakeli January 25, 2016 1:08 PM  

So we should come up with a new license that forbids CoCs in any project that uses the code.

But we have to walk that fine line because some companies are obligated by government contract to have such nonsense.

OpenID denektenorsk January 25, 2016 1:09 PM  

On the link provided by the Supreme Dark Lord (http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=6907) they recommend never being alone with a female employee. I apply this to whiny males as well. On one of the many occasions where I was managing a useless male employee out the door (we have to follow HR policy because feelz) I included a fellow Lead in all discussions. I wasn't the only one who had suspicions he'd try something underhanded and he wasn't going to be given the opportunity to say I was a meanie pants to him.

His tears on the day I was finally able to fire him for incompetance were delicious. Delicious I tell you. I could have been "nice" and laid him off for EI but what sort of message would that send to the rest of the programmers? F#ck up and you'll get rewarded with free money courtesy of the tax payer?

One of the programmers on the team after the fact thought I was "too mean" to him. I said, you were the ones who initially were telling me he was no good... do you want to work with him again? That shut them up. If you want to build a superstar team part of that is getting rid of the useless ones.


Blogger David of One January 25, 2016 1:09 PM  

Women who are real programmers don't need the nuisance and political drama anymore than their male counterparts. Life is just too short for all the conniving backstabbing bullshit from those who do and know nothing.

Those individuals, are the real pussies that want CoCs everywhere and to control all the CoCs of any organization stupid enough to give them CoCs. Nothing but a bunch of low down no good snake's belly to the ground CoC suckers who should be sent packing forever and have their CoCs shoved up ...

Just saying ...

Blogger fisher man January 25, 2016 1:10 PM  

I may not be able to be on the brainstorm, but I could work 6 or so hours a week on a dev. project.

If there are none currently in need of help I have a few things I might start working on by myself.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 1:12 PM  

@15 HalibetLector:

It's funny you should say that. One of the most vocal personalities involved in the development of the Rust language at Mozilla is an actual, self professed Communist.

Actually, last time I checked he has nothing to do with the development of it. He's a classic entryist, first in the Ruby on Rails community, where he started doing bug report scut work and the like, then documentation, and eventually some coding.

Mozilla (as in the company that purged Javascript creator Brendan Eich) hired him to work on the documentation of their new Rust systems language, and he's a major public face of the language, at least on Hacker News.

But as far as I can tell he's also incompetent at documenting a real and novel systems language which introduces a number of new concepts to avoid the problems that plague the existing incumbents like C. I base that on the specifics of the vast majority of the numerous complaints about the documentation, they betray being written by someone who doesn't grok systems programming to begin with, which is to be expected from an indifferent web programmer.

Could well kill the language, unless others with a clue fill in the gaps, and it probably has only so long until Mozilla can no longer afford to put a lot of money into it.

By the way, he's the guy who no-platformed Moldbug when the latter was to give a purely technical software system talk. A guy strongly approves of "antifa" (anti-"fascist") violence in Europe, and in that context wondered what a US tech antifa movement would be like, all of those things done on/with Twitter.

Blogger VD January 25, 2016 1:19 PM  

I may not be able to be on the brainstorm, but I could work 6 or so hours a week on a dev. project.

Email me. I have something for you.

Blogger Jonathan Bennett January 25, 2016 1:32 PM  

As has been pointed out, Open Source licenses have very intentionally been written to always allow forking. If the code is re-licensed, the latest revision that was licensed with a truly FOSS license will be the fork point. There can still be a mess, but the code will continue to be open, which is what we geeks really care about. There is absolutely no way around this point, it's baked into the legal language of Open Source, language that has foiled far more capable adversaries. For examples, look at what happened to all the Sun projects when Sun was purchased by Oracle: Openoffice was forked into Libreoffice, Mysql was forked into MariaDB, and OpenSolaris forked to become openindiana.

Yeah, it's a pain when a project gets hosed via outside meddling, but building our own platform via a fork takes all of 30 seconds and a few git commands. Geeks are quite capable of protecting their projects from evil, be it M$, SCO, or the Ada Initiative. At the end of the day, every serious developer cares far more about working code than anybody's opinion of the project.

Even without the voices of Vox and ESR urging caution, given enough time, the FOSS community will figure out the problems of the CoC and associated outside meddling. We're certainly capable of cleaning house once that time comes.

Blogger RobertT January 25, 2016 1:35 PM  

Who didn't know this was coming? It's a stupid move but it creates a willing database of willing & eager users for someone's next project. You won't have to wade through the mud for months or years to build a dedicated base that will eagerly jump on whatever replaces these prigs. How often does that happen?

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 1:36 PM  

@13 VD:

You think a US SJW he-twink like Coraline has any capability of preventing Japanese citizen matz AKA Matsumoto Yukihiro from continuing to work on Ruby as he has for the last 20 years?

Watch and learn. Coraline is playing Matz expertly. He's already conceded a Code of Conduct, he's merely resisting enforcement powers. I suspect he will give in, because he is determined to be nice.

Nice guys always lose.


We'll see. I think he's in an unassailable position, I know he defines himself as nice, or aspires to be so, specifically "Matz is Nice And So We Are Nice" and therefore a more formal code of conduct is not such a stretch, and based on his comments in the thread I don't see him as bending on enforcement.

The greater problem is that he's so nice he didn't immediately shut down this well known in the Ruby community SJW troll, and just allowing the discussion, with all the out of band stuff that flows from it, damages Ruby's community. Then again Ruby is big enough, and he's not in a pure power position, such that suppressing it entirely may not have been in the cards. It's certainly significant that he took ownership of the "bug" that Ruby has no CoC....

He's also Japanese, and they have made a fine art out of politely not agreeing with people.

Blogger RobertT January 25, 2016 1:41 PM  

"If you are not considered worthy of protection by ideological CoCs, then there are people out there that want you to at the very least lose your job. If they see you demonstrating even the most innocuous affection or humor, they will likely assume malice and retaliate, especially if you are the wrong color or sex. These are the same people who humiliated a scientist for landing on a comet because of a shirt he wore."

I'm not willing to give up myself to avoid that box.

Blogger Dalrock January 25, 2016 1:49 PM  

@Jonathan Bennett
As has been pointed out, Open Source licenses have very intentionally been written to always allow forking. If the code is re-licensed, the latest revision that was licensed with a truly FOSS license will be the fork point.

The other part of this is the motivation the projects contributors would have to follow a fork if the project became closed source. If they stay they would lose rights to their own code. People contribute to these projects because they have passion about them. They don't want someone else to be able to shut them out of their own creations. Following the fork is a no brainer, so long as they care more about what they are building than SJW virtue signalling. So the productive folks leave the project, and the closed source version is left with SJW virtue signallers. The latter needs the former to feed on, or the parasite dies.

Blogger James Dixon January 25, 2016 2:10 PM  

> If you think it's bad now, just wait. The next step is going to be taking open source projects and closing them so that they cannot be forked.

Of course. And then suing the folks who fork it. It's not like the law has ever stopped them before. It might be best to go with an anonymous code contribution system. I'd think that would be easy enough to put together using public and private key encryption.

Anonymous BigGayKoranBurner January 25, 2016 2:13 PM  

Exactly, just like with children (male or female, any age) that aren't your own. Don't be alone with them - EVER for any reason

I know a gay Hispanic Peds nurse that has other nurses sticking up for him whenever a father doesn't want him changing his son's diaper. He keeps in touch with some of his former home health patients that are old enough to go out to gay bars now.

I have posted before about virtue signalers willing to advocate (other peoples) children spending time alone with gays/lesbians, like the infection control nurse looking for mentors that I told "I can't I am gay", who didn't drop it until I mentioned that my cousin teaches the NRA Eddie the eagle gun course for kids.

Blogger Student in Blue January 25, 2016 2:16 PM  

@James Dixon
It might be best to go with an anonymous code contribution system.

Well then... we'll just have to ban the anonymous!

(not like they haven't tried that before)

Anonymous BGKB January 25, 2016 2:52 PM  

SJWs seek to strangle badthink in the cribs. http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/you-can-give-a-boy-a-doll-but-you-cant-make-him-play-with-it/265977/

"One Swedish school got rid of its toy cars because boys "gender-coded" them and ascribed the cars higher status than other toys. Another preschool removed "free playtime" from its schedule because, as a pedagogue at the school put it, when children play freely 'stereotypical gender patterns are born and cemented. In free play there is hierarchy, exclusion, and the seed to bullying.' And so every detail of children's interactions gets micromanaged by concerned adults, who end up problematizing minute aspects of children's lives, from how they form friendships to what games they play and what songs they sing"

Blogger tz January 25, 2016 2:57 PM  

They can only close it so far. The other problem would be brain-flight.
In the late 1960's judges thought they would end segregation by forcing cities to bus kids to schools in different neighborhoods - often an hour or more ride.
This caused "white flight" and left places like Detroit, Boston, Baltimore totally segregated, but for a while they were busing black children for an hour from their own black neighborhood to another.
You see this with California, trying to tax retirees that moved to lower tax states as if they were still in California.
A few companies in CA (OR, WA) can afford to pay exorbitant wages to attract talent. Most can't. Salt Lake City is becoming a new tech hub.
People and businesses flee taxation and control.
SJWs in an OSS project is like a 50% brain tax - most developers don't like to deal with even a little BS. They will move and the projects can wither.
Consider that the SJWs can keep trying to enter and poison the well, but even they won't want to stay after everything has died, the bug list grows, and the patch list drys up.

So what is needed is a shield as Galt's Gulch had so the men of mind won't have to deal with the moochers and looters. And these new vampires aren't merely after monetary wealth, they want the honors and glory of "participating" in a project where everyone else is doing the hard work to make it useful. Their game is where everyone (who is PC) gets a trophy.

One other mistake SJWs make is to mistake being polite, social, or personable with being weak. Many have a melancholic temperament, which means they will tend to ignore a bunch of crap they prefer not to deal with until some threshold is reached at which point they go on a search and destroy mission.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 3:00 PM  

The next step is going to be taking open source projects and closing them so that they cannot be forked. After all, what is the point of going to all this trouble to take over OSS if the productive people can simply render all their efforts irrelevant by a fork?

Great point. The legal front of OSS is going to get hit with a tenacity they can't possibly anticipate. We might be talking private investigators, intimidation and arrests.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 3:01 PM  

RMS is possibly the weakest point in the defense.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 3:03 PM  

By which I mean they will turn him and broadcast his approval of their legal redefinitions.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 3:11 PM  

*Sigh* Okay, one and done.

Here's what I figure. They're going to push binding legal changes on the GNU/OSS culture via ideological arguments and human intelligence ops. Most will be skeptical, but a few will turn. These few will be given media platforms, whereas the others will be intimidated into submission via harassment.

RMS is a smart dude, but also probably the most naive human being alive today. He's the most likely to be turned via a targeted human intelligence op, even if it's just by an SJW friend of his.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 3:13 PM  

Re: http://www.meltingasphalt.com/social-status-down-the-rabbit-hole/

OSS is a prestige-only culture, so many of the personalities involved simply aren't psychologically equipped to respond correctly to dominance tactics.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 3:18 PM  

@33 Aeoli Pera:

RMS is possibly the weakest point in the defense.

RMS is not in the least important today to the world of FOSS. In fact, his insistence on his concept of Free Software (the F in FOSS) has crippled many GNU/FSF projects, most notably GCC, allowing LLVM to get ~99% of the mind share in that class of compilers, it's hard to see how much more damage he could cause them. He's openly at war with the Open Software camp and we frankly don't pay that much attention to him, and would pay even less if he went off on yet another deep end like this.

Blogger dh January 25, 2016 3:38 PM  

I've hosted RMS at my place of work to give a discussion on F/OSS and he's just a delightful person. He is surely naive, and surely just an eccentric, but I would just caution about writing him as too irrelevant.

For one thing, he wrote the GPL. The GPL is the driver behind the FOSS movement. Yes, there are a few projects that use something else, but the concept of using "copyleft" (i.e. using copyright as a weapon), and to make the software so good and useful that commercial software would want to use it instead of starting over was a brilliant stroke. At a time when government was telling us that all software and hardware must have backdoors that allow the government in, he was running a project that said the exact opposite, namely that obscurity is never secure and that closed code is never secure.

He put up with high-end and powerful arrows from Microsoft and the closed source dinosaurs, and lived to tell the tail.

The projects that are part of the FOSS/GNU world are often tilting at windmills but it's still extremely valuable as the reference implementation for who free software looks and feels and works.

He's underlying point, that open source isn't good enough is 100% right.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 3:40 PM  

@35 Aeoli Pera:

Here's what I figure. They're going to push binding legal changes on the GNU

Today the GNU Project/the FSF is not very important, and as previously noted you can't change the current legal status of its projects. Besides GUILE, I'm not even sure there's anything sort of new they're doing, and GUILE in that context is mostly a scripting language for GNU projects. We've also seen several painful forks of marque projects where FSF/GNU/RMS mismanagement prompted the community to go its own way, and in the case of the GCC the FSF branch died and the community one became the official one. Many other initiatives died because of technical failure, RMS is not a very competent manager of technology or people, Hurd and, say, their version of Git didn't even make second place (that went to Mercurial).

/OSS culture via ideological arguments and human intelligence ops. Most will be skeptical, but a few will turn. These few will be given media platforms, whereas the others will be intimidated into submission via harassment.

Again, we'll see. I'll also note that this stuff is genuinely important. People's lives and businesses depend on FOSS, and the SJWs' current ability to harass people is dependent on them not hurting too many, not destroying too many projects. Seriously threaten all these companies' existence and you'll see some serious push-back, Amenable Authority will become less much less so. SJW convergence has consequences, as we're seeing with Twitter.

RMS is a smart dude, but also probably the most naive human being alive today. He's the most likely to be turned via a targeted human intelligence op, even if it's just by an SJW friend of his.

You really don't know him at all, do you? Now, I grant you I haven't seen him since the '80s, but unless he's going really soft in his old age, everything we hear to the contrary, he's one of the most ornery and stubborn beings in existence. Utterly fearless as well, he'd rather die than go back on his principles and demonstrated that plenty of times. Again, he's getting old, but I know which way I'm betting when it comes to him.

Anonymous Bukulu January 25, 2016 3:57 PM  

@39,

"Naive" and "stubborn" are not mutually exclusive, you know.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 4:01 PM  

I'll admit my knowledge on this stuff is pretty old as the internet reckons time. But disproving the particular case doesn't disprove the general case, they're gonna find thought leaders without breaking a sweat. And as long as they're well-fed, most IT folks will use that as an excuse to go along and get along. They'll gripe, but so did every oppressed group since the dawn of time.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 4:06 PM  

@40 Bukulu,

"Naive" and "stubborn" are not mutually exclusive, you know.

My thought exactly. If he gets turned it will be because somebody who understands how his mind works will argue him into it. Such minds do exist and one or two may be interested in this.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 4:08 PM  

The tragic thing about aspies is that they operate primarily on aesthetics, but they believe they operate primarily on logic.

Combined with solipsism, they lose every battle just as Sun Tzu predicted.

Blogger fisher man January 25, 2016 4:09 PM  

I met with RMS 20 years ago, and I agree with him being stubborn and naive (as I was). I think I grew out of that though, and based on his recent writings, he has not.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 4:11 PM  

@38 dh:

[...] I would just caution about writing [RMS] as too irrelevant.

For one thing, he wrote the GPL. The GPL is the driver behind the FOSS movement. Yes, there are a few projects that use something else, but the concept of using "copyleft" (i.e. using copyright as a weapon), and to make the software so good and useful that commercial software would want to use it instead of starting over was a brilliant stroke.


Nope, that completely rewrites the history of this, as one ought to be able to tell by the existence of the O in FOSS. Lots of this depends on the type of software, it's much safer to make self-contained tools like compilers, or discrete things like kernel GPL, libraries are generally not so restrictive, since their authors want others to use them. The GNU Scientific Library is the only really significant one I can recall that's GPLed, and there are very good reasons for that.

Not counting libraries, here are a few major projects with Open Source licenses:

The BSD kernels and most of their distributions.

LLVM as previously mentioned.

Ruby is dual BSD and GPL.

None of the other popular scripting languages are copyleft, including Python, Perl, or the 4 major implementations of Lua according to Wikipedia. Ditto the vast majority of Lisp implementations.

X Windows is the source of the "MIT Licence", the simpliest and least restrictive out there.

Apache and Nginx, and none of these Apache Foundation projects I just checked: Ant, Cassandra, CouchDB, Hadoop, Lucerne, SpamAssassin, Subversion (the exception along with SCCS for SCM), TCL, and Tomcat.

mySQL is the first exception I came across while going through these major packages, on the other hand it sucks, PostgreSQL is non-copyleft.

A bunch of projects are covered by the partially copyleft Mozilla and Eclipse licenses, the latter at least allows you to use it in your own stuff as long as you observe major boundaries. From a quick skim just now, the former copylefts existing files, but you can link your own stuff against them, and the basis of the rest of the major browers is the permissively licensed WebKit.

That'll do for now, but one bottom line is that RMS, the FSF, copyleft and the GPL are not hardly as popular as you'd assume from, say, listening to RMS.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 4:18 PM  

Again, I'll have to disagree with I think the rest of you about RMS, although I'll point out one promising angle of attack: he doesn't care about software quality compared to his extreme vision of software freedom. So if he can be convinced some SJW goals are aligned with that, he might follow them into the rabbit hole.

But while that'll cause some grief for the many still very useful GNU/FSF projects we use, it'll hardly be the end of the world, as I noted, been there, done that, simply on the basis of his very poor stewardship of many of these projects. We don't need RMS going off in a SJW direction to keep our distance, and to keep our options open.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 4:26 PM  

The particulars will work themselves out, like Ian Murdock did.

Blogger tz January 25, 2016 4:33 PM  

It isn't just one personality, so even without RMS, the FSF and GPL would still be around, and lots of small things like BASH, TAR, and the rest - the good ones, not the 1970's vintage ones in BSD are all GPL.

There would be a fight for the philosophy, so there would be huge pushback.
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html

SJWs might push things to a GPL.

The fix for the tivoization was no small thing, and lots of people discussed it (I added several things from an embedded point of view especially since "firmware" is somewhere between, and some of the wording on crypto would have created problems in validating the source or binaries were not messed with via digital signatures).

Because it hasn't been attacked no defenses have been erected (except the XFree86 XOrg fork - specifically it was a change to XFree that made it non-GPL compatible - and Microsoft's pollution of Kerberos which at the time caused a big stink because it was allowed under the BSD license).

If SJWs start messing with closing the source explicitly (All the OTHER licenses are more open than GPL) I think there will be a move to GPL or other, stronger, anti-closure restrictions. The pushback to the CoCs wasn't instantaneous, but now the immune system has been activated.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 4:39 PM  

@47 Aeoli Pera:

The particulars will work themselves out, like Ian Murdock did.

Wow, that was a really long term cunning plan, to convince him first to, after 14 years at the top of the FOSS world, to move to Sun's Project Indiana forlorn hope. Oh, and divorce his wife, who he'd named Debian after, at the same time. Then a lowly VP position at SalesForce after Oracle bought Sun, then Docker for less than two months.

I'll believe it when I see the SJWs turn a several current FOSS leaders, citing a sad case like Murdock is just spreading FUD, perhaps even the council of despair

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 4:52 PM  

Eh, I hope you're right. Good luck.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 4:55 PM  

@48 tk: Can you name any major non-GPL or non-Eclipse licensed projects that require a contributor's agreement? Because that's a pre-requisite to changing the license terms, and I note that none of the specific examples you cited, or the implicit one of Linux with regards to tivoization, resulted in a license change. Except for XFree86->X.Org none of these even changed the organization (since what XFree tried was illegal), nor to my knowledge did these harm the projects.

Sure, Microsoft's change to Kerberos was bad, but all that meant was that I assume you couldn't inter-operate with it, and the people using real, secure Kerberos before continued to use the same thing after.

Here's a message I'll make more explicit: a lot of us don't care about RMS/GNU/FSF style freedom, or, rather, we prefer quality and wide adoption. We do open source software, not "free software" as RMS and company define it. We're two warring camps, and neither is decisively strong in our conflict. And this conflict is entirely orthogonal to SJW entryism.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty (d.b.a. automatthew) January 25, 2016 5:30 PM  

Here's a message I'll make more explicit: a lot of us don't care about RMS/GNU/FSF style freedom, or, rather, we prefer quality and wide adoption. We do open source software, not "free software" as RMS and company define it. We're two warring camps, and neither is decisively strong in our conflict. And this conflict is entirely orthogonal to SJW entryism.

Hear, hear.

Blogger fisher man January 25, 2016 5:49 PM  

The FSF is pretty much a den of sjw's now. That is why I left.

When I first was involved with the FSF most of the people were self identified communists, but generally kept on message with software development. The switch to social justice made it impossible to deal with them.

Anonymous DT January 25, 2016 6:01 PM  

@16 - So we should come up with a new license that forbids CoCs in any project that uses the code.

But we have to walk that fine line because some companies are obligated by government contract to have such nonsense.


I would be interested in seeing a sample license that is as free as possible while restricting code use in any SJW-CoC covered project.

Blogger Robert What? January 25, 2016 6:07 PM  

I guess I'm not understanding the objectives of the SJW attempted take over of OSS. Is it a stealth attempt by the for-profit software behemoths (Microsoft, Oracle, Google, etc) to destroy free software?

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 6:16 PM  

@55 Robert What?:

I guess I'm not understanding the objectives of the SJW attempted take over of OSS. Is it a stealth attempt by the for-profit software behemoths (Microsoft, Oracle, Google, etc) to destroy free software?

Well, Oracle is bigger on Linux than they are on the Solaris Unix operating system they bought with Sun, and Google is absolutely dependent on FOSS, they hire and have hired some of the best to work on it.

I see only margin figures trying this, for the usual reasons, although I suppose some existing companies might try to take advantage of it. Ah, one vile company named Joylent did exactly that to gain a temporary advantage over the node.js ecosystem, drove one of the four big contributors out, he just happened to be working for a competitor.

But that didn't pay off for them in the long term, and they're starting to sound desperate, see the recent attack on unikernels. For a long time they've had the potential to make it really big, but seem to have consistently failed, people and companies that play these stupid games don't tend to win in the long term.

Blogger bob k. mando January 25, 2016 6:22 PM  

31. tz January 25, 2016 2:57 PM
So what is needed is a shield as Galt's Gulch had so the men of mind won't have to deal with the moochers and looters.



the problem being that the moochers ( parasites ) and the looters ( cannibalistic carnivores ) are an endemic and inherent part of the human race.

EVEN IF you could form a population made completely of 'men of the mind' with no moochers at all ...

they're still going to have children.

and some of those children will 'return to the mean' ... and find a parasitic lifestyle more to their liking.

it's more important to identify moocher behavior AND PROMULGATE that knowledge to the other 'men of the mind'.

is acquiring this knowledge directly beneficial to your work? no.

is it a pain in the ass to have to deal with it all? yes.

it is, nevertheless, indispensable.

for no society of 'men of the mind' can long survive if they forgo the knowledge necessary to defend themselves from the parasites.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 6:30 PM  

Breitbart Tech: "Hackers In Revolt After SJWs Attempt To Impose Politically Correct ‘Code of Conduct’ On Ruby Community."

Nothing any of us following this here haven't heard, but good to see more exposure.

Blogger VD January 25, 2016 6:48 PM  

The tragic thing about aspies is that they operate primarily on aesthetics, but they believe they operate primarily on logic.

There are few more delusional human beings than those who believe their behavior to be logical.

Nothing any of us following this here haven't heard, but good to see more exposure.

Where do you think they heard about it?

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 6:50 PM  

@55 Robert,

I guess I'm not understanding the objectives of the SJW attempted take over of OSS. Is it a stealth attempt by the for-profit software behemoths (Microsoft, Oracle, Google, etc) to destroy free software?

Let me rephrase that question for you. Why are TPTB all suddenly interested, simultaneously, in controlling the information technology industry?

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 6:52 PM  

Obviously the answer is that the world needs more female programmers.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 7:10 PM  

There are few more delusional human beings than those who believe their behavior to be logical.

Psychotic caveman otherkin will have to make do with second place.

Blogger Robert What? January 25, 2016 7:34 PM  

@Aeoli Pera,

Besides wanting to control everything, I give?

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 25, 2016 7:40 PM  

To control the information, specifically.

Anonymous BGKB January 25, 2016 8:08 PM  

Besides wanting to control everything, I give?

To be able to stop people from sharing videos of reality that break the narrative. Lamestream shows you a pic of a 3yo boy that anyone who took a first aid class knew didn't drown, as part of a sob story but hides moslem gang rapes. During the week long lame stream coverage of Cecil the Lion, real news covered a Mexican in the sanctuary city of San Fran caught on video tossing the body of the 8yo white girl he raped to death, Madie Middleton, into a dumpster. The same leftists that said 14yo Drugar that played doctor should be castrated had empathy for the older Hispanic deathraper saying he was not smart enough to face consequences.
http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2015/08/01/15-year-old-hispanic-rapes-and-murders-8-year-old-white-girl-wanted-to-know-how-people-would-react/

Blogger PatrickH January 25, 2016 8:53 PM  

I just don't know enough about this. But if they want to close projects and thereby make them impossible to fork, would not it be a good idea to list collate and record all such projects and fork them right now? Like the men in Fahrenheit 451 who memorized works and thought and the life of the mind, and left their enemies to wither and die on the vine?

I repeat: I do not understand the details of this? But if our enemy can stop "forking", why don't we (I mean you, as in the ones who know how to do this) take it away from them? Pre-emptively?

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 9:39 PM  

@66 PatrickH: The modern method of source code control, the sort of system that tracks all the changes made to a project's code to allowing managing the complexity of the changes, that helps find regressions when a change introduces a bug, and so on, makes complete copies of the entire repository with all its history on each computer used by people working on the project (disk space is dirt cheap nowadays). Older systems did a minimal version of this, it's necessary to have a copy of the whole thing to build test versions and try them out. Many entities also make complete copies to build them for their distributions, like the various flavors of Linux and BSDs.

So having copies of the code is not a problem, and with the code being distributed with a free or open licence, they simply can't "make them impossible to fork", not without serious legal action that as things stand now is impossible to succeed if opposed. And since vast corporate interests need the law to be as it is (which is also a fair and Constitutional system), such efforts would be opposed.

Note this has been well tested in the courts, this is hardly the first class of attacks to be made on FOSS; I simply don't think things are as dire as others do, maybe because I was in the field before RMS even started the GNU project in 1983.

The attacks that might be successful are ones that would keep people from working on a project, think Moldbug's Urbit "which has neo-reactionary politics embedded in it's network stack" ... a rather special case which I can't see being extended to anything we'd be interested in. Or attacks on specific people, which, if the SJWs were good enough, they might be able to extend to a general attack on a project by targeting enough critical people one at a time.

But as I noted above, that depends on Amenable Authorities remaining so. Right now it's easiest for them to solve a SJW attack on one of the people they have power over by sacking that person, but few companies would respond to a concerted attack by sacking so many techies they'd then fail.

Bottom line: Don't Panic.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 25, 2016 9:47 PM  

@66 PatrickH: Ah, this might help clarify what forking is: let's say SJWs take over the CatDB (database) project. A group of mammal neutral CatDB software developers decide to create the forked DogDB project so they can continue as they want to.

So they take the CatDB code, make some name changes while keeping whatever attributions are required by the FOSS license, and advertise their fork as better able to sniff out the data you need, or at least a lot more motivated to help you quickly.

The remaining CatDB SJWs can only hiss in protest, the very license that allowed the project to be free or open source explicitly allows you to use a copy to do your own thing with it (OK, they could sue, but as previously mentioned, if they try to attack this legal use of the licence they'll be successfully opposed).

OpenID Jack Amok January 25, 2016 9:54 PM  

If you can suggest a mechanism I'm all ears; for now, their best attack vector is not this, but at the jobs and careers of software developers.

The question isn't whether I can come up with a mechanism, it's whether the SJWs can. What I'm saying is that they will try. And they will be persistent until such time as we can defund and defang them.

Do you live in the US? If so, do you know how many things are done that technically can't be done according to the law? Do you see the trend of government agencies ignoring inconvenient laws getting better or worse?

People's lives and businesses depend on FOSS, and the SJWs' current ability to harass people is dependent on them not hurting too many, not destroying too many projects.

People's livelihood's and businesses have depended on a lot of things in history, and that's been no guarantee against attack. Do you know any Doctors? Obamacare hasn't been too kind to their wallets.

As to SJWs being limited to attacks that don't cause too much damage, sure, in the long run. But in the short run, they can still cause a lot of damage, especially if they get either a) desperate (because they think they're about to lose power), or b) full of themselves if they think they've got unassailable power.

These aren't necessarily rational people, and we know they lie. Even, or especially, to themselves. They can easily convince themselves of either a or b, if it empowers them to do something they want to do anyway.

Blogger Desiderius January 25, 2016 11:21 PM  

TWBT,

"We do open source software, not "free software" as RMS and company define it. We're two warring camps, and neither is decisively strong in our conflict. And this conflict is entirely orthogonal to SJW entryism."

I suspect it won't remain so, if it ever was.

Strong property rights have always been a necessary condition fro the defense of the freedoms SJWs seek to curtail.

Anonymous kjj January 25, 2016 11:45 PM  

RMS is a leftie for sure. Reminds me of Chomsky in a lot of ways, but without the irrational hatred of America that oozes out of Chomsky's pores. I thought I knew of every left-wing cause around, but I learned of new ones by reading RMS's pages. But those other causes aren't his job.

Software Freedom is his job, his obsession for the last 30+ years. Everything he's written and every speech he's given have been rigidly, unwaveringly fixated on that goal. I've seen him make zero exceptions when it comes to the core principles of software freedom.

I don't think many saints have stuck to their principles as well as RMS has stuck to his.

Blogger PatrickH January 26, 2016 1:55 AM  

TWBT:

Thank you. That was very helpful and clear.

I will take your advice and Not Panic.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 26, 2016 8:35 AM  

@70 Desiderius:

TWBT,

"We do open source software, not "free software" as RMS and company define it. We're two warring camps, and neither is decisively strong in our conflict. And this conflict is entirely orthogonal to SJW entryism."

I suspect it won't remain so, if it ever was.

Strong property rights have always been a necessary condition fro the defense of the freedoms SJWs seek to curtail.


That's an interesting thought, although I'll note the two camps have slightly different property rights requirements from the legal system.

Both depend on the politically powerful not being able get the powers that be to enclose the existing FOSS commons. Here's the first example that comes to mind, where a company tried to use bogus patents to extract rents from a FOSS effort, and was successfully sued in return because they were using that org's software in violation of it's non-copyleft Perl Artistic License. SCO v. The World had some elements of this, SCO didn't even own the Unix copyrights they used to sue IBM and many other Linux using entities.

The Free Software people have it harder, they live with "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be using their software in an 'unfree' manner". Some might drop out if they can't get the legal system to enforce their distribution restrictions. The GPLv2's inability to forbid tivoization was the major reason to create the third version, even if it couldn't affect TiVo because Linux couldn't be re-licensed due to it never using contributor agreements (that assign the copyright of your changes to the org).

Anonymous SumDood January 26, 2016 8:58 AM  

Related topic:

Poland elects anti-communist government, and the out-of-power liberal government uses the media and S&P ratings to sandbag them.

http://takimag.com/article/sour_grapes_over_poland_chodakiewicz_wellisz/print#axzz3yHkvvjPp

You just can't co-exist peacefully with the left. They cannot abide it.

Blogger James Dixon January 26, 2016 11:59 AM  

> (OK, they could sue, but as previously mentioned, if they try to attack this legal use of the licence they'll be successfully opposed).

Eventually. But they can succeed in keeping the DogDB developers and any repository hosts in court for years and potentially bankrupt them with court costs.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling January 26, 2016 12:47 PM  

@75 James Dixon:

(OK, they could sue, but as previously mentioned, if they try to attack this legal use of the licence they'll be successfully opposed).

Eventually. But they can succeed in keeping the DogDB developers and any repository hosts in court for years and potentially bankrupt them with court costs.


Maybe. It's not clear to me this couldn't be dealt with in summary judgement, since it hinges on well established law, absent claims hinging on factal allegations outside the realm of the licensing, all of which I can think of require CatDB to also be associated with a for profit company. Like non-competes outside of California (the "secret" to its long term success in tech), misappropriation of trade secrets (particularly hard in FOSS projects), and so on.

However, CatDB LLC would be suffering terrible reputational damage for their dog in the manger behavior, which unless they're actually a giant like Oracle (see the chilling APIs can have copyright protection case against Google) would severely hinder or end their ability to prosecute the case absent a sugar daddy like SCO had with Microsoft (which, as we uncovered the funding connections further damaged their reputation).

On the other side, there are organizations like the EFF and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC, a bit like the SPLC with Morris Dees->Eben Moglen and not quite as evil (he/they supported the FSF trying to steal open source software from OpenBSD and put it under the GPL)) as well as whomever in industry is depending on MammalDB that will fund DogDB, those two orgs at least live for this sort of stuff. Plus if it's big enough, MammalDB might have its own trade organization, or one could be formed to fight the case.

The repository host issue is more complicated, once CatDB LLC files suit, the DMCA counter-notice safe harbor provision is nulled. On the other hand, the code could be hosted in another country, whether to do that would hinge on DogDB's legal strategy. On the third hand, such an effort by CatDB would result in a multitude of third party mirrors "just because" FOSS people are ornery, but that doesn't equal a productive development effort.

I'm probably forgetting a case, but I don't recall one where the plaintiff tried to or was able to get injunctive relief of this sort. On the other hand, the defendant continuing the claimed copyright violation would be in a bad way if they lost the case. But to take past or existing cases, SCO didn't shut down Linux development, nor has Oracle shut down Android (then again, all Oracle wants is a piece of the action).

Blogger James Dixon January 26, 2016 2:07 PM  

> Maybe. It's not clear to me this couldn't be dealt with in summary judgement...

It should be, yes. But the legal system has been thoroughly co-opted, as the decisions on both Obamacare and gay marriage show. You can't count on the law being enforced if it crosses someone's political agenda.

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