I’m maintaining a bunch of projects and at times I think about joining some kind of umbrella organization to find a foster family for the project. An organization that’s bigger than just that single project that possibly could be helpful in a lot of ways.
One large and famous such umbrella project for free and open software is GNU, Gnu’s Not Unix. To submit your software to GNU, they have a set of rules you need to obey. and here’s my reasons why the projects I maintain most likely will not ever become GNU projects:
- GNU programs should come with documentation in Texinfo format – Oh man, so we need to provide an inferior documentation format of the docs for our software just to be GNU? It doesn’t make sense. And of course, info also sucks.
- A GNU program should use the latest version of the license that the GNU Project recommendsâ€”not just any free software license. For most packages, this means using the GNU GPL – for many existing projects the selected license was carefully chosen and if the project has existed for a while changing license is not an easy task. I would also consider it out of the question for many projects. A true stopping requirement for most of my projects.
- the documentation files and comments in the program should speak of GNU/Linux systems, rather than calling the whole system â€œLinuxâ€, and should use the term â€œfree softwareâ€ rather than â€œopen sourceâ€. – blah. I often speak of “open source” and I like the term “Linux” because of its simplicity and it being easier to pronounce than GNU/Linux.
In all, this just proves that I don’t share the religious and strong philosophical views on life and everything that the GNU people posses.
I’m quite simply not a GNU person. I sympathize with their general goals and I know and support a lot of GNU hackers and projects. I just can’t make my projects join the project.