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Richard Stallman Acknowledges Libreboot Is No Longer A Part of GNU (gnu.org) 397

Libreboot became an official GNU project in May. Now an anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Richard Stallman has officially announced that Libreboot is no longer a GNU package. The maintainer of Libreboot had tried to leave the GNU project in September 2016, but the departure was not acknowledged until January 2017. Libreboot is a replacement for proprietary BIOS systems, effectively a distribution of coreboot without any binary blobs and adding an automated build/install process.
In the post titled "Goodbye to GNU Libreboot," Stallman wrote that "When a package's maintainer steps down, that doesn't by itself break the relationship between GNU and the package. If it is left without a maintainer but is still useful, the GNU Project will usually look for new maintainers to work on it. However, we can instead drop ties with the package, if that seems the right thing to do.

"A few months ago, the maintainer of GNU Libreboot decided not to work on Libreboot for the GNU Project any more. That was her decision to make. She also asserted that Libreboot was no longer a GNU package -- something she could not unilaterally do. The GNU Project had to decide what to do in regard to Libreboot. We have decided to go along with the former GNU maintainer's wishes in this case, for a combination of reasons: (1) it had not been a GNU package for very long, (2) she was the developer who had originally made it a GNU package, and (3) there were no major developers who wanted to continue developing Libreboot under GNU auspices."
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Richard Stallman Acknowledges Libreboot Is No Longer A Part of GNU

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  • If not in GNU system, would the maintainer please advise where they have lodged the source code for download.

    • by Selur ( 2745445 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @01:49PM (#53629139)

      https://libreboot.org/ [libreboot.org] -> points to https://notabug.org/vimuser/li... [notabug.org] for the source code,...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2017 @01:51PM (#53629149)

      Um - https://libreboot.org/

      Also there is more information as to why libreboot left the GNU. From their site - 'Libreboot left GNU on 2016-09-15, in protest of transgender discrimination at the FSF'.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Um - https://libreboot.org/

        Also there is more information as to why libreboot left the GNU. From their site - 'Libreboot left GNU on 2016-09-15, in protest of transgender discrimination at the FSF'.

        Not surprising.

        FSF is pretty close-minded - "my way is always right!"

        It even includes technical issues, too. Glibc fork() is not async-signal-safe per POSIX? [sourceware.org] Even though BSD and Solaris and AIX have no problem making fork() asynch-signal-safe, GNU folks go with "WONTFIX" and try to lobby to water down the POSIX standard because it sets too high a bar for them.

      • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @04:10PM (#53629781) Homepage

        Um - https://libreboot.org/ [libreboot.org]

        Also there is more information as to why libreboot left the GNU. From their site - 'Libreboot left GNU on 2016-09-15, in protest of transgender discrimination at the FSF'.

        Having read it... That's... an interesting interpretation of events. You'll note the complete lack of evidence in it? That's important.

        Here's what actually happened, based on what evidence I could find. Leah Woods is a SJW who had a fit because of some made up bullshit that boils down, like all made up SJW bullshit, to "Open Source is a meritocracy, but we still want special treatment."

        Here's a well sourced discussion on it on Kotaku In Action, the GamerGate reddit board:
        https://www.reddit.com/r/Kotak... [reddit.com]

        And some discussion over on reddit's linux board:
        https://www.reddit.com/r/linux... [reddit.com]

        Basically, Leah Rowe had a fit because the FSF parted ways with a transgendered employee.

        Leah makes the unfounded claim that the FSF did this because the person has a mental illness (gender dysphoria / gender identity disorder), because someone wrote criticism of said person with mental illness which looked bad on the FSF, etc. She provides no evidence of these VERY specific claims.
        http://archive.is/iXIbc [archive.is]

        The FSF make a statement on 9/16 pointing out that they have a strong anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, as well as a so called "safe space policy" at FSF events. In other words, they have already capitulated to all the standard Regressive Leftist demands. They deny the accusation and say the person with mental illness was terminated for other reasons.
        https://archive.is/HGLMa [archive.is]

        Leah specifically follows up this claim here, changing her claim to a different claim that two FSF employees were "transphobic" and "bullying" this mentally ill developer. She namedrops these two people, but refuses to namedrop the supposed victim, believing they deserve protection from any criticism or questioning of these claims. Note that this apparently does not apply to the two men she is accusing without any form of evidence of unprofessional and possibly illegal behavior.
        https://archive.is/7cXtw#selec... [archive.is]

        She follows this up with more increasingly unhinged spam and unfounded accusations. She ignores, bans, or curses out people requesting evidence or disputing her one woman lynch mob. She posts an unhinged screed on her website showing she has little to no understanding of open source, all while repeating the same unfounded claims, as well as claiming martyrdom on her part.
        https://archive.is/JmiTG [archive.is]

        It's important to note that libreroot is a fork of Coreboot and being part of the GNU project means it was posted under an open source license. Which means someone could easily fork it again and put it BACK in the GNU project. Of course, proving she doesn't understand the first thing about open source, she specifically wants people NOT to do that. I suggest the name cisLibreBoot, because it seems the most amusing name possible.

        Fortunately, the GNU mailing list appears to basically shut her histrionics down fairly quickly:
        http://archive.is/di974 [archive.is]

        In addition, it's important to realize the unhinged professional victimhood martyrdom ravings of Leah Rowe, which are REMARKABLY similar to other social justice activists such as Brianna Wu or Nora Reed, don't actually represent the Libreroot community. See, it turns out, what she did was steal access to the main repository and lock out everyone else, all while making her unhinged, evidence-free stat

        • What exactly are leftists regressing too? Or is this another case of someone from the right wing trying to paint the left with their own brush ala Karl Rove?

          And WTF else should the FSF have done? Yeah, the author of libreroot over reacted and is likely a bit of a nutter. That's no reason for you to take pot shots and the FSF, liberalism and anti-discrimination policies in general. Or did you think nobody would notice that little tidbit in the rest of your post?
          • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @05:40PM (#53630155) Homepage

            What exactly are leftists regressing too? Or is this another case of someone from the right wing trying to paint the left with their own brush ala Karl Rove?

            First off, I'm a liberal. Voted for Hillary, although my heart belonged to Bernie. I'm not afraid of Trump, though, so I'm apparently not a very good liberal.

            Second. Regressive Left is a play on the term "Progressives." Because the authoritarian post-modernist critical theory (read: marxist) nutjobs who are behind the Progressive movement are anything BUT progressive.

            They want to set up segregation again, this time under the theory that they'll choose who gets the good water fountains. http://www.thecollegefix.com/p... [thecollegefix.com]

            They want to discard the magna carta and the foundations of our legal system -- because some pink haired "Gender Diversity Officer" should have more of a say than the police in rape accusations.
            http://www.indystar.com/story/... [indystar.com]

            They want to redefine terms like "racism" so that certain protected classes are allowed to be racist, because they don't know any better. Because the people suggesting this are racists. https://www.rawstory.com/2016/... [rawstory.com]

            We just saw the US population as well as the UK reject this insanity. The rest of the EU appears to be following right behind. And rather than do any form of introspection and start pushing out some of these toxic, problematic marxist elements, instead we get unhinged conspiracy theories about L33t Russian Haxx0rs.

            God save us, because the left has learned absolutely nothing.

            (Fun fact: Note that the CIA also confirmed all those emails were true, but we're not supposed to care that the DNC is more corrupt than the GOP now. Nor are we supposed to care that Trump actually bamboozled the GOP into giving him a standing ovation when he talked about protecting Gay Rights. Remember, Literally Hitler.)

            • First off, I'm a liberal. Voted for Hillary, although my heart belonged to Bernie. I'm not afraid of Trump, though, so I'm apparently not a very good liberal.

              Haha you sure aren't! You sound exactly like a centipede (member of the alt-right). Why would someone who is socially about 16 lightyears to the right of anyone with a D beside their name have any interest in Hillary or Bernie? Maybe you're fiscally liberal, but there's some conflict between being fiscally liberal and socially conservative, which is why it's a vanishingly rare combination.

              • Bless you, sir, for doing God's work.

                We alt-right can't possibly be everywhere, so we count on the efforts of concerned progressives like yourself to spread our message. I'm happy to report that thanks to the hard work of thousands of people just like you, we pretty much have Trump's 2020 reelection locked in.

        • Your unhinged rant sounds quite similar, in length and tone, to hers.

        • Thanks for referring to the discussions that occurred when this first became public. The mailing list discussions and changes in the FSF's website make it clear that Leah Rowe is arguing on behalf of someone else—a former FSF employee whose identity was revealed when their bio was removed from the FSF Staff and Board webpage [fsf.org]. The Libreboot project has not been "stolen" from the community as anyone is free to copy the project (before or after leaving the GNU Project) and develop the code further. That

        • Hmm Let's see:

          * Kotaku in action
          * Reddit
          * SJW
          * histrionics
          * Brianna Wu
          * Bullying

          I call Bingo!!

          What do I win?

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        No.... One person involved with Libreboot (the maintainer) decided the Libreboot community would leave GNU in protest citing frivolous claims of transgender discrimination as a reason for requiring the project to dissasociate with GNU --- That is, unsubstantiated claims, which the Maintainer of Libreboot has personally maintained to have some basis, but which by all rational accounts and published details seem to be unfounded or lacking believable evidence for valid basis.

        Since some involved with Li

      • Except that the supposed discrimination never happened. The trans women was hired, as an out trans person, worked there a few years and was let go - as happens at times.
        The libreboot person decided she was let go because of her gender (she never claimed to think it had played a role) the FSF said her gender played no role and she was let go simply because the job she was doing had become redundant. Sad but true.

        So there is no evidence that there ever *was* any trans discrimination - on the contrary, they we

    • by mlyle ( 148697 )

      Same git repository it's been at for some time, with active development still ongoing. Seems like they just are not pleased with the relationship with FSF/GNU.

      • by mlyle ( 148697 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @01:54PM (#53629181)

        Update: It seems this is why Libreboot's maintainers were not pleased with GNU: https://libreboot.org/gnu/ [libreboot.org]

        • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @02:59PM (#53629431)

          Whee Gender Politics has reached the FSF/GNU.

          https://www.reddit.com/r/linux... [reddit.com]

          https://www.reddit.com/r/Kotak... [reddit.com]

          • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @04:11PM (#53629787)

            The FSF made a blanket statement denying the accusation, but I haven't seen anything more than that. So... that's all we have to go on. If this were a giant corporation everyone hated, like Comcast, would people be so equally quick to simply take a company's terse press release as proof of their innocence? Did they actually do any sort of serious internal investigation? They don't even say. Forgive me I'm a bit skeptical.

            Then again, I have no idea who Leah Rowe is, or what kind of person she is. Maybe she's unstable or a liar, and just makes things up. Maybe she's telling the truth. Or maybe her perspective and mentality differs so much from the others at the FSF that the same facts are interpreted in completely opposite ways.

            How do you tell who's telling the truth in this literal "he said / she said"? I certainly can't.

            • At this point the entire thing is dubious - very vague allegations against the FSF that the FSF denies, coupled with an over broad attack on the organization that's difficult to judge.

              Something happened, that much is clear, and it got back to Ms Rowe in some form that made her extremely angry. But without more information, and at least some objective facts that are verifiable, it's not easy to determine how to solve the problem.

              The FSF isn't Comcast, the FSF is, to a certain extent, us. We contribute i

              • Still, keep in mind that the FSF is two things: it's a legal non-profit organization with board members and a handful of paid employees, as well as a broader community of volunteers, enthusiasts, and supporters. While the latter is the organization that most people are affiliated with, the former means they still have the same legal obligations and responsibility as any other corporate employer.

                That being the case, though, you make an interesting point, albeit indirectly:

                Something happened, that much is clear, and it got back to Ms Rowe in some form that made her extremely angry.

                Whatever happened here, Ms Rowe is

            • by sjames ( 1099 )

              They're kinda stuck. If they lay out their actual reasons for termination, they open themselves to a big lawsuit for privacy violation.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ClickOnThis ( 137803 )

          Update: It seems this is why Libreboot's maintainers were not pleased with GNU: https://libreboot.org/gnu/ [libreboot.org]

          Disclosure: this story is the first time I have heard of this issue.

          Although the link points to libreboot's side of this, it still is an eye-opener. TL/DR: the FSF fired a transgender employee on discriminatory grounds, but libreboot unintentionally outed the employee in the first place.

          It sounds to me that there are no saints on either side of this issue, but FSF is far more in the wrong than libreboot.

          If anyone deserves sympathy here, it's the transgender employee who now faces an uphill battle to reboot

    • It probably only works on a handful of systems that are way outdated at this point.

  • by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @02:03PM (#53629213)
    Something about this summary struck me as strange.

    It seems Leah created a project, joined with GNU, then decided to separate from the GNU, and Stallman is talking as if Leah can't go back to her original project. Is that normal? It seems borderline abusive to me.
    "Oh, you want to leave? Well, I'm going to make sure I tell everyone publicly that you have my permission, because I am the one in power, and you are lucky that I am letting you go."

    Leah's reason for the split was because of discrimination that occurred at Free Software Foundation, GNU's main funding source. I'm not very familiar with the situation, but at the very least, here are links for another side of the story:
    https://libreboot.org/gnu/ [libreboot.org]
    https://libreboot.org/gnu-insu... [libreboot.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Since Libreboot is free software, under the GPL anyway, the GNU people could simply have called GNU Libreboot a fork, assigned a new maintainer and carried on with it. That's the thing with free software - you give up the ability to stop people releasing their own version.

      I can understand Stallman's position. Libreboot is a really important part of the GNU system, absolutely essential for creating computers that run on completely free software. GNU is diminished by its loss.

      The real problem here is that the

      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @03:08PM (#53629467) Journal
        I don't know much about the situation, but look at this quote:

        [The Libreboot maintainer] Leah Rowe has even spent in excess of 100,000 USD of her own money to have new hardware ported to both coreboot and libreboot, to further the cause. She has spent countless sleepness days and night to keep this project afloat.

        That's hardcore. She deserves respect for her hard work and contribution.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Indeed, without her hard work and monetary contributions there would be exactly zero machines available that can run completely free software.

        • I don't know much about the situation, but look at this quote:

          [The Libreboot maintainer] Leah Rowe has even spent in excess of 100,000 USD of her own money to have new hardware ported to both coreboot and libreboot, to further the cause. She has spent countless sleepness days and night to keep this project afloat.

          That's hardcore. She deserves respect for her hard work and contribution.

          If it's true. (I'm not saying it's untrue, just that it's an unsubstantiated, unverified claim.)

          • If it's true. (I'm not saying it's untrue, just that it's an unsubstantiated, unverified claim.)

            We don't really gain much either way from doubting it, and it is substantiated that she has put a lot of time and effort into the project. So from that alone she deserves respect.

            • If it's true. (I'm not saying it's untrue, just that it's an unsubstantiated, unverified claim.)

              We don't really gain much either way from doubting it, and it is substantiated that she has put a lot of time and effort into the project. So from that alone she deserves respect.

              I agree but... From what I've read here (and other places) Leah wrote those statements herself (in the third person, for some reason) and self-made claims should always be viewed with a certain skepticism. The initial release of the software was in Dec 2013 (three years ago). Spending $100k of personal money over such a short time period is a feat of dedication and, if true, deserves respect, but it seems a little dubious - unless she's really well off financially. As such, the rest of her emotional self c

              • Yeap. You are correct. But having a default position of being generous with respect is also good.
                • Yeap. You are correct. But having a default position of being generous with respect is also good.

                  Agreed. (and a good point for all parties involved in this FSF / Libreboot kerfuffle to remember.)

                  Happy New Year.

    • It's the other way around.

      GNU and FSF do not belong in the libreboot community at this point.

      https://libreboot.org/gnu-insu... [libreboot.org]

      Let's hope the rich and vibrant libreboot community can thrive again now that the transphobic, intolerant GNU and FSF can no longer oppress them.

    • by pikine ( 771084 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @02:48PM (#53629385) Journal

      According to the Information for Maintainers of GNU Software [gnu.org], a package becomes adopted by GNU FSF when a maintainer volunteers to do so. They could bring in a package they didn't write, as long as the package source has a GPL compatible license. It's also not required to transfer the source code copyright to FSF.

      Libreboot was derived from Coreboot by removing the proprietary blobs. Leah volunteered to be a GNU package maintainer and started recruiting developers to work on Libreboot, and not for long decided to step down as a maintainer. There is no rule forbidding Leah from continuing to work on Libreboot without being associated with GNU/FSF. She is entitled to stop volunteering for GNU anytime for no reason whatsoever.

      What Richard Stallman says is that a GNU package could be orphaned by its maintainer and often remain a GNU package until a new maintainer picks it up, but in this case he was compelled to make a special exemption to excise Libreboot from GNU. GNU/FSF's role is a librarian/publisher, and the maintainers are more like curators. It makes no sense for a package to "leave GNU" just because the curator stopped volunteering.

    • and Stallman is talking as if Leah can't go back to her original project.

      No, you understood it wrong. She of course can go back to her original project. The question is whether that will cause a fork, or if GNU would close down their 'branch' of the project.

      She cannot force everyone else (or anyone else) to stop working on their own branch of the project, because that is what the GPL (and open source more generally) is designed to allow.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      It seems Leah created a project, joined with GNU, then decided to separate from the GNU, and Stallman is talking as if Leah can't go back to her original project. Is that normal? It seems borderline abusive to me. "Oh, you want to leave? Well, I'm going to make sure I tell everyone publicly that you have my permission, because I am the one in power, and you are lucky that I am letting you go."

      Seems completely normal to me. If Oracle unilaterally sent out a press release that OpenOffice has left Apache and is back to being a Oracle project and Apache objected saying you can't just decide that we'd be ready to burn Larry Ellison at the stake. I don't know the truth of the allegations, but whether they're true or false she's clearly a major drama queen taking every opportunity to be butthurt. That leads me to question how much the person fired was fired for bring a trans person and how much she's j

    • That's not what it sounds to me, it's more like "I leave and you cannot use my package in GNU anymore" which can't be done because you cannot dictate to the organization you are leaving what to use and since the package is GPLed everybody is free to use it, Stallman just clarified that he removed the package from GNU not because she asked, he specifically made the point that if they wanted they could have kept it (that's one reason why he write GPL and established FSF, for people to be able to use the code

    • No project is forced to be GNU, you give up something to get something.

  • Melodrama (Score:5, Informative)

    by dinfinity ( 2300094 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @02:07PM (#53629227)

    The Libreboot page is filled with shitloads of rancor concerning the GNU project and the FSF (which, by its victimized tone, I'm afraid to say doesn't make the maintainer's side of the story more trustworthy).
    I can easily see why the FSF isn't sorry to see her go. They're probably cutting all ties with the project just to minimize the amount of further drama.

    Read it and cringe:
    - https://libreboot.org/why-not-... [libreboot.org]
    - https://libreboot.org/gnu-insu... [libreboot.org]

    She even talks about herself in the third person, even though it's obvious to everybody that she is the one writing it.

    • They. (Score:2, Troll)

      by lucm ( 889690 )

      And this:

      When the transgender employee filed a complaint, they were fired because the complaint was seen as troublemaking

      Is this correct? Is "they" the correct pronoun to use for a transgender person? Are both his/her original and updated gender not good enough? Or maybe that person just identifies as plural?

      What the fuck, people. What the fuck.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "They" is considered to be an appropriate gender neutral pronoun by some grammarians. It's not ideal, but it's better than some of the atrocities that are sometimes proposed.

    • That is the weirdest way to write.
      Not only does Leah Rowe talk about Leah Rowe in the third person, but she has companies talk in the first person.

      "Libreboot witnessed this when it left GNU. The GNU project resisted it. Had libreboot stayed and integrated with GNU even more, then it would have been very difficult to leave."

      • by DamonHD ( 794830 )

        FWIW I think that companies (and clubs etc) are collective nouns and therefore singular.

        * Microsoft is known for a rather off-hand attitude to security in the past.
        * England is a football team that never quite makes it to the top.
        * 10 Downing Street said yesterday through its spokesperson that ...
        * A club/team/company does X

        However:
        * The greenhorns that Microsoft used to hire had never been bitten by others' bad code so they didn't understand.
        * England's players are quite decent.
        * 10 Downing Street's spokes

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
    • I can easily see why the FSF isn't sorry to see her go.

      Really, because their actions since September show the exact opposite.

  • the next version of Libreboot won't have a splash image depicting a penguin hugging a gnu.
    • I'm looking forward to the animated splash screen of a gnu being beaten to a pulp (and the ensuing animal rights controversy).

  • What is the difference b/w Coreboot and Libreboot? Why does the GNU project need both?
  • If this "reasonable agreement" catches on, it will be the end of the lawyer business.

  • by Afty0r ( 263037 ) on Sunday January 08, 2017 @06:03PM (#53630253) Homepage
    Reading several of the statements about the issue on libreboot.org linked from other highly-voted comments on this thread, they all appear to be written by Leah Rowe, and read like those of a petulant child. There's a lack of maturity both in the tone of the posts and in the content. Some are borderline libellous and have no evidence to back it up - besides hearsay from other people. But not a link to their own post, or even a direct quote, just a load of spiel about what they said. It's sad and pathetic, I suspect the FSF and GNU will be glad to see the back of anyone with that kind of attitude / lack of professionalism.
  • When that same Leah Rowe decided to make public her sexual identity the far had no problems with retroactively change her name in past posts in the mailing lists. Is they were truly hostile they wouldn't bother.

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