A war has erupted in the world of Open Sauce, which could mark the end of an era.
Paolo Bonzini, who is the maintainer of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU grep and GNU sed projects has quit after eight years.
Bonzini just signed off on a release of a new version of GNU sed, but told the world that he was severing his links with the two software initiatives.
This was due to technical and administrative disagreements with the Free Software Foundation and its head, and guru Richard Stallman.
Bonzini moaned that he was prevented from improving coding standards and change from one language to another for coding.
He said that sometimes it was good having Stallman taking executive decisions because it would be impossible to convince a diverse group such as the group of GNU maintainers to agree on coding standards for C.
But sometimes all Stallman had to offer on the topic was “We still prefer C to C++, because C++ is so ugly”.
Stallman’s attitude had meant that GNU coding standards have not seen any update in years and were entirely obsolete.
Another reason that Bonzini walked was because the GNU Project was not doing anything for the FSF or vice versa. The FSF was not trying to improve the GNU brand, something that needed to be done because free software was now being produced by multiple sources, Bonzini moaned.
Putting the GNU label to a project made it unattractive and being part of GNU is not an emblem of technical leadership.
In Unix if something is done badly, everyone is free replace it completely with something totally different and better’. This was not the case with the GNU.
If Bonzini were a lone wolf on the matter, then the FSF and Stallman would have nothing to worry about. After all you are not going to please everyone all of the time. But it seems he is not the only one who is unhappy about the way things are going.
Earlier this month the many syllabled, Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos, who is the maintainer of GnuTLS, moved it outside the GNU Project due to what he said was a major disagreement with the FSF’s decisions and practices.
It is possible that there is starting to be a movement away from Stallman and his FSF which has been vital to the development of Open Sauce since the early 1980s.