[rms at gnu.org: Some problems on gnucash.org]

Chris Shoemaker c.shoemaker at cox.net
Thu Aug 10 12:10:46 EDT 2006

On Thu, Aug 10, 2006 at 01:07:14AM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> Christian Stimming <stimming at tuhh.de> writes:
> > It didn't occur to me that the current GnuCash project (read: the
> > currently active developers) consider GnuCash as part of the GNU
> > project or vice versa, or that it ever has been considered this
> > way. I wouldn't understand if we added such a statement right now
> > without any further relation between the GNU project and ours,
> > except for that part of the name... :-)
> It didn't occur to you?  It was started that way, and well, gee, it
> *is* in the name.  :)

Maybe you were just joking around, (I do see a smiley), but if you're
seriously asserting that GnuCash was ever "released under the auspices
of the GNU Project"[1], which appears to be definitive of GNU
packages, then I would expect GnuCash's documentation to have declared
itself to be GNU software.  I've been unable to find any evidence that
this was ever true.  Do you have any?  If not, I believe you are

I admit that the FSF has apparently declared GnuCash to be "a GNU
package" for at least some time. [2] But, the FSF's own definition of
a GNU package seems to require that the software authors declare their
software to be so.  I have no explanation for this inconsistency.

As for RMS's implication that "the GNU Project" wrote GnuCash [3],
GnuCash's authors are quite well noted in GnuCash's source and AUTHORS
file.  I don't know of the official membership of the GNU Project -
perhaps it's a circular definition, but of those contributors, you,
Thomas, are the only one I know of that's apparently associated with
the GNU Project.

I'm just trying to objectively examine the few things that would
suggest ambiguity on the subject.  On the whole, I'm inclined to trust
the more numerous and less ambiguous data that clearly indicate the
GnuCash has never been a GNU package, e.g. a public statement by a
core GnuCash developer in 2001, "While GnuCash is licenced under GPL
software, we are not technically a GNU project." [4]

All that aside, I don't really have a strong opinion either way, if
other devs wanted to make GnuCash a GNU package.  They would have to
announce it, though.  As far as I can tell, they don't really care
much.  However, it's strange that RMS claims that GnuCash is a GNU
package, and definitely impolite to imply that GnuCash was written by
"the GNU Project." [3]

Anyway, if you were just joking around, just take this as a general
FYI for the masses. :)


[1] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html#GNUsoftware
[2] http://directory.fsf.org/GNU/gnucash.html
[3] see Manfred's email in this thread
[4] http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=13094&cid=106780

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