Patchwork [rain1@airmail.cc] Delete abortion joke

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Submitter Carlos O'Donell
Date May 2, 2018, 3:28 a.m.
Message ID <41373e4e-2793-48ae-f8f4-87e809f0104d@redhat.com>
Download mbox | patch
Permalink /patch/27070/
State New
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Carlos O'Donell - May 2, 2018, 3:28 a.m.
On 05/01/2018 08:30 PM, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>   To the best of our knowledge, terminating a program by calling this
>   function is not against the law in any jurisdiction, but there are
>   some jurisdictions considering laws to censor information about such
>   procedures.  Regardless of your opinion on the procedures, we hope you
>   will support our opposition to censorship.

This is now satire, an even more difficult culturally relative form of
literature. I would not recommend this either.

Why don't we find a solid common ground in wording that relates to
censorship and abortion.

Note that the cartouche only affects PDF and print manuals.

---

There is a trigger warning.

The text is unequivocal and clear about our position on censorship.
Florian Weimer - May 2, 2018, 6:36 a.m.
* Carlos O'Donell:

> The text is unequivocal and clear about our position on censorship.

It should say “government censorship”, not “censorship”, to be
absolutely clear.  The GNU project has rules to restrict certain
speech, after all:

| A GNU program should not recommend, promote, or grant legitimacy to
| the use of any non-free program. Proprietary software is a social
| and ethical problem, and our aim is to put an end to that
| problem. We can’t stop some people from writing proprietary
| programs, or stop other people from using them, but we can and
| should refuse to advertise them to new potential customers, or to
| give the public the idea that their existence is ethical.

<https://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/html_node/References.html>

(Our promotion of ISO standards seems to violate the rules about
non-free documentation, FWIW.)

I also expect that we would ban people from using project resources if
their actions prove toxic to the community.  This could be considered
another form of (non-government) censorship, but I really do not see a
way around it once the need arises.
Zack Weinberg - May 2, 2018, 7:08 p.m.
On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:28 PM, Carlos O'Donell <carlos@redhat.com> wrote:
> On 05/01/2018 08:30 PM, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>   To the best of our knowledge, terminating a program by calling this
>>   function is not against the law in any jurisdiction, but there are
>>   some jurisdictions considering laws to censor information about such
>>   procedures.  Regardless of your opinion on the procedures, we hope you
>>   will support our opposition to censorship.
>
> This is now satire, an even more difficult culturally relative form of
> literature. I would not recommend this either.
>
> Why don't we find a solid common ground in wording that relates to
> censorship and abortion.

As I just said to RMS, I formally object to the inclusion of ANY
replacement for the joke.  I do not think that this subject should be
discussed at all within the GNU C Library Manual, because I think that
no matter how it is worded it winds up sounding like we're mocking the
reader's actual beliefs about abortion - whatever they happen to be -
by drawing a comparison to the termination of computer processes.

Perhaps those that feel strongly that the FSF should be taking a
position on this -- which I can sympathize with -- should write up an
editorial to be published on fsf.org or gnu.org, instead.

zw
Alexandre Oliva - May 3, 2018, 12:27 a.m.
On May  2, 2018, Zack Weinberg <zackw@panix.com> wrote:

> I do not think that this subject should be
> discussed at all within the GNU C Library Manual,

Please stop pretending the subject of the snippet is abortion.  The
topic is censorship, and the irony of a group censoring a denouncement
of censorship would be delicious if it weren't so tragic.
Alexandre Oliva - May 3, 2018, 12:54 a.m.
On May  2, 2018, "Carlos O'Donell" <carlos@redhat.com> wrote:

> On 05/01/2018 08:30 PM, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> To the best of our knowledge, terminating a program by calling this
>> function is not against the law in any jurisdiction, but there are
>> some jurisdictions considering laws to censor information about such
>> procedures.  Regardless of your opinion on the procedures, we hope you
>> will support our opposition to censorship.

> This is now satire

Nah, it was just tongue-in-cheek.

Satire is my following fake proposal of change over yours, see below.

> +The authors of this manual would like to take the opportunity to
> +ask you to oppose @strong{censorship} of human abortion related
> +information. Regardless of your opinion on the topic of human
> +abortion, we hope you will support our opposition to censorship
> +in all forms.

To be accurate, it is now evident that it has to be reworded like this:

  Some of the authors of this manual would like to take the opportunity
  to ask you to oppose @strong{censorship} of information related with
  human abortion.  Regardless of your opinion on the topic of human
  abortion, some of us hope you will support the opposition to
  censorship that we wish all of us shared, but others among us condone
  and practice censorship just like the politicians trying to pass the
  denounced censorship bills, using such tricks as creating fait
  accompli, criticizing straw men and pretending the debate is about a
  different topic.  We now return to your regular programming.

See?, this is satire!  Bitter satire, even.  :-/


Now, I don't think the above is true; at least I hope it isn't, in spite
of the damning appearance, that nobody else thought of contacting the
project leader that appointed each one of the official maintainers, the
same person who left a note for the snippet to not be removed; that the
patch was rushed in after less than 48 hours of debate when most of us
know his email cycles are often longer than that, and that the person
who installed the patch, in spite of expressing regret for not
contacting RMS first, does not offer to correct the mistake and allow
for consensus to be built, insisting on the fait accompli until someone
else offers to revert the change.  To me, offering to correct the
mistake would show good faith, correcting the appearance of rushing the
patch in, but if that's what it takes, I offer to reverse the patch
myself, if the person who pushed it in doesn't do so in the next few
days, so that we can then seek consensus without the fait accompli
artificially shifting the baseline.
Carlos O'Donell - May 3, 2018, 2:33 a.m.
On 05/02/2018 08:27 PM, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> On May  2, 2018, Zack Weinberg <zackw@panix.com> wrote:
> 
>> I do not think that this subject should be
>> discussed at all within the GNU C Library Manual,
> 
> Please stop pretending the subject of the snippet is abortion.  The
> topic is censorship, and the irony of a group censoring a denouncement
> of censorship would be delicious if it weren't so tragic.
 
If the topic is not about abortion, then please move the censorship
discussion to the introduction of the manual and discuss censorship.
Carlos O'Donell - May 3, 2018, 2:48 a.m.
On 05/02/2018 03:08 PM, Zack Weinberg wrote:
> On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:28 PM, Carlos O'Donell <carlos@redhat.com> wrote:
>> On 05/01/2018 08:30 PM, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>>   To the best of our knowledge, terminating a program by calling this
>>>   function is not against the law in any jurisdiction, but there are
>>>   some jurisdictions considering laws to censor information about such
>>>   procedures.  Regardless of your opinion on the procedures, we hope you
>>>   will support our opposition to censorship.
>>
>> This is now satire, an even more difficult culturally relative form of
>> literature. I would not recommend this either.
>>
>> Why don't we find a solid common ground in wording that relates to
>> censorship and abortion.
> 
> As I just said to RMS, I formally object to the inclusion of ANY
> replacement for the joke.  I do not think that this subject should be
> discussed at all within the GNU C Library Manual, because I think that
> no matter how it is worded it winds up sounding like we're mocking the
> reader's actual beliefs about abortion - whatever they happen to be -
> by drawing a comparison to the termination of computer processes.

I agree with that. I also object to ANY replacement of the original
joke.

However, I must cede that there could be different viewpoints in the
community, particularly from RMS and Alex, and so I want to use this
patch as a discussion point over what it is they actually want to
state publicly.

> Perhaps those that feel strongly that the FSF should be taking a
> position on this -- which I can sympathize with -- should write up an
> editorial to be published on fsf.org or gnu.org, instead.

I agree with that also, which was roughly my second suggestion:
https://www.sourceware.org/ml/libc-alpha/2018-05/msg00003.html
Richard Stallman - May 3, 2018, 3:34 a.m.
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

The word "censorship" refers to suppressing what others publish.  It
can be done by a government, or by a general-purpose publisher.  When
a project, activity or organization decides what to say, and what not
to say, that is not censorship.
Richard Stallman - May 3, 2018, 3:34 a.m.
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

  > (Our promotion of ISO standards seems to violate the rules about
  > non-free documentation, FWIW.)

Our rules says we should not refer to ISO standards for the purpose of
documentation.  Our substitute is to write our own manuals for the
interfaces in question.  One of the purposes of the GNU C Library
Manual is to do that job.

However, it is ok to refer to non-free standards documents for other
purposes, such as for explaining why a certain feature is implemented
a certain way.  That's not "documentation" because it's outside the
function of a tutorial or a reference manual.
Alexandre Oliva - May 3, 2018, 6:08 a.m.
On May  2, 2018, "Carlos O'Donell" <carlos@redhat.com> wrote:

> On 05/02/2018 08:27 PM, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> On May  2, 2018, Zack Weinberg <zackw@panix.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> I do not think that this subject should be
>>> discussed at all within the GNU C Library Manual,
>> 
>> Please stop pretending the subject of the snippet is abortion.  The
>> topic is censorship, and the irony of a group censoring a denouncement
>> of censorship would be delicious if it weren't so tragic.
 
> If the topic is not about abortion

The topic of the censorship bill is abortion.  That's what makes the
place suitable to criticize it.

> then please move the censorship discussion to the introduction of the
> manual and discuss censorship.

Moving it elsewhere, where it's less effective, and removing the humor,
that's one of the most effective ways to convey criticism and bypass
learned rejections to such criticism, is just a softer form of
censorship.  To me it comes across as "ok, you want to speak, go ahead
and do so, but speak from this corner where pretty much nobody can see
you, without a microphone, and don't make any effective criticism."

RMS might still be able to come up with a clever way to jump through all
these hoops, but that doesn't make the proposed constraints cease to be
disguised attempts to hide or weaken the intended criticism.


If the censorship law was about methods of terminating insects, 
terminate() in a C++ manual would be the best place to denounce it.

If it censored information about emergency exits, _exit() would be it.

The law in question censors information about abortion, so abort() is
the only reasonable place to put it.


A vague statement against censorship in general is nowhere as effective,
and I don't assume you or anyone else here to be naîve enough to think
it is.
Richard Stallman - May 4, 2018, 4:21 a.m.
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

  > If the topic is not about abortion, then please move the censorship
  > discussion to the introduction of the manual and discuss censorship.

The joke is better, because (1) it is funny and (2) the joke relates
to a C function name.

So I must deny your request to delete the joke and replace it
with a serious discussion.
Dmitry Levin - May 5, 2018, 11:45 a.m.
On Tue, May 01, 2018 at 11:28:05PM -0400, Carlos O'Donell wrote:
[...]
> Note that the cartouche only affects PDF and print manuals.

This is no longer the case nowadays, see
https://www.gnu.org/software/libc/manual/html_node/Aborting-a-Program.html
It's also visible in generated .info files.
Federico Leva (Nemo) - May 5, 2018, 3:44 p.m.
The Mexico City policy is clearly counter to the GNU project's philosphy:
<https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html>

Removing the "joke" now feels like a direct attack on Michelle Wolf and 
her right to satire. Are the glibc maintainers ok with looking like 
they're siding with the extremists who savagely attacked her for her 
remarks last week?

https://youtu.be/DDbx1uArVOM?t=8m14s
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/04/29/michelle-wolfs-caustic-comedy-routine-at-the-white-house-correspondents-dinner-annotated/>

The comment, which I'd call a paradox rather than a joke, is entirely 
appropriate as an easter egg or reminder about absurd regulations and 
the difficulties of making and distributing free software (or exercising 
other individual liberties), which is what GNU is about.

It should stay were it was.

Federico (FSFE supporter)
Carlos O'Donell - May 6, 2018, 3:04 a.m.
On 05/05/2018 07:45 AM, Dmitry V. Levin wrote:
> On Tue, May 01, 2018 at 11:28:05PM -0400, Carlos O'Donell wrote:
> [...]
>> Note that the cartouche only affects PDF and print manuals.
> 
> This is no longer the case nowadays, see
> https://www.gnu.org/software/libc/manual/html_node/Aborting-a-Program.html
> It's also visible in generated .info files.

Correct, it was my mistaken reading of the info rules for @cartouche.
The text in question appears in all formats.
Carlos O'Donell - May 7, 2018, 1:48 a.m.
On 05/04/2018 12:21 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:
> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
> 
>   > If the topic is not about abortion, then please move the censorship
>   > discussion to the introduction of the manual and discuss censorship.
> 
> The joke is better, because (1) it is funny and (2) the joke relates
> to a C function name.
> 
> So I must deny your request to delete the joke and replace it
> with a serious discussion.
 
The joke has already been deleted.

My goal is to help find consensus between those that want the joke
put back, and those that don't. To find a common ground for what each
side is attempting to accomplish, and define success.

Until we reach some kind of consensus the joke will not go back into
the glibc manual according to the current community consensus rules.

In the meantime if you wish to publish something different for the 
GNU manuals, you are free to do so.

Patch

diff --git a/manual/startup.texi b/manual/startup.texi
index 21c48cd037..589ee631c8 100644
--- a/manual/startup.texi
+++ b/manual/startup.texi
@@ -787,6 +787,8 @@  if (rc == -1)
 @cindex program termination
 @cindex process termination
 
+@strong{Trigger warning: Talk of abortion.}
+
 @cindex exit status value
 The usual way for a program to terminate is simply for its @code{main}
 function to return.  The @dfn{exit status value} returned from the
@@ -1005,6 +1007,14 @@  This function actually terminates the process by raising a
 intercept this signal; see @ref{Signal Handling}.
 @end deftypefun
 
+@cartouche
+The authors of this manual would like to take the opportunity to
+ask you to oppose @strong{censorship} of human abortion related
+information. Regardless of your opinion on the topic of human
+abortion, we hope you will support our opposition to censorship
+in all forms.
+@end cartouche
+
 @node Termination Internals
 @subsection Termination Internals