[Libre-soc-dev] RFC on mission

Alexandre Oliva oliva at gnu.org
Wed Dec 2 08:07:41 GMT 2020

On Nov 29, 2020, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 29, 2020 at 9:09 PM Alexandre Oliva <oliva at gnu.org> wrote:
>> Ok to install?

> mmm the answer would have been yes until you highlighted below about
> the meaning behind the word "users".

>> To me, users can be businesses, governments, NGOs, individuals, etc.

> ah.  right.  where "users" when it comes to products tends to be
> implicitly "end-users".  as in: people who buy the products from shops
> and "use" them.

Yeah, those are the ones I mean.  Not just individuals who buy them from
shops, but also small businesses and NGOs that also buy them from shops,
and even governments and mega corporations that are more likely to buy
them elsewhere.  All of them are encompassed by users, and I care that
all of them can trust the processors they use to do their computing.
Without it, they can't really achieve the autonomy AKA freedom that we
in the software freedom movement defend.

But I don't mean to exclude intermediaries, i.e., those who make
products out of our processors.  They are also deserving of this
freedom, at least as long as they don't deprive others of it.

> the better word to cover the case you envisage would i feel be
> "everyone" or "people"

I don't feel that people is broad enough.  It suggests to me only
individuals, none of the other kinds of users that I mentioned.

'everyone' might be more like it, but it still feels a little too
suggestive of just individuals to me.

I think 'users' expresses it better than either of these, but if the
meaning I intended was not apparent before, I wonder if spelling it as
'end-users' would make it clear.

>> If so, is there any difference of intent behind the spellings 'customers
>> and users' and 'businesses and users'?

> yes.  customers in the sense that people buying processors are
> typically OEMs, not direct end-users.

*nod*.  those are customers.  the question was whether 'businesses',
that appears next to users in the other bullet, also intended to refer
to customers, or to something else.  To me, businesses in the latter
bullet would/could cover OEMs as much as corporate end-users, even both.
But having '(businesses and users)' as an parenthesized clarification of
'customers', now in the earlier bullet, seems to muddle it up a bit.

I think the same phrase, 'customers and users', would work in both
bullets, and convey meaning that I would want to convey.  That's why I
wondered whether there is any intended difference between the two
phrases.  If there aren't, we'd probably be better off using the same
phrase; if there are, we may have to make the distinction clearer, even
to ourselves.

Alexandre Oliva, happy hacker  https://FSFLA.org/blogs/lxo/
   Free Software Activist         GNU Toolchain Engineer
        Vim, Vi, Voltei pro Emacs -- GNUlius Caesar

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