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Brainstorming on The Free Farm Manifesto

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Hello Farm Hackers, I created the GNU Farm Manifesto as a Tool on Farm Hack with the following description:

In the spirit of The GNU Manifesto that layed out the mission for a set software tools that users have the freedom to modify, we lay the GNU Farm Manifesto here editable by the community to help define what software and hardware freedom means to us and our goals for achieving that freedom in the tools we use in agriculture.

I also added 3 sections to the wiki page for this Tool: 1. The importance of software in agriculture 2. The importance of software and hardware that prioritizes user's freedom in Agriculture, 3. Goals

I'm actively working to understand the fear some folks have that the naming of this document as a reference to the GNU Manifesto could be polarizing and needlessly faction our community. I am considering a change of the title but will need to think about this more and discuss this more with everyone here. My current feeling is that many of us will share an understanding of "The importance of software in agriculture" but we may prioritize differently how we communicate the need for Copyleft licensed tools in Agriculture. I recognize that a Copyleft license gives farmers the freedom to build and modify their own tools as well as being a competitive advantage in research and development for businesses, businesses that are in this case often small farms working together. Between those two points I prioritize the first as the most important and I think that may be the distinguishing factor between libre/free software and open source software movements. Does that sound right to you?

I still have much to learn and look forward to talking about this more with everyone.

Yours truly, R.J. Steinert

R.J. Steinert's picture

Hi all - As a start, I changed the naming of the document from the GNU Farm Manifesto to the Free Farm Manifesto. While GNU Farm Manifesto is nice because it in a way gives attribution in the title, the "Not Unix" thing doesn't necessarily mean much to farms. The important part here is freedom. Thoughts?

I also rewrote most of the document to focus on four freedoms I've layed out that are based on, but not exactly, the Four Freedoms as defined by the Free Software Foundation. I rant on the right to know how a tool works in the context of software, we could use many other examples there for both software and hardware. I'm also thinking about a third section that might include some clarifications of things like the difference between Open Source and Free Software and how this Manifesto fits in. I do mention in the explanation of the four freedoms both the importance of freedom (free software) and competitive advantage (open source) but there is still much more to write!

\ R.J. Steinert

baruch77's picture

It might be helpful for some of us to identify with your effort if we knew what "GNU" stands for.