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Re: Merging the FSF jobs page and GNU Herds

From: Davi Leal
Subject: Re: Merging the FSF jobs page and GNU Herds
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 16:14:58 +0200

Richard Stallman <address@hidden>:
    > For instance, the FAQ says that anyone can post a job listing.

    We can update the FAQ to say only offers which comply with the Free
    Software Jobs Submission Guidelines [1] will be published.

That is an essential step.  The problem that remains is how to check
whether each offer complies.

Maybe, when the project has been finished, the worker (previously, one
of the applicants), could report if the job did comply with the "Free
Software Jobs Guidelines" ?.

I have deleted the FS job sites page and updated the below FAQ points
at the development site
 3. Who can subscribe to a job offer?
 4. Who can post a job offer?

We could add to the FAQ this new question:
 *. Who can use the "FS qualifications search" facility?

    > What prevents people from posting job listings for jobs to develop
    > non-free software?  I don't see any obstacle.  They might do say this
    > explicitly with an announcement like "We want to hire the best
    > programmers with Linux [sic] experience to develop a proprietary DRM
    > platform that would run on Linux [sic]".

    The job offers form has only two free fields: the Vacancy title and
    the job Description [2]. Others field will have one of the fixed combo
    box values. We can add automatic checks to these two free fields to:
          A.I. strip words as: DRM, etc.,
          A.II. marks as "checks not passed" and do not publish it,
          A.III. warn to the employer about the fact that her offer has
    been blocked. She will have to fix it to allow it to be published.

You can't do this filtering automatically.  It has to be done by a
human being.  That is how we do it now, for our jobs page.

You were right. So, we will update the Qualifications and JobOffer
forms to replace all the free fields with combo boxes, etc. So, there
will not be any free to fill field, so we restrict what kind of entity
Qualifications and what kind of JobOffers are published.

As you wrote: "I am not so much worried about that. It isn't very
effective recruiting if they can't say what the real job is."

Besides, we have updated the FAQ.

    Anyway, though all the information keep in the webapp be right, after
    getting in contact with the applicants the employer could talk with
    then about non-free-software.

I am not so much worried about that.  It isn't very effective
recruiting if they can't say what the real job is.

    > The site also offers to list people who want jobs.  That kind of
    > activity poses another problem: developers of non-free software could
    > use the listings too; there is nothing to stop them.

    Only registered entities (persons, companies or non-profit
    organizations) can access to the contact information of an entity.

What is the criterion for registration?

If the criterion is "nobody that develops proprietary software may
apply", then we know that registered entities won't ever hire people
for proprietary software development.  Otherwise we don't know.

Even so, they could lie. One way to minimise this harm is  make it
easier to applicants report wrong conducts so that the association can
block accounts identified by its unique IDs: email, name+address,
landline, mobile phone, VoIP id, etc.

Besides, we could allow to access it only to entities with some type
of certification. Read below.

Besides, see the above restrictions to the Qualifications and
JobOffers forms. We will not allow any free to fill field, so we
control what is exposed.

But if registration is that limited, people won't have much chance
of getting hired.  So I think that listing people who want work
is a basic mistake.  It can't do any good; it can only do harm.

Even with only one free software contract realized via this way, it is
better than nothing.

Just a proposal: The access to the contact information of the "FS
Qualifications search" results could be allowed only to entities
certified as "GNU Business Network", that is to say "nobody that
develops proprietary software".

    > This is why we don't list possible workers on  Instead we
    > list service providers....  This isn't a perfect system for preventing 
    > but makes them harder.

    The system used right now at can be seen as services

It "can be seen" as that if you ignore some of the facts,
but those facts are crucial and we should not ignore them.

We will try not to ignore "the facts".  We have already fixed some of
the problems you have reported. Please, keep sending feedback. We will
work to fix all problems you report. Our goal is get the proposal
coherent with the Free Software philosophy so that you can allow host
it at your hosts.

Writing the "agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy" which
all the registered entities types must sign, is a task which is not
yet done.

P.S.: Maybe the natural way will be to do the project a GNU project.

Best regards,

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