Re: New DFSG-compliant emacs packages
David Kastrup <email@example.com> wrote:
> Peter Galbraith <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > We do care about free software, we even treat documentation like
> > software. Something that the FSF doesn't even do.
> Uh, what kind of logic is that?
> "We care about children, we even treat dogs like children."
Your leap of logic, while very colourful, implies that documentation is
entirely different from software. Since we treat both programs and
documentation as "software", your analogy doesn't hold water.
The fact is that we extend the same freedoms to documentation as we do
to programs. They are both software. We don't water-down the freedoms
Whenever I have read RMS write about the GFDL, it has always seemed
artificial to me to "sell" a manual for the price of a non-removable
political text. He doesn't want to make the text unmodifiable yet
removable because people might exercise that right and his manifesto
might disappear from some distribution channels. There are plenty of
working channels to distribute that content without forcing it on
anyone. The fact that it is forced on people makes it lose it's value
and credibility to me. "You can't teach non-violence while beating your
wife" as your collegure said. You can't effectively preach freedom
while removing freedom to do it. The ends do not justify the means.
It's hypocritical to me.
> > We have to not betray the ideals of the Free Software Movement to
> > prove that their documentation license is non-free? That makes no
> > sense.
> Uh, the Free Software Foundation is perfectly aware that the FDL is
> not a free _software_ license. It was never intended for software,
> but rather for documentation. It was never intended to be equivalent
> to the GPL, in which case it would have been rather pointless to write
The FSF can use whatever license it wants. Debian can choose to
distribute the works or not. Emacs and it's manual are two separate
works, distributed under separate licenses. One of them is too
watered-down for us to accept as free. Emacs is so tightly linked to
its documentation and it may appear broken without it. That's not
Debian's fault. Personnaly, I find that a good argument for considering
the Emacs manual as software, which should be GPL'ed.
The disagreement won't be resolved on this list. Even if we convinced
you, that wouldn't change RMS's mind. Even if you convinced a few of
us, that wouldn't change Debian as a whole either.