Re: Inconsistencies in our approach
On Fri, Aug 01, 2003 at 09:50:13PM -0700, John H. Robinson, IV wrote:
> i am going to try to take a stab at it:
> hardware: physical computing devices
> software: logical information stored by hardware devices that can be
> used for computation.
> this allows us to break software into three (or more) areas:
> program: software that provides instructions to hardware
> data: input to software
> documentation: information about software or data
> Drawer 'O': software that does not fit in the above three categories.
Pretty good. I would have tried to phrase it slightly differently, but you
have hit the nail on the head.
If it's represented essentially as a sequence of 1s and 0s in a typical
digital computer, and can be modified while the machine is running, and
without moving anything except electrons around, it's software.
Yes, there may be subcategories within "software" which may or may not be
relevant in various situations. In the context of the DFSG, they are not.
I would mention that the question of modifiability of licenses etc. would
to my mind be covered in the definition of "free" rather than in that of
> this allows us to neatly sidestep the whole issue, because _online_
> documentation would fit in one of the above four categories of software.
It's not a neat sidestep, it's just The Way It Is... people trying to justify
including non-free software (which happens to fall into the "documentation"
subcategory) in Debian are the ones trying to perform the neat sidestep.
Oh, and I agree with Manoj; the boundaries of the subcategories are unclear.
Nick Phillips -- email@example.com
It may or may not be worthwhile, but it still has to be done.