Re: Debian Weekly News - August 19th, 2003
On Sun, Aug 24, 2003 at 02:06:04AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> Not only did you ignore my Mail-Followup-To header, to which I drew your
> attention in the very first line of my reply, but you mailed me a
> private copy of your message.
I always use "g" to respond to mailing list posts in mutt. It has worked
fine before. I have no idea why would be the exception (even if I hit "r",
it should still obey that header). I'm runnting mutt 1.5.4 if it's anything
to you. I do not regularly inspect the result of hitting that command
because I've not had any reason to doubt its accuracy.
> > The corrolary is that 0% of Debian is non-free software. Documentation is
> > not software at all.
> I see you have not taken my advice to read the archives of debian-legal.
> "The Social Contract does not say: Debian Will Remain 100% Free Software
> and Some Other Things That Aren't Software But Which Are Also Free But
> Meet a Different Definition Of Free Than That Which Applies to Software,
> Plus Some Other Stuff That Isn't Free By Any Stretch Of The Imagination
> But Which We Thought Would Be Nice To Have."
Which is an interesting post indeed, though I think that particular quote is
taking things to an unwarranted extreme.
> > The mere fact that the social contract says that 100% of Debian is Free
> > Software does not magically make everything that is part of Debian
> > "software". Just saying something is so is begging the question, and I am
> > getting tired of that game.
> I'm getting tired of the game that interprets:
> "This food product is 100% fat free."
> "The stuff that isn't fat in this food product is 100% fat-free, but the
> non-fat-free stuff might have fat in it."
> I'm also getting tired of having words put in my mouth. I have at no
> time (and neither has any other opponent of different standards of
> freedom for documentation within the Debian Project, to my knowledge),
> asserted that "documentation *IS* software". Please cease these
> fallacious straw man attacks.
Then I don't understand. Why do you continue bringing up the "100% Free
Software" if not to assert that everything in Debian is Free Software, and
thus the DFSG applies?
> I'm also getting tired of you not familiarizing yourself with the
> voluminous past discussions of this subject.
Sifting through two or three years of debian-legal archives on this topic
especially is not something that is easily or quickly done/
> "If it's not *Software* then either,
> 1) We must treat it as such, or;
> 2) We have no mandate to deal with it at all."
Well, the Social Contract doesn't specifically address it, but I'd say we
have a pretty clear idea of what we want to do anyway.
> Wow, look at that. December 2001. I wonder if people have talked about
> these issues while you weren't paying attention?
Quite possible (I've not been on debian-legal the entire time it existed),
and thanks for pointing it out, However, there doesn't seem to have been a
conclusion reached. For instance, there is this reply:
But, like Thomas, by this point I think it may be time to agree to disagree.
> > If you take Clause 1 of the Social Contract to mean that all software in
> > Debian is free, it makes a lot of sense to me, and does not itself remove
> > the moral requirement that documentation and other files are free as well.
> Everything we possibly can ensure to be Free in Debian must be Free.
Yup, I'd agree with that as a worthy goal.
> That means everything except legal notices (copyright notices, license
> terms, warranty disclaimers, and the like).
> We could do without that stuff as well, except we'd either expose
> ourselves to legal liability, or be left only with public domain
> materials. Either would mean there wouldn't be a Debian Project for
> much longer.
> I guess at this point you can, if you like, argue that losing the GNU
> Emacs Manual, with its inseparable GNU Manifesto, would deal the Project
> an equally fatal blow.
That is not my argument, and as you are probably aware, I have agreed that
the GFDL is not a good license.
> > Not that I see that this whole discussion bears any relevance to the
> > DFSG/GFDL discussion.
> It's a discussion of the Social Contract, for which the correct forum is
Fine, I don't care where the discussion is.
> This is not a technical discussion. Please stop grandstanding on
I was not "grandstanding" anywhere, nor did I begin the thread in -devel.
I was responding to your post at
which among other things appeared to assert that everything in Debian is
software, and that I am "willing to compromise the freedoms of their fellow
developers and our users". That I objected to strongly, as it is most
certainly not the case, nor has it ever been for me.