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Re: [prePROPOSAL] DFSG (draft 7)



On Fri, Feb 19, 1999 at 10:10:17PM -0600, David Welton wrote:

I'm not sure what I think of some of the other points, but two things
I would like to comment on:

> 3. You should probably give up the G in DFSG, as these no longer seem
> guidelines, but a more precise, legalistic attempt to define exactly
> what free software is and isn't.

It's meant to make it easy to see whether a license is or isn't free,
so yes, I suppose it is more of a definition than guidelines. I don't
agree with the "legalistic" in that phrase though. Or at least, we're
quite specifically trying to avoid any complicated phrasing.

OTOH, it seems to me that the DFSG /is/ getting used more as a definition
than just a set of guidelines these days anyway.

> 4. Most people want free software to:
>   A. come with sources
>   B. be freely distributable
>   C. be freely modifiable
>   D. be freely distributable in some modified form
    E. be freely usable.

Oddly, you'll find this is almost exactly the contents of the "Freedoms"
section.

It also has the "you must be able to keep on doing these things, not just
today, but tomorrow and ever after" termination-of-license thing, which
doesn't quite fit so well, but it's still important.

And that /is/ the `important' part of these guidelines.

> That's it, basically - if you start loading that down too much, people
> are going to just ignore you.

And on the other hand, if you /don't/ load it down with all the ifs and
buts, you either let too much in, or you only let BSD-advertising-clause
stuff in.

Cheers,
aj

-- 
Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred.

``Like the ski resort of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking
  for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.''

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