[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Let's CENSOR it! (was: Uploaded anarchism 7.5-1 (source all) to master)

On Wed, Mar 17, 1999 at 11:09:29PM -0600, Stephen Crowley wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 17, 1999 at 10:20:52PM -0500, Ben Collins wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 17, 1999 at 07:04:59PM +0100, dirson@debian.org wrote:
> > >  >  anarchism  - An exhaustive exploration of Anarchist theory and practice.
> > > This should really be priority "extra", isn't it ?
> > 
> > This should really not be in a software distribution should it? Not to
> > take a stand against political or religous beliefs, but this package
> > has no binaries, no system related documentation, nothing to do with
> > linux, hurd, debian, programming or even remotely have anything
> > considered useful from an operating system standpoint.
> > 
> > This package is nothing more than a mirror of a web site with political
> > propoganda. Unless we plan on having libertarian.deb, communism.deb,
> > capitalism.deb etc...I think this package needs to be removed period.
> > 
> > If not done so willingly, I will file a grave bug, as it reflects on
> > the distribution as a whole, and gives the impression that we, as a
> > group/project, support this political standpoint (some may, some don't,
> > the point is we don't need political tension in the dist).
> > 
> I agree totally, this has no place in the distribution. If we allow this,
> why doesn't someone go and package the Unibomber Manifesto? or what about
> democrat.deb and republican.deb?  We cannot allow a trend like this to start.
> It would be wasteful and it would also look bad on Debian.

I completely disagree.

If we ban this document, I must insist that we ban bible-kjv (and probably
several other packages) as well.

This issue came up a long time ago, with regards to the packaging of the
purity test.  Similar arguments forced "offensive" fortune cookies into a
separate package (though not out of the distribution).

It is not Debian's job to evaluate packages based on content, beyond any
legal considerations (U.S. crypto export restrictions, copyright problems,

I would not object to implementation (long advocated) of some kind of
super-extra section, reserved for large datasets and strictly non-technical

"We cannot allow a trend like this to start"?  It already has.  We have
stuff like funny-manpages, and as I said before, the King James Bible.

What aren't we going to let in, again?  Inflammatory material?  What about
Project Gutenberg?  Is Shakespeare allowed?  What about _Ulysses_?

Why *shouldn't* people be allowed to package politically oriented
documents?  Some folks outside our bizarre little niche of the world would
find the GNU General Public License a pretty politically inflammatory

Who's going to be Debian's censor?  I submit that no one should be.  There
is no objective criterion for evaluating the worth of documents in this
fashion.  I vote that we let it in.  If this pains you, get about drafting
some policy for that long-proposed super-extra section of the archive.
There's lots of stuff that could go into it, and which would make room on
future CD-ROM's of main.

Let us draw the line at technical (or predominantly technical)
documentation.  Let everything else, including dictionaries (but not word
lists -- they contain no conceptual data) go into this super-extra section.
In fact, now that apt is maturing, there's no reason things like this can't
be removed from the distribution altogether.  Nowhere is it written that
Debian has to ship everything that is put in .deb format.  www.debian.org
can maintain a courtesy list of links to Debianized stuff that just isn't
appropriate for an operating system distribution.

But if we're going to that, we MUST have unambigious rules about what will
be categorically rejected from the distribution (as being non-germane to
the purpose of an operating system).  That means NO religious, political,
ideological, or other tracts will be allowed in.  I see no reason why
packages like verse, or programs with similar function should be removed,
as they are just that -- programs.  The data files may not be included with
the programs however.

This leaves fortune in a nasty place, though.  fortune-mod could stay in
for the same reason as verse, but what about the cookie files themselves?
It's tempting to want them grandfathered in (the fortune program goes way,
way back), but frankly I think it would be hypocritical of me to suggest
this (regardless of how many fortune cookies are on computer science
topics).  If you're going to start a fire in your neighbor's yard, you have
to accept the possibility that it will spread to yours.

But do address Yann's earlier question, yes, in the meantime its priority
should be lowed to extra.

G. Branden Robinson              |     One man's theology is another man's
Debian GNU/Linux                 |     belly laugh.
branden@ecn.purdue.edu           |     -- Robert Heinlein
cartoon.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

Attachment: pgpFoVKWUrKy5.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: