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Re: [gnu.misc.discuss,gnu.emacs.gnus] Free software: Packagers vs Developers

On Sun, Jul 04, 1999 at 11:49:36PM +0100, Gunnar Evermann wrote:
> I do appreciate sarcasm, but this (pseudo) threat is just stupid.
> Just for the record: Per does NOT speak for the XEmacs team (neither
> do Hrvoje or I for that matter) and as far as I know he does not even
> use XEmacs! 

Yes, some people kindly (and privately) applied the cluebat to my head
about this point.

I apologize for being a poor rebuttal spokesman against Per's incredibly
generalized tarring of Debian developers as worthless non-contributors to
free software.

Having spent a great deal of my "free time" over the past 16 months working
on XFree86 Debian, and corresponding with XFree86 developers as part of
this process, I was unprepared for what I perceived as an unwarranted
attack and I responded rather emotionally.

Since I don't even use emacs (of any flavor), it would have been better if
I had just stayed out of the thread.

I do believe, however, that if upstream maintainers really do insist on
badmouthing and undermining Debian's efforts to bring their software to a
wider audience, we should not feel any compunctions about removing it from
the distribtion.  We act within the bounds of the licenses on the software
(in fact, we typically do such far more strictly than most other
distributions); if an upstream author is unhappy with people exercising the
liberties they are permitted in the license, he shouldn't license his
software that way.  If he's working on a project for which he doesn't hold
copyright and cannot reconcile himself with the way his contributions are
being licensed, he should consider transferring his energies to a project
he need not have mixed feelings about.

People who release their work under the MIT license, for instance, really
have no business complaining about people who "take it proprietary"
(restricting access to their modifications in source-code form), since such
actions are clearly permitted by the license.

Anyway, I'll shut up before people tell me I'm missing the point and that
Per is merely trying to exercise some sort of "moral suasion" on Debian.
I think he'd attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

G. Branden Robinson              |   Optimists believe we live in the best of
Debian GNU/Linux                 |   all possible worlds.  Pessimists are
branden@ecn.purdue.edu           |   afraid the optimists are right.
cartoon.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

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