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Re: O: gnu-standards -- GNU coding standards

On Wed, Apr 10, 2002 at 02:52:21AM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 05:32:16PM -0700, Mark Rafn wrote:
> > I'm not certain I agree.  Point one of the social contract is "Debian Will 
> > Remain 100% Free Software".  The obvious reading of this is that anything 
> > that is not free software cannot be in Debian.  

> I tend to doubt that *either* was intended when this was created.  It
> can be read either way, and there's probably not going to be a
> consensus.  Everyone's going to read it in whatever way suits what
> they want.

Not so.  I'm personally of the belief that there's merit in holding
documentation and similar papers/literary works to a different standard
of freeness in terms of modifiability than we hold software to.
However, I've found Branden's reasoning persuasive, and I don't think
anyone can honestly read the DFSG/Social Contract as unambiguously
allowing us to do that at present (i.e., anyone who says it does is
lying to himself).

> I happen to think that everything in Debian should be treated as software
> as far as the DFSG is concerned.  It'd be convenient for me to read that
> sentence as you say--but I doubt this particular fine point of the
> statement was intended either way.

However, some people are interpreting that ambiguity as a license to
regard the widest possible range of material as falling into the 'free'

> It'd be nice if people would stop fixating on interpreting that statement
> and instead figure out what *should* be done.  The statement's ambiguous.
> It won't help.

Hear, hear!  If people are concerned with having the regs relaxed for
documentation, get the GR moving along.  Talking about it on
debian-devel or debian-legal isn't going to accomplish anything.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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