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Re: libreadline

On Wed, May 08, 2002 at 06:01:09PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, May 08, 2002 at 03:04:28PM -0600, Joel Baker wrote:
> > Since Debian has a policy of considering all DFSG-free licenses to be
> > equal
> Debian has no such policy; have you even read DFSG 4?

I have. In fact, just to be sure, I re-read it 30 seconds ago. I see
nothing in it which asserts that software which complies via DFSG 4 is
"less free", or provides a "freeness operator" by which to make any such
comparison. Encouraging people to make our jobs easier is completely
orthogonal to the question of freeness.

However, the first assertion points out that I was careless with my
language, and I do apologize. I believe it would be more accurate to say
that Debian (as a project, not as developers) has a *practice* of viewing
DFSG compliance as 9/10ths of the law. Which direction that other 1/10th
goes in is entirely up to personal biases, in my experience.

> Licenses that fulfill the letter and spirit of the DFSG in a
> straightforward and uncomplicated manner are to be valued more than
> licenses which, through slippery constructions, manage to satisfy the
> letter of the DFSG while not contributing to users' freedom as much as
> other licenses do.

Where is this stated? I do not see it in the DFSG, or the Social Contract;
if you are referring to another document, please provide a citation. I,
personally, agree with the opinion that licenses which clearly satisfy the
DFSG are 'better', but that's a personal value judgement, and only applies
to what I choose to write/package/etc.

> I have long thought that Debian ought to explicitly recognize certain
> licenses as being in a "Hall of Fame"; those being licenses that are
> widely-used, well-understood, and which work well with other licenses.
> My suggestion for this list would be:
> * MIT/X11
> * 2- and 3-clause BSD
> * LGPL
> * GPL

DFSG 10 seems to accomplish this? Certainly, I could see perhaps an update
to include the LGPL (since the GPL is there already, and if anything it is
more compatible, by purpose) and MIT/X11, but I'd say that we do, in fact,
already recognize such licenses (which is a good thing).

All I all, I personally find the GPL's restrictions to be far more of an
encumberance than someone who just wants a little credit for the work that
they put into something, and thus have a clause requiring advertising to
make some acknowlegement of their work if it's used. But that's only my
opinion, and if you want to start deciding "freeness" values, well, I think
that the S:N ratio on d-d will drop even further than it already is. I'd
rather just settle for deciding if things meet the DFSG, and leave it at
that - it seems like a significant part of these codifiy what "Free" means
for us.

Or, to summarize it, if we're going to get into making that sort of value
judgement, I want the values used to judge to be mine. You want them to be
yours. This does not scale well.
Joel Baker                           System Administrator - lightbearer.com
lucifer@lightbearer.com              http://users.lightbearer.com/lucifer/

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