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Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages

* Steve Langasek (vorlon@netexpress.net) wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 03:02:59PM -0500, Joshua Haberman wrote:
> > If the separation between main and non-free is intended primarily as a
> > guarantee that everything in main is DFSG-free, and that no part of the
> > core distribution depends on non-free software, I completely agree with
> > you.  To the supporters of non-free removal, I get the impression that is
> > more of a delineation between what the project morally endorses and what
> > it only grudgingly supports as a service to users.
> > If you assume the former view, there is no reason to remove non-free as a
> > whole, because the main/non-free split already guarantees that Debian
> > proper is 100% DFSG-free.
> That does not follow.  I have never heard anyone argue that guaranteeing
> the freedom of Debian proper is the reason for removing non-free.  There
> are resources involved in maintaining the archive for non-free; its
> presence on Debian servers lends credibility to the software there,
> which, whether or not you believe there is a moral issue, may not be
> desirable because the licensing is not consistent with Debian's primary
> goals.  The dropping-non-free issue is a complex one.

You're right, I'm sure I oversimplified the issue.  I'm not really
interested in debating non-free removal at this point, and that wasn't
the intent of my original post.

> In contrast, the question of including non-DFSG-free documentation in
> main is fairly clear-cut: one interpretation unambiguously agrees with
> the Social Contract as written, and one does not.  The honest solution
> is to eliminate the ambiguity, not to try to argue that the ambiguity is
> unimportant.
> > If you assume the latter view, there is no reason to shun the
> > non-modifiability of RFCs, because they are free enough for their
> > purpose, just as license texts are.
> This is also a non-sequitur.  If it's a question of moral endorsement,
> how can you assume that people who are concerned about this issue agree
> with your definition of what is or isn't moral?

I haven't presumed to define what is or isn't moral.  I was stating my
impression that advocates of non-free removal see main (and therefore
DFSG software) as being equivalent to "what the project endorses" and
non-free as "what the project does not endorse."  And I am arguing that
there is no reason not to endorse RFCs just as we endorse license texts.
That last sentence is a personal judgement that I would guess many Debian
developers would find agreement with.

Josh Haberman
Debian GNU/Linux developer

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