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Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages

Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> writes:

> On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 02:19:59PM -0700, Brian Nelson wrote:
>> Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> writes:
>> > On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 06:23:14PM +0200, Marcelo E. Magallon wrote:
>> >>  > That would be clause #1 of the Debian Social Contract.
>> >> 
>> >>  Where do you draw the line between software, data and documentation?  I
>> >>  get the impression that you are reading "Debian Will Remain 100% Free
>> >>  Software" to mean "everything in Debian will be Free Software" instead
>> >>  of "all the software in Debian will be Free Software".
>> >
>> > Well, of *course* we do. It would be idiotic and hypocritical to
>> > interpret it as "The software in Debian will be free, but the
>> > documentation doesn't have to be".
>> >
>> > We have historically allowed some free non-software things into the
>> > archive, since it doesn't matter very much. Why does anybody think
>> > that allowing non-free non-software things into the archive is
>> > acceptable?
>> It all depends on how you define "free".  I think that documentation, as
>> long as it's freely distributable and usable, is free enough.  I don't
>> see any need to require documentation to be freely modifiable.
> You have some free software, and it comes with a manual. You modify
> the software in a manner which suits you... but you're not allowed to
> modify the manual to reflect this change; the license of the manual
> requires that it only document the unmodified version, so any modified
> versions are at an immediate disadvantage.
> And you think this is acceptable? Why?

It's more acceptable to me than the alternative: to move a good portion
of documentation to non-free where it will not be distributed by
vendors, will not be considered "part of Debian" and thus will be under
threat of removal, and will be considered a "lower class" package.

Fortunately, the situation you describe is unlikely to occur because few
people are perverse enough to make their software free but their
documentation very non-free.

Poems... always a sign of pretentious inner turmoil.

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