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Re: Please remove RFCs from the documentation in Debian packages

On Thu, Jul 03, 2003 at 05:16:07PM -0700, Brian Nelson wrote:

> > 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.

So in order to avoid damaging the self-esteem of non-free documentation
packages, we should insist that they not be stigmatized with the
"non-free" label and accept them into the "main"stream without
discussing their freedom disabilities, lest they be treated as second
class packages?  Well, how can I argue with such impeccable logic?

It is dishonest to bend the guidelines to conform to your personal
definition of what Debian should be.  We have a Social Contract and a
fixed set of Guidelines that define what Debian is.  If you don't like
what they say, get them amended; but until that happens, every DD (or at
least, everyone who's gone through the NM process) is bound by an
obligation to uphold the Social Contract *as written*.

> 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.

Right, just the few elite like the FSF. :)

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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