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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

Stephen Ryan writes:

> On Thu, 2004-04-29 at 16:44, Michael Poole wrote:
>> Stephen Ryan writes:
>> >> The entire point of the recent GR was that some Debian developers and
>> >> users use "software" as the rest of the world uses the word, and
>> >> exclude things like fonts, images, or statistical data.
>> >
>> > I'm with Branden on this one: *every* single person arguing for a more
>> > restricted definition of software is a "W4ReZ d00d".  
>> That is very offensive.  Please retract your accusation or provide
>> some basis to support it.
> Fair enough; if you provide a reason to even bring up the subject of
> distinguishing "code" from "data" in the first place, I'll retract, with
> the humblest apologies I can muster.

I want to distinguish between software and other data because I prefer
to use English in a precise way, and because I think that is
consistent with the broader usage[1].
[1]- See, for example, http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-doc.html

That does not mean that software freedom should be the only freedom
that Debian pursues, but it does not help to pretend that Free
Software is the same thing as Free License Texts or Free Reference
Documentation or Free Speech.

> I'd desperately like to see even
> one reason that isn't "Think of all the other KeWL stuff we could put in
> Debian".

I'm not sure what your point is here.  You seem to be building a
strawman, using a logical fallacy (ad hominem attacks) to argue
against it, and proceeding from there to attack another strawman.

People have identified specific tangible benefits from having binary
firmware in main: primarily needing less effort by Debian to support
certain hardware.  Debian has decided those benefits are not worth the
alleged cost in freedom of shipping binary blobs, but people can (and
currently do) debate the value of the official position.  Disagreeing
with the Debian project does not make someone a "W4reZ d00d," and
arguing that it does can drive away both users and developers.

What is so hard about being civil (by not gratuitously insulting
people you disagree with) and rational (by using valid logic)?


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