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Re: Social Contract GR's Affect on sarge

Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 03:33:14AM +0200, Thiemo Seufer wrote:
> > Michael Poole wrote:
> > > soft·ware, n. : The programs, routines, and symbolic languages that
> > >   control the functioning of the hardware and direct its operation.
> > > 
> > > (From dictionary.com; WordNet 1.6 includes "associated documentation",
> > > but FOLDOC and others do not, and outside of Debian I have not seen
> > > "software" used to include documentation or non-program bits.)
> > 
> > FWIW, I never have seen this restricted use of "software" somewhere
> > outside of Debian. Probably that's because I'm living in Germany,
> > and the word has a different meaning here (It's used as the
> > complement to hardware).
> I think your definition is silly.

Well, it's the one commonly used here, and I think it's also the one
which was used for the Social Contract, because the DFSG included
there differentiate between software and programs (only programs are
required to include source code).

> Take documentation for example, which
> may exist in both electronic and paper forms (among others). Do both of
> these constitute "software"? Neither are hardware. Do you think this
> makes sense?

Every bitstream readily available as input for the computer system
is software. So the paper form is (a medium bearing) software only
if you use a good OCR system.

> What about my kitchen sink? It isn't computer hardware either.

Is it part of a computer system? If not, then it doesn't make sense
to apply computer system specific terms.


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