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Re: [rant] Re: Consequences of moving Emacs Manuals to non-free

On 24 Mar 2006, David Kastrup outgrape:

> Whatever.  The Emacs documentation is far more integrated into its
> normal operation than with other tools.  It does not make sense to
> separate them.

        It is certainly regrettable that they need to be separated.

> I suggest you move all of Emacs into "non-free".  Everything else is
> just dishonest.

        I am not yet convinced of this -- this seems to be coming more
 from angst than anything. The documentation should be in separate
 packages anyway -- I can get emacs on my sharp Zaurus, but I don't
 want to lug around the documentation on my hand-held.

        I may also want to have docs on just one of the machines in my
 home lan -- documents are easily enough accessible that way.

        So, not having documentation installed on all machines that
 emacs is installed in is a  perfectly valid use case, and one which I
 think we need to support.

> Anyway, it has just been decided by popular vote that GFDL without
> invariant sections is supposed to be considered DFSG.  The argument
> against invariant sections was that they could be used to render
> software basically unmodifiable.  You can render software
> unmodifiable if it is X11-licensed.  So what happens downstream is
> not Debian's concern.

        We allow our users choices. We give them fee software. While
 we ourselves adhere to our guidelines, we do not hold our users to
 the same standards.  I am sorry of this offends you.

> So the question is: if we have _particular_ unmodifiable sections,
> are those done in a way that would render the software unmodifiable?
> Debian seemingly has decided that it will not bother to actually
> look.

	By definitions, invariant sections are unmodifiable. And since
 Debian does not distribute hardware or wetware, anything we
 distribute which is invariant is invariant software -- and we have
 committed to not distributing invariant software.

> It is more interested in its principles rather than the
> interests of its users _and_ developers in free software.

        Well, users, and developers, who disagree with our principles
 can still get the non-fee documentation by adding one line to their
 apt sources list.  If you, as a developer or a user, think the docs
 are free, why should you care how debian has classified it?  You can
 still get it on your box. So the interests of users and developers
 who disagree with debian are not being catered to is an argument that
 does not fly.

> There is no point served in splitting Emacs into non-operational
> crippled components.  Move it all to non-free.  That's your policy,
> and it is nonsensical to complicate matters for people by putting
> half-functional teasers into main.

        Sorry, it makes a lot of sense to split executables and
 documentation into separate packages; I have mentioned the use cases
 earlier in this mail. The availability to users is only modestly
 compromised -- it is still available, from debian machines,
 maintained by debian developers, adhering to debian policy and
 quality control, to the end user.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year
ago." Bernard Berenson
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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