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

On 24 Mar 2006, David Kastrup verbalised:

> Hubert Chan <hubert@uhoreg.ca> writes:
>> Debian has to pick a definition of free/non-free for itself.  It
>> cannot try to cater to everyone's different definition of free.
> Sure, but then they should be honest about it, and not keep software
> with "non-free" documentation in the main section: that's just
> encouraging people distributing crippleware with non-free
> documentation.  And they'll point to Debian's treatment of GNU/GFDL
> as justification.

        Actually, I fail to see the distinction here. How are these
 cases truly different? Where is the dishonesty? We have programs
 users find useful, which are free, but the accompanying documentation
 is not free, we opt to include the free software bits, and still
 package the non-free documentation (while not in Debian, it is
 available to users).

        While you may argue that there are degrees in non-freeness,
 and some things are more non-free than others (and I would certainly
 not disagree), no one has yet taken the effort to come up with a
 classification scheme for non-free, and worked out a consensus
 solution, nor policies how such fine distinctions of non-freeness
 affect archive and release operations. I personally prefer to spend
 my time working on free software and security solutions.

> As the prescribed documentation license for all GNU projects
> according to the GNU maintainer guidelines is the GFDL, it is clear
> that most GNU software should get moved to non-free, and probably
> all of it by some time.

        When you are creating your distribution, and you are making
 your classification, you are certainly free to do so.  But your
 choices, and your criteria, are not what the Debian project has
 elected to follow.

> Since the principal goal for the Debian project is providing free
> software and they can't consider GNU software free in documented
> form, they probably should abandon the whole GNU/Linux project and
> instead try packaging something like BSD/Linux, a Linux kernel with
> BSD utilities all around.

        Ah. You see the world in black or white. There is a whole
 spectrum of finer distinctions out there that, while lost on you, is
 still recognized by the Debian project.

        Anyway, please stop trying to dictate how we conduct our
 business.  The final call lies wth the project membership, and they
 have opted to act in a manner which, while it may be displeasing to
 you, seems right for us.

"The Nazis have no sense of humor, so why should they want
television?" Philip K. Dick
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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