Re: non-software violates social contract?
Sorry, but these complexities are the very things you *must* go into
if you want to delineate software and non-software.
Of course, but I wanted an answer to the more basic question first.
Thankfully, you answered it at the end:
My point is that fine, I guess Debian can include non-free
The fact that fonts are described as a set of mathematical equations
splines has nothing to do with AI or advanced parsing techniques. Is a
There are quite a few things (RFCs, the GPL,
etc.) which I think are clearly not intended to be executed by
computers. I don't think arguing about AI and advanced parsing
techniques is relevant to the point at hand.
program that only describes a set of splines not software?
I was talking about AI and parsing in the context of RFCs and the GPL.
Is the GPL software?
[...] XML (and SGML) are just alternate forms of expressing S-exps,
used in LISPs [sic] for programming [...]
So? ASCII is used in C programming.
I made this point because it's difficult to prove that
"<html><head><title>Foobar</title>...</html>" is not a program, but
"(html (head (title "Foobar") ... ) " is. In fact, I'd say it's
My point is that "(html (head (title \"Foobar\") ... )" is not a
program, no more than, say, an email which happens to be syntactically
It stops being a fun puzzle and becomes a real problem when Debian
packages such programs. Look at the apt-dpkg-ref package. Although
"documentation", it's actually a LISP program to output LaTeX source to
create a document. So, is it a LISP program, a LaTeX program, or a
The LISP is software, the document is not.
However, it's difficult if not impossible to prove that any given
of bits is not software. So the only non-free things we can include are
proven non-software, like ham sandwiches or desks.
How do you prove a desk isn't software?
Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com] I am large, I contain multitudes.