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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files

Let's try again with a cooler head...

On 20030429T140523-0700, Alex Romosan wrote:
> here it is what anthony towns said on tue, 29 apr 2003 15:47:51 +1000
>   No, it's not. Our raison d'etre is documented in the Debian
>   Manifesto, distributed in the doc-debian package. Or it's the Debian
>   Constitution, the Debian Social Contract, or the Debian Free
>   Software Guidelines distributed in the same package. If you look at
>   the Debian History package, you'll find the statement that `The
>   Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th,
>   1993.', which stands in interesting contrast to WHY-FREE's
>   `Copyright 1994 Richard Stallman'.
> which, at least to me, seems to imply that debian and its lofty ideals
> preceded the WHY-FREE manifesto by at least a year.

Well, taken literally that is true.  Debian did precede WHY-FREE.  I
would understand your position a little more if you defended the GNU
manifesto and not WHY-FREE which is a newer creation.  I would still
disagree with you, but I'd understand your position better.

> i don't think it was either, since at the very beginning
> (and i've been using debian since early in 1995) there was no
> obsession with software purity. 

I have observed that the awareness within Debian and in the free
software community general of issues surrounding free software has been
gradually increasing.  This is not a Debian-only trend.  The community
at large has realized that what they thought to be okay isn't okay after
all (granted, there are also a lot of people who don't care and are
hostile to any such moves, but this seems to coincide with the rather
large set of people who really don't give a damn about doing the right
thing, either legally or morally).  A famous example is the BSD advertising

> this came about in 1997 and culminated with the social contract
> written by bruce perens (who later on left the project when it looked
> like, and it was, hijacked by the completely free-software zealots)

Debian is not even now run completely by free software "zealots".

> now a different bunch of zealots
> are trying to hijack the project once again attempting to extend the
> definition of software

Again, this is a matter of realizing and fixing past mistakes.  I myself
have used the documentation is not software argument - successfully - to
get a package past ftpmaster.  I now believe that I was mistaken then.

As I said, in the software engineering discipline, software has for a
long time stood for a lot more than just the code.

> i think the debian project as a whole needs to reach a consensus
> before anybody starts removing files from packages because the said
> files don't meet their purity standards. this is not happening. you
> have taken upon yourselves to extend the definition of software, purge
> the distribution of what you deem impure, and in general ignore any
> opinions that don't agree with yours.

I still find this very insulting and very unfounded.  I demand you
support these accusations with hard evidence.

> it is because of zealots like you every revolution fails in the end.

So it is wrong for me to defend what I believe is right?

%%% Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho % gaia@iki.fi % http://www.iki.fi/gaia/ %%%

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