Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)
Jerome, some of the responses you've gotten have been dismissive of your
opinion, and a lot of this is normal debian-legal style. I hope you don't
take it too personally.
I would like to understand your position better. I'm pretty sure I don't
agree with you, but it's not clear exactly what you want Debian to decide
with respect to the following:
1) Are works under the GFDL with invariant sections free?
2) Can Debian usefully distinguish documentation from software?
3) If so, is there a different set of criteria which should be used to
test the freedom of documentation as opposed to software?
4) Should Debian include (in main) non-free works if they're not software?
And some more specific questions, which I don't think have been asked
directly, as most d-l posters assume "no" to be obvious.
5) is everything from the FSF free by definition, even if the license
would be non-free for someone else?
6) should Debian grant special status to the FSF and allow non-free FSF
work to be part of Debian?
7) should Debian leave useful stuff in the main archive even if it is
later determined to be non-free?
On Tue, 13 May 2003, [iso-8859-15] Jérôme Marant wrote:
> Could we consider some invariant sections as "non-problematic"?
This would seem to be issue #6. I'd say "no" for a lot of reasons, but
I'm happy to hear yours.
> >> But then, if we're seeking for enemies, I believe they
> >> are not on GNU side ...
Quite agreed. I don't consider this to be seeking enemies, but rather
refusing to go along with a friend who is making a very bad mistake.
> Err, it is a regression isn't it? I've always considered it as part
> of Emacs, and even its online help. It has always worked like that.
If it's part of emacs, then it's very clearly non-free software and the
whole thing should be removed from Debian (unless the FSF doesn't have to
follow everyone else's definition of freedom).
> You mentioned in a previous mail packaging old versions of manuals.
> This is IMHO pretty useless because noone cares for outdated manuals.
Some of us don't care for non-free manuals either. There are a number of
cases where I choose to use free software over non-free software that
meets my current needs somewhat better. I'm glad Debian helps me make
that choice, and I don't understand why documentation would be any
> Althought people can be motivated in forking or reimplementing
> applications, I doubt anyone will be motivated enough to fork
> documentation and noone'll be able to be as up-to-date as the
> Emacs manual.
I see the motivations as very similar.
Mark Rafn firstname.lastname@example.org <http://www.dagon.net/>