[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Inconsistencies in our approach

Nick Phillips wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 01, 2003 at 09:50:13PM -0700, John H. Robinson, IV wrote:

%< snip of definitions >%

> Pretty good. I would have tried to phrase it slightly differently, but you
> have hit the nail on the head.
> If it's represented essentially as a sequence of 1s and 0s in a typical
> digital computer, and can be modified while the machine is running, and
> without moving anything except electrons around, it's software.

thank you. that was the point i was trying to make.

> Yes, there may be subcategories within "software" which may or may not be
> relevant in various situations. In the context of the DFSG, they are not.

i agree fully with the above.

> > this allows us to neatly sidestep the whole issue, because _online_
> > documentation would fit in one of the above four categories of software.
> It's not a neat sidestep, it's just The Way It Is... people trying to justify
> including non-free software (which happens to fall into the "documentation"
> subcategory) in Debian are the ones trying to perform the neat sidestep.

perhaps using sidestep was a poor choice of words. the idea is that it
does not matter _what_ the sub-classifications are. the fact is that all
subclassification are under the heading of ``software'' so it simply
does not matter.

> Oh, and I agree with Manoj; the boundaries of the subcategories are unclear.

i also agree. i realised that as i wrote it. take a perl script: is it a
program? is it data? is it documentation? is it all of the above at the
same time?

does it _really_ matter?   no.  it does not matter. it is still
_software_. the DFSG can apply no matter how you slice the script.

that was the whole point.

in general:
please do not get caught up on th subclassifications. they merely
illustrate the point that they are all software; RFC's in electronic
form included.


Reply to: