Re: A possible approach in "solving" the FDL problem
On Wed, 13 Aug 2003, MJ Ray wrote:
MR>Fedor Zuev <Fedor_zuev@mail.ru> wrote:
MR>> Of course, you can claim that the very special definition of
MR>> "software" should and will be used for the sole purpose of the
MR>> interpretation of DFSG and Social Contract. [...]
MR>Yes! We use that very special definition listed in dictionaries
MR>and understood by many people here! (Nick Phillips, for example,
You want a dictionary war? OK. Lets it begin.
computer program - a series of instructions that a computer can
interpret and execute; programs are also called software ....
SOFTWARE - Instructions for the computer. A series of instructions
that performs a particular task is called a "program". The two
major categories of software are "system software" and "application
A common misconception is that software is data. It is not. Software
tells the hardware how to process the data. Software is "run." Data
(American Heritage Dictionary)
n. Computer Science
The programs, routines, and symbolic languages that control the
functioning of the hardware and direct its operation.
programs and applications for computer: computer programs and
applications, such as word processing or database packages, that can
be run on a particular computer system ( often used before a noun)
[Mid-19th century. Originally, in plural, "soft goods." The modern
sense dates from the mid-20th century.]
(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
software noun [U]
the instructions which control what a computer does; computer
He's written a piece of software which calculates your tax
returns for you.
(The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing)
<programming> (Or "computer program", "program", "code") The
instructions executed by a computer, as opposed to the
physical device on which they run (the "hardware").
The term was coined by the eminent statistician, John Tukey.
Programs stored on non-volatile storage built from
integrated circuits (e.g. ROM or PROM) are usually
Software can be split into two main types - system software
and application software or application programs. System
software is any software required to support the production or
execution of application programs but which is not specific to
any particular application. Examples of system software would
include the operating system, compilers, editors and
Examples of application programs would include an accounts
package or a CAD program. Other broad classes of
application software include real-time software, business
software, scientific and engineering software, embedded
software, personal computer software and artificial
Software includes both source code written by humans and
executable machine code produced by assemblers or
compilers. It does not usually include the data processed
by programs unless this is in a format such as multimedia
which depends on the use of computers for its presentation.
This distinction becomes unclear in cases such as spread
sheets which can contain both instructions (formulae and
macros) and data. There are also various intermediate
compiled or semi-compiled, forms of software such as
library files and byte-code.
Some claim that documentation (both paper and electronic) is
also software. Others go further and define software to be
programs plus documentation though this does not correspond
with common usage.
The noun "program" describes a single, complete and
more-or-less self-contained list of instructions, often stored
in a single file, whereas "code" and "software" are
uncountable nouns describing some number of instructions which
may constitute one or more programs or part thereof. Most
programs, however, rely heavily on various kinds of operating
system software for their execution. The nounds "code" and
"software" both refer to the same thing but "code" tends to
suggest an interest in the implementation details whereas
"software" is more of a user's term.
(Redirected from Software)
Software is a generic term for organized collections of computer data
and instructions, often broken into two major categories: system
software that provides the basic non-task-specific functions of the
computer, and application software which is used by users to
accomplish specific tasks.
System software is responsible for controlling, integrating, and
managing the individual hardware components of a computer system so
that other software and the users of the system see it as a functional
unit without having to be concerned with the low-level details such as
transferring data from memory to disk, or rendering text onto a
display. Generally, system software consists of an operating system
and some fundamental utilities such as disk formatters, file managers,
display managers, text editors, user authentication (login) and
management tools, and networking and device control software.
Application software, on the other hand, is used to accomplish
specific tasks other than just running the computer system.
Application software may consist of a single program, such as an image
viewer; a small collection of programs (often called a software
package) that work closely together to accomplish a task, such as a
spreadsheet or text processing system; a larger collection (often
called a software suite) of related but independent programs and
packages that have a common user interface or shared data format, such
as Microsoft Office, which consists of closely integrated word
processor, spreadsheet, database, etc.; or a software system, such as
a database management system, which is a collection of fundamental
programs that may provide some service to a variety of other
Software is created with programming languages and related utilities,
which may come in several of the above forms: single programs like
script interpreters, packages containing a compiler, linker, and other
tools; and large suites (often called Integrated Development
Environments) that include editors, debuggers, and other tools for
And, from the myself add that all english-russian
dictionaries translates "software" equally to the "computer
But, even _your_ definition does not make anything better. Ok, I can
understand, why after bundling documentation with software the
resulting package may be called software. (this is the exactly what
says your definition). But it does not help to understand, why you
wish to call software documents, which is never was related or
assotiated with any particular program.
>>>How Debian choses to apply its principals of freedom and to what works
>>>it choses to apply them has NO RELATION to what will land you in jail,
>>>NO RELATION to what is legal
>> You can not ignore the existence of a laws even if you will
>> try twice as hard.
>Please explain how your local laws giving you more rights over a
You know any non-local laws? You know any "local"
laws for which this is not true?
>text means that the DFSG should not still be satisfied.
I am not say anyting about DFSG should or should not be
I say, only, that "All digital is a software! Really!"
theory is harmful. Harmful for every fair purpose, including the
justification of application the DFSG to non-software packages.
May be there a other justifications for that. I do not know.
I do not care. I just walked around and heard silly, dangerous