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Re: GNU/LinEx, Debian, and the GNU FDL

On Tue, Sep 02, 2003 at 10:56:58PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> Branden Robinson wrote:
>     I have seven questions for you based on this episode:
> Branden is trying to make innocent things look bad; shame on him.

This is an assertion without foundation.  If you feel there are implicit
premises in my line of questioning which are unwarranted, please
identify them and challenge them.

It is implausible to me that you ceased endorsing Debian GNU/Linux in
favor of GNU/LinEx by accident.  Indeed, you cited a specific reason for
doing so in the interview in question.

That you grounded your reason for switching endorsements on claims that
turned out to be counterfactual is a matter of record at this point.  I
did not, and do not, assert that you deliberately made deceptive claims.
That's the only "innocent thing" that could possibly "look bad", and if
you claim that you made those claims due only to ignorance, I can accept

But that only explains why you no longer endorse GNU/LinEx -- it does
not explain why you no longer endorse Debian GNU/Linux, thought you did
in the recent past.  Have your criteria changed?

If you have lost face through a failure to do adequate research before
offering an endorsement to a product, then that is your cross to bear;
not one that I have -- or even can -- place on you.

> Given the interview itself and the note I added later, both my views
> and the events involving GNU/LinEx are clear enough.

You are not solely empowered to make this determination.  For instance,
should we tolerate it if candidates for political office refuse to
answer questions on the grounds that they feel their views are "clear
enough"?  Clarity of communication is a burden that falls upon both the
speaker and listener.  I do not have answers to the questions I posed,
and I know of no way to get them except to ask you.

> So I won't answer his questions here.

Do you assert that these reasons (your groundless assertion regarding my
motivations, and your unilateral declaration of sufficient clarity in
the GNU/LinEx affair) are the only ones you have for refusing to shed
any light on the issues I raised?

> I will, however, add some information to the note, giving additional
> information I think is useful.

Are you to be the sole arbiter of whether that additional information is
useful or not?

> The FSF would like to continue cooperating with Debian in such areas
> where Debian's and the FSF's policies agree.  However, we will not
> cooperate with people that treat us harshly, no matter what their
> policies might be.

What's your definition of "harsh treatment"?  Do you think there is an
objective one upon which both the FSF and the Debian Project can agree,
or do you reserve the right to be the lone applicator of this term?

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

G. Branden Robinson                |     It just seems to me that you are
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     willfully entering an arse-kicking
branden@debian.org                 |     contest with a monstrous entity
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     that has sixteen legs and no arse.

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