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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

Mathieu Roy, 2003-09-21 12:30:21 +0200 :

> The Debian project is dedicated to the Debian OS. Without this
> "collection of software", the Debian project is purposeless.

It is indeed dedicated to the Debian OS, but it doesn't do only the
Debian OS.  It also does contrib and non-free.  And user support.  And
collaboration with other projects and distributions.  And
collaboration with standards organisations.  And (a bit of) political
lobbying (see the large red stuff against software patents on

> If the Debian project does not follow the rules that the Debian
> project wrote itself for the Debian OS, the Debian project is somehow
> inconsistent.

  The DFSG are for the Debian OS.  Not for the Debian project.  Please
stop mixing these two notions, they are not identical.

> Way more inconsistent than the GNU project that always
> follows its rules, for Software (Program) and Documentation.

  I'm not sure the GNU project is more consistent than the Debian
project is: its major goal is to provide freedom to the users, yet it
publishes non-free documentation and non-free code (code included in a
GFDLed document cannot be extracted and re-used in a free software

> If the Debian project rules cannot be always followed by Debian
> Developers when they are working to achieve the Debian goal (the
> Debian OS) and are not doing any harm to this goal (the Debian OS),
> these rules are flawed.

  Do you realise that the Debian project has more than one goal maybe?
The Debian OS may be the main one, but it is not the only one.

> What the Debian project is currently doing when he publish his
> official logo is likely saying "well, DFSG cannot apply to any
> software part of Debian", unless you play with the words by pretending
> that the _official logo_ is not part of Debian because it's not
> packaged in main (funny to consider that the symbol of a project is
> not part of the project, very unusual).

  It's not playing on words.  It's just how things are.  When you buy
a car from brand X, you don't get any rights on the trademark X, or on
the X logo.

> At the contrary of what is often said here, the DFSG are not so
> clear when it comes to this kind of complex cases.

  Yes they are.  They apply to "stuff in main".  Period.

> This logo issue can be seen like a political leader's wife asking the
> man of the street to give coins to some kind of IRS while she get very
> expensive holidays paid by the State. Sure, both things are not
> clearly linked, but when you ask people to behave, you should behave
> everytime too.

  That's a bit far-fetched, isn't it?  Or are you also implying that
the Debian project members shouldn't ever be allowed near non-free
software either, even for their daily job?

> And if you are not able to follow your own principles, you have to
> review these principles that apparently does not fit for you, despite
> your goodwill. 

  And that's how the FSF and the GNU project produce non-free
documentation, is it?  Oh, sorry, I forgot, the freedom criteria only
applies to software released as software, not software embedded in

  Don't get me wrong: I have a tremendous respect for the FSF and the
GNU project and what they do, but they shouldn't give Debian lessons
on consistency of policies.  Submit bugs where our policies are not
being followed, yes.  Tell us they are inconsistent, no.  Not before
the GFDL problem is fixed.

Roland Mas

[...] ou une dent pourrie [...] -- in Variations sur un thème imposé
  -- Signatures à collectionner, série n°2, partie 2/3.

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