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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

On Sunday, Sep 21, 2003, at 18:33 US/Eastern, Richard Stallman wrote:

Several parts of the DFSG contain the word "program".  For instance,

Yes, many parts of it do. Its unfortunate that it isn't written clearer.

   <LI><P><strong>Source Code</strong>
     <P>The program must include source code, and must allow
     distribution in source code as well as compiled

We can understand this in terms of documentation, too. The document must include source code (for example, ΤεΧ, not just generated PDF), and we must be able to distribute in both ΤεΧ and PDF.

Each of these assumes that the software in question is a program.  To
make that even clearer, one of them also assumes that the availability
of source code for it is an important issue.

Source code generally is an important thing for documents. Witness "transparent forms" in the GFDL.

If you interpret item 1 of the social contract as meaning that
everything in Debian is considered software, then you run smack into
the fact that the DFSG equates software with programs.  So you have to
ignore what those words say, too.

Yeah, but if we take it any other way, we're left without guidelines for what can go into Debian.

Thomas Bushnell proposed another interpretation, in which certain
things that are included in the Debian package files are not "part of
Debian" for this purpose.  That way, you don't have to apply the DFSG
to them.

I don't recall anyone suggesting that, though it is possible I just haven't read that message yet. But that seems like a lawyer's trick, not a good way to run a free software distribution.

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