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Re: Starting to talk

Mathieu Roy <yeupou@gnu.org> writes:

>> The point is whether every software IN DEBIAN needs to be free.
> That is indeed the question.
> I think personally that it is harmful to do so and harmless to let
> that essays where they are, since they do not interfere with the
> program and documentation usability.
> What do you think? Saying it's not DFSG-compliant is not an
> answer.

Sure it is: the DFSG applies to all software in Debian: programs,
documentations, and digitized lunchmeat.  If you want to change that,
get the Social Contract amended, because nobody here can be an honest
Developer and intentionally behave in a way contradictory to that
Contract.  A good way to start that amendment process would be to
begin work on construction a set of guidelines for free documentation.

I put a bit of work into such on this list -- in late August, I
believe -- but stopped when it was clear that I wanted freedoms to
modify and such which made the DFSG a good fit.

> Apart from MJ Ray, which think that any document should follow the
> Free Software rules, software or not, nobody against the GFDLed text
> inclusion clearly stated his point of view.
> People are complaining about this discussion being endless. But they
> just have to say what they are thinking good or bad for Debian in this
> case, not just what is their interpretation of a text. Right, in this
> case -project is maybe a more appropriate place, but it is here where
> the discussion started.

Many, many of us -- Branden Robinson, Nathaniel Nerode, me, Anthony
DeRobertis, Peter G. -- have clearly said to you and to Fedor Zuev
that we think all software should have to meet the same qualifications
to be called Free Software, that the DFSG and the FSF Free Software
Definition are both good approximations of those qualifications, and
that the Debian OS should contain only Free Software.

You haven't wanted to hear that, but from where I'm sitting it's
pretty clear.

You've also made your position -- that the manuals are useful, and so
should be in Debian despite not meeting the DFSG.  If you feel
strongly enough about that to put work into solving the problem you
see -- and you certainly seem willing to put in a bunch of
conversation here -- I invite you to propose a set of guidelines for
identifying free documents, or to admit that you have no such set of
guidelines and merely want useful FSF works included in Debian,
regardless of the freedoms these grant Debian's users.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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