Re: Unidentified subject!
Richard Stallman <email@example.com> writes:
> Your casual suggestion to "pick whichever seems better" leaves out the
> object: better for whom? For the Free Software community? For the
> Free Software Foundation, whose goals are quite different?
> That is a cheap shot, because it reflects only your decision to be
Excuse me? I've been trying to conduct a polite conversation. I
certainly haven't made a "decision to be nasty" or started taking
cheap shots: the FSF's goals are indisputably different from those of
the members of the Free Software community. The FSF's goals are its
attempt to fulfill the *best interests* of the community -- this is
one of the best arguments for the GPL and copyright assignment to the
FSF, that it will work towards the long-term interests of Freedom, not
for the wants and goals of the current members of the community.
> I could make the same kind of cheap shot by saying "Better for
> whom? For the Free Software community? Or for Debian, whose goals
> are quite different?"
And certainly, Debian's goals are different from those of the FS
community: Debian's goals are its users *and* Free Software.
> I choose not to do this, but others do it to me.
You have done this several times in this thread. For example:
> The Free Software Foundation built the free software community,
> years before Debian was started,
This is at least much of a "nasty cheap shot" as what I said. And
you've done it before. The FSF has done wonderful things for the Free
Software community, but it is false to claim it had sole
responsibility for the community.
> (Frankly, I didn't even think about "better for whom". I certainly
> didn't imagine it meant "Better for the FSF". In the FSF we avoid
> these gray areas, so we would never be the ones deciding.)
You mean you *ignore* those gray areas. As a reminder, we're talking
about gray areas between program and documentation. The emacs manual
contains both. TeX is both. The FSF has signed off on both as being
Free -- one as documentation alone, the other as software alone.
Debian avoids those grey areas by insisting everything be treated as
software: it's not a perfect approach, but it gets the abstract
philosophy out of the way and gives more time for producing a Free
OS. It's the FSF, not Debian, which has chosen to introduce a
classification system, separating Software from Documentation.
Many of those on this list have asked about your reasons for doing so,
and we've never gotten a clear response -- some allusions to
convenience for printers, I think, and that's all.
But given you've defined this split, and you want Debian to follow
your lead in this, it seems only reasonable for you to provide a good
guideline... telling us that *we* should "pick whichever seems better"
doesn't help much with that, so your suggestion that Debian permit
restrictions on documentation which it would not permit for software
is so far unconvincing.
> Cheap shots like this are another reason why I have decided not to
> discuss the matter further.
Wonderful to hear. Debian's pulled its
too-passionate-to-talk-reasonably members off this discussion and sent
in cooler heads; who will the FSF be sending to talk to Debian, now
that you're too upset to continue?
I dare not speak for even all the readers of debian-legal, but I for
one am eager to continue discussing this with the FSF.