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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

On Fri, 2003-09-26 at 03:04, Fedor Zuev wrote:

> First, try to answer to several simply questions.

First, let me note that I speak only for myself here, and I have a very
liberal use of the term 'software.' In the Social Contract, a more
conservative one is used, where we'd only consider it software if we can
store its bits on a computer hard disk, CD, DVD, etc.

> 0) Is printed Emacs Manual in bookstore a software or hardware?

The actual paper is not. The information printed on them is.

> 1) Is Emacs Manual recorded on CD-Audio a software or hardware?

The actual polycarbonate and aluminum disc is not. The information
encoded on it is.

> 2) Is Debian/main printed as book a software or hardware?

Same as (0)

> 3) Why? What differs from 0,1?

n/a --- nothing differs.

> 4) Is Debian/main printed into punch-cards a software or hardware?

The paper is hardware. The information stored on them is software.

> 5) Why? What differs from 0,1,2?

see (3)

> 6) Is Debian/main written on CD-ROM a software or hardware?

see (1)

> 7) Why? What differs from 0, 1,2,4?

see (3)

> 8)Is Debian logo written on [cover of] the same CD-ROM software or
> hardware?

The paper and ink is hardware. The information --- i.e., the abstract
logo, independent of the representation medium --- is software.

> 9) Why? What differs from 0, 1, 2, 4, 6?

see (3)

> 10) Is Debian installation, hardcoded into embedded system software
> or hardware?

the EEPROM, FLASH, or whatever that stores it is hardware. The
information is software.

> 11) Why? What differs from 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8?

see (3)

If you take a computer hard disk, there is a portion of it that can only
be a part of a hard disk: The platters, the read/write heads, the
servos, etc. That's what I call the hardware.

There is another part which, amazingly, can be a part of nearly
anything. It can be burnt to optical media such as CD-R and DVD-R; it
can be stored in magnetic flux on a tape; it can be sent over a
communications link; it can be printed on the pages of a book; it can be
read aloud. That's what I call the software.

I don't claim that this is common usage. I do however claim that if you
take the subset that is written to a computer hard disk, that is what
the Social Contract calls software, and that is a reasonably common

> 12) Does DFSG extends to computer programs, when they are not loaded
> into computer memory?


>  (For example what about program, which is
> freely distributable only over Internet?)

Violates DFSG 1, 2, and possibly others.

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