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Re: Free non-software stuff and what does it mean. [was Re: General Resolution: Force AMD64 into Sarge]

On Mon, 2004-08-02 at 22:48, Ryan Underwood wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 06:33:10PM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > > 
> > > I think "preferred form of modification" still works here -- if the form
> > > is too large to be easily passed around, it's clearly not preferred.
> > 
> > I disagree.  The preferred form of modification for these movie clips is
> > the original lossless data, or the AfterEffects, etc. data, and so on.
> I disagree.  The preferred form of modification is completely subjective
> and depends on the individual who is modifying the software.  Subjective
> opinions aren't going to work for policy.  For non-program files such as
> multimedia or publications, there should be a master list of MIME types
> and a voted-on list of acceptable source code formats for each MIME
> type, in the case that upstream does not certify that the file was
> created as-is from scratch (example: capturing directly via hardware or
> via a software filter to a MPEG-4 or Vorbis file).

This is insane. Do you want to vote for every MIME type (I'm curious if
you know how many there are)? What's the source for
application/octet-stream? What if the original source is outright gone?

(Oh, and this 40MB application/postscript? Upstream wrote it by hand.
Really. Just like this 4MB application/x-executable.)

Have you thought about your proposal at all? If you have, I'll be more
scared than if you haven't.

> The archive maintainers should participate in such voting, because it's
> their machines that will be storing the uncompressed DV files that would
> end up in the archive if their opinion was not present.
> > I agree with the practical issues you're talking about.  I often create
> > stylized text images with Photoshop and don't bother saving the PSD, because
> > it's easier to just remember how to create it from scratch than to organize
> > and store that much source.  I do think this is an important and very common
> > case to consider, but I don't think it's a way out of the source-for-images,
> > etc. question, because in many of these cases, the preferred form for
> > modification really does exist, and really is preserved for future modification.
> It's a matter of practicality, and should be up to the package
> maintainer, with policy such as described above to decide borderline cases.
> If the package maintainer makes a bad/impractical decision regarding the source
> format, nobody is going to host his package for download.  So it ends up
> being a Darwinian filter.

If we go with a "if people download it, it's preferred" then we can
include an awful lot of non-free software. I agree a lot of it should
fall to the package maintainer, but that's because she better
understands upstream's work habits and preferences, and what kind of
ways people might want to modify the software, than J. Random DD.

I think we're sane enough to work towards a definition of "source" that
will do the right thing for all formats when interpreted by humans. I
also think that the GPL's is a very good place to start, and I think
most everyone agrees with me on this point. I think it might also end
there, based on my definition of "preferred"; others, like Glenn and if
I remember correctly Thomas Bushnell, disagree. I think most people
involved (especially those of us who are upstream developers for games
or other media-heavy packages, and so understand the work habits
involved in such projects) are still considering all the issues, and we
don't have a definitive answer yet.

But your idea, and criteria, are stupid.
Joe Wreschnig <piman@debian.org>

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