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Re: Suggestions of David Nusinow, was: RPSL and DFSG-compliance - choice of venue

On Wed, 2004-08-25 at 15:25 -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:

> Sure we can.  I might convince you that they're in the wrong place --
> and certainly debian-legal is the right place for that discussion.  Or
> you might convince me that they are in the right place.  Neither of
> those is an axiomatic belief.

No, I don't think debian-legal /is/ the right place. Debian-legal is the
place to discuss whether a license is free or not based on Debian's
ideas of freeness, not whether Debian's ideas of freeness are correct.
There may not be a more appropriate place at present. That doesn't make
the use of debian-legal appropriate.

> Well, no more than writing something big directly in machine code --
> and I'm not really clear what the projects' opinion is on write-only
> code.  I think a kernel written in direct machine code, or a similar
> program in Brainfuck, has no source code.  There is no reasonable form
> for modification, so it's not Free Software.  But it's never been
> necessary to form a collective opinion on that, so I haven't seen many
> arguments either way.

I'm not sure I'd agree with that, but this probably isn't the time for
the discussion.

> But holding up a probably-non-free thing and proclaiming that it's
> more non-free than a patch clause doesn't do much to convince me that
> patch clauses are free.  Yes, source-less programs are worse.  But
> that doesn't make practically unmodifiable programs free.

You believe that there are some languages that are inherently non-free?
I'm still waiting to hear an example of something that patch clauses
actually make impossible.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59@srcf.ucam.org

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