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Re: A new practical problem with invariant sections?

On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 07:52:26PM -0800, Adam McKenna wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 14, 2006 at 04:17:11PM -0500, Joe Smith wrote:
> > >dict is both free AND convenient!
> > >
> > >      n 1: the state of being suitable or opportune; "chairs arranged
> > >           for his own convenience"
> > Why would one desire freedom for something except that it is more suitable 
> > or opportune than not being free?
> Yes, convenience is an *effect* of certain types of freedom.  As a mental
> exercise, try to imagine a scenario where the existence of a particular piece
> of free software would be very *inconvenient* for you.

I think convenience is something to be considered in determining whether
something is free or not; a hint, nothing more, but not irrelevant either.
It's something that can be sacrificed, to a certain degree: the GPL is
pretty inconvenient at times, but its effects are acceptable.

Practicality is more significant.  If a license makes it *impractical* to
exercise DFSG freedoms, it's non-free.  That doesn't actually say much,
except that merely making it "possible" to exercise freedoms isn't enough,
if it's not practical; that there are limits to the hoops that can be
placed in front of DFSG freedoms.

Of course, that's also just a guideline--there are some cases which we
accept being made impractical by a license, such as proprietary distribution
(because that case is considered inherently incompatible with Free Software
goals).  I think it's a better one than "convenience", though.

> No, it's desirable because it's free.  Convenience is subjective.  Freedom is
> absolute.

Freedom is subjective, too; there are a lot of views on it, even within the
bounds of the letter of the DFSG.

Glenn Maynard

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