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Re: Missing documentation for autoconf

Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
olive wrote:

The social contract say also "We will never make the system require the
use of a non-free component". It is reasonable to think that the use of
Debian requires the GFDL documentation.

Even assuming the above "it is reasonable" is true[0], the following
does not hold:

If Debian think there are
non-free they are breaking the social contract; could someone explain me
how this is not a break of the social contract.

"...never make THE SYSTEM require the use of  a non-free component."

Even if your use of autoconf requires you to make use of non-free
software, the system does not require the use of that software.

The system != the user of the system

I do not agree with this reading. A "really free" software is a software where eeverything you need to modify it is free. I also thought that the spirit of Debian was to be sufficiently comprehensive to develop on it the software that are part of it. If you say that the making of Debian (including the programming of the software that are part of it) requires non-free stuff then I do not consider Debian to be really "100% free"

[Otherwise, consider that the C language specification is by far not
free software, and where that'd put us]

I think there is now docs to be able to program C code with free (in the FSF sense) documentation. This is true however that there is not enough such documentations and that a good (usually non-free) book might be very usefull. I consider that to be a real problem; much bigger than the few technicalities you do not like in the GFDL. By rejecting the GFDL you make the situation even worse and in this sense, you make Debian less free than by accepting it.

[0] A proposition with which I disagree. Personally I've managed to use
quite a bit of software without resort to the docs.

Just using end-user softwares usually does not require documentations. But that does not satisfy me; for example I have modified the source of a lisp file of emacs. It would be virtually impossible without the emacs lisp reference manual. I say that to be able to modify these files this manual is required and to be able to modify a software is essential in free software and thus in Debian.


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