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Re: licensing of XMPP specifications

Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> writes:

> Ben Finney writes:
> > Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam@benfinney.id.au> writes:
> >> There seems to be no distinction between "software program" and
> >> "program" in the above. What other kind of programs are there?
> >
> > Of course, I immediately realise that "program" has plenty of
> > meaning outside of (and predating) the computer field. Consider
> > this question as specifically within the context of computers,
> > which was already the context of this discussion.
> >From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]:
> [...]
> What precludes those meanings from being used in the context of
> computers?

Nothing, to my knowledge. I merely specified the context of my

> Why quibble over a qualifier that could easily be useful?

... and did so in the hope that needless quibbling could be

> More to the point of this discussion, Debian will probably never
> convince the rest of the world to use "software" to describe a set
> of things that many more people call "intellectual property".

The term "intellectual property" is used in far more ways than
"software", and is so nebulous as to be harmfully misleading in
discussion of anything.

I don't make any claim that any specific organisation (such as Debian)
should be campaigning for the correct, original, easily-defined sense
of "software". That's a task I encourage to any person who cares about
meaningful definitions and useful distinctions.

> Most computer-literate English speakers in the world use "software"
> to mean "computer program" rather than "information"

Perhaps, but that's not very relevant here. This discussion thread
relates to a highly technically-focussed forum and the definitions
they use for what they produce and license.

In that context, I argue that the preferred meaning of "software"
should be its original, easily-defined, usefully-bounded meaning, and
that the term "program" already serves well to discuss a program.

 \      "[...] a Microsoft Certified System Engineer is to information |
  `\     technology as a McDonalds Certified Food Specialist is to the |
_o__)                               culinary arts." —Michael Bacarella |
Ben Finney

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