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Re: "keep non-free" proposal

> > [A] Software which Debian distributes which is completely free will
> > remain completely free.

On Tue, Jan 27, 2004 at 10:37:20AM -0600, Chad Walstrom wrote:
> First of all, I need to apologize for my earlier statement in a related
> thread that you should generically substitute the use of word "that" for
> "which".  They are distinctly different beasts.  Google turned up a few
> grammatical advice sites[1,2,3] for clarifying the usage.  In any case,
> the statement [A] is VERY wrong.  The use of "which" v.s. "that"
> revolves around the idea of restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.
> Use "which" to introduce non-restrictive clauses[2,3].  In the case of
> statement [A], you are introducing essential information.  It is a
> restrictive clause, therefore requiring the use of "that".

There's some kind of problem with other software remaining completely

> [A] Software that Debian distributes is completely free and will remain
> completely free.
> Just because the software exists on the archive doesn't mean it IS
> Debian.  What helps define Debian is the Free Software as described by
> the DFSG, thus why this type of statement is in the Social Contract.

I think the whole "is Debian" line of logic is bogus.  Debian is people
who put together OS distributions.  Also, "Debian is the collection of
.deb files distributed by Debian" is a fairly nonsensical statement.

> > New:  "We promise to keep the free software of the Debian System
> > Distributions completely free."
> Ambiguous use of "free" to define the word "free".

No -- defining the word "free" in the context of the social contract is
the job of the DFSG.  That's pretty basic.

> It is also a misdirection of purpose.  It has changed from distributing
> free software to guaranteeing the "freeness" of free software, which
> in my honest opinion is a job for EFI not Debian.

It's got flaws, but not that flaw.  It's a statement about us not
replacing free software we distribute with non-free software.

> As I have demonstrated, this proposal falls flat of anything called
> rational thought.  Debian, by definition, is a distribution.

Debian, by definition, is a project.  Debian is also an adjective used
to describe the output of that project (as well as its inner workings).

> > We will continue to support free software, and non-free software, just
> > as we always have.
> We know this is your agenda, although you claimed earlier in this post
> that your proposal would exclude it.

I'm not sure what you're talking about here -- can you provide a



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