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Re: First Draft proposal for modification of Debian Free Software Guidelines:

Michael Banck wrote:

> Having the full source code (and not something obfuscted beyond
> recognition) for a computer program so we are able to fix bugs and, if
> necessary, fork it, seems to be essential to what we're doing, namely
> providing the world with a operating system that rocks (and is free,
> yada, yada).
Hmm.  How about an image provided as a binary pixmap dumped as hex and
embedded into a C source file?  :-)  (Yes, I found one.) Would that qaulify
as sufficiently removed from the native form to be an incredible pain in
the neck?

> In contrast, having the possibilty to modify $APPLICATION's stock
> 'File->Open' icon in its native form, i.e. gimp layers or whatever seems
> to be of less importance by several orders of magnitude, as long as we
> can *somehow* fix it by e.g. replacing it with another one, or fixing it
> by gimping it up or so. I mean, very few of us are graphic designers or
> so.
Well, I suppose the graphic designers among Debian should comment.  :-)

> Same goes with fonts.

> Even less so with "You've got mail" sounds or
> so, what's the use in having the Cubase samples for that or something?
> We could still edit the waveform somehow, even if that would be a bit
> more tedious
Ow.  A lot more tedious.

> IMHO, we should be pragmatic here in the limits the social contract and
> the DFSG allow. Be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what
> you give. We should be ruled by the concern whether included that
> particular array of bits will (i) improve our distribution, (ii) improve
> the Free Software community and (iii) do not impose unreasonable
> restriction on the aggregated package.

Well, this set of priorities is arguable.  But suppose we accept it.  It all
depends on the interpretation of (ii).  Some people would say that
including bitmaps for fonts without their outline sources hurts the free
software community.  Others would say that including xsnow in 'main' helps
the free software community.  There is no way to objectively test this:
partly because the 'free software community' is pretty nebulous; and partly
because it's very hard to predict the results of such actions (Will the
lack of xsnow drive people to use Red Hat?  Will the removal of sourceless
fonts encourage people to supply fonts with source?)  It's not really a
very good test because it can be used by anyone to argue any which way (and
it is).

> I'm not sure whether the other developers think alike and if so, whether
> we should clarify on this or whether that is the standard reading of the
> social contract.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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