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Re: [all candidates] Return to the desert island (cont.)

On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 04:46:42PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 11:39:29PM +0100, Jérémy Bobbio wrote:
> > 3. One test I've been taught to use to reason about free software is the
> >    Desert Island test [2] which starts by:
> >      Imagine a castaway on a desert island with a solar-powered
> >      computer.
> >   Obviously, software that are only frontends to unreproducible “cloud”
> >   services do not pass the desert island test.
> This is a mischaracterization of the "Desert Island test" as it was
> formulated on debian-legal.  The Desert Island test is about whether a user
> can *comply with the license* of the software on a desert island when they
> have no contact with the outside world.  That the software may not be
> *useful* to them on a desert island is a separate question, and applies to
> many sorts of software, not just those used for connecting to particular
> services over the Internet.

I'm missing the point on what Steve wrote above.  We could debate on what one
understands under the "Desert Island test".  What really matters is that the
phrase "require software outside of the distribution to either build or
function" (Debian Policy 2.2.2) clearly applies to software that is not
"*useful*" without that other "software outside of the distribution".


Bart Martens

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