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Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Content Format

From: Alexander Braun
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnupedia] Content Format
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 23:15:26 +0100 (CET)

->> Free software is not about practicality, but about principles. If
->> pragmatism is what you want, the open source movement (not free
->> software) is the answer.
->I see the beginnings of a dual standard here. On the one hand, there's the
->call for complete editorial freedom to encourage views (accurate or not) to
->persist, with the emphasis on accuracy being reduced. On the other, there's
->an almost religious fervour against "no free software" to the extent that
->anyone who uses MSWord won't be permitted to submit articles.  Did RMS
->*really* mean this?

There's no dual standard. any word-user may be allowed to post whatever he
wants - he just has to choose the right format. Everybody has the _right_
to use proprietary software, and believe it or not I'm still talking to
him/her. But this _right_ to use proprietary software does not mean he has
the right to see us handling word-files, nor have we the duty to handle
them, because we have the right to try to push the thought and the
realization of freedom and we choose to do this. Nobody here will
discriminate against any Word-user, as discriminations are stupid
anyway. But why should we betray our philosophical background only to make
it easier for someone who is not willing to accept, that he should use a
save_as-button or use his (worst-case!!) front-page to produce html? 

->Unless you're living in a cave, or producing a product for very limited
->use, then practicality has *everything* to do with it.

This is a contradiction to everything rms or the fsf ever did. for sure
rms did not quit the mit and start gnu because it provided more
practicability or more comfort. the thousands of helping hands did not
sacrifce their evenings for practicability or comfort. It might be more
comfortable for people sending just their word-docs. But freedom has
nothing to do with comfort. And besides - what do we have to loose in
spite of our time? We're not competing against anything but the thoughts
of suppressive structures. We won't starve because in the beginning only a
few will send their articles. They will get more. Like any start it will
start slowly. We don't depend on the Microsoft-formats, do we?

->On stability grounds alone, few would agree with you, and, yes, I *do*
->understand the sarcasm. However, GNE is (by my understanding anyway) about
->free content; surely the tools have to be pervasive, easily understood and
->accepted by the community of authors. Note that, for me, it's the community
->of *authors* that's the important point here. If MSWord documents aren't
->acceptable for long term storage, then certainly convert them, but refusing
->to accept them seems crazy.

they would have to be converted anyway, should the w3c refuse to insert
the doc-format in a future release of html.


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