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Re: org.omg link on Classpath homepage

From: Stuart Ballard
Subject: Re: org.omg link on Classpath homepage
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 11:37:36 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20031010 Debian/1.4-6

Brian Jones wrote:
This sort of religious zealotry is not helpful.  People wishing to
implement free versions should know where to go for the standard, the
RFC, etc.  If it is not possible to link in this context then the FSF
web server is useless and I'll have to consider moving elsewhere.

First off, I have nothing to do with the GNU project so these opinions are only my own attempt to understand the GNU project's position and apply common sense to the result.

Having said that, I don't think there's any objection to linking to the RFC per se or pointing to the OMG as the place where the standard is developed. The objection is to linking to either those places or any others and saying "you can get an implementation from here", if the implementation in question is not free.

The distinction is based on context - does the link seem to someone reading the website to be a link to get software, or a link to find out more about something? In the case of the OMG and jgss links on, the links appeared to me to be clearly "get software" links, hence the (double) problem with the omg and jgss links: neither of them actually were any help in figuring out where to obtain software, and even if they had been, the software in question is not free.

It would be fine (if my interpretation is correct) to simply alter the website so that it's clear that these links go to information related to standardization of these packages, and not an implementation. But it seems to me that information about standardization of packages we haven't yet implemented isn't something that belongs on the Classpath homepage anyway, so it makes more sense to simply remove the links or replace them with links to implementations that really are free.

(Incidentally, my understanding is that this restriction is not limited to projects using the GNU webserver - it's limited to any project which is "part of the GNU project", which in practical terms includes at least any program with "GNU " at the start of its name. On the other hand, non-gnu projects are allowed to use the FSF webserver (see and those projects ARE allowed to link to non-free software, although they aren't allowed to depend on it).


Stuart Ballard, Senior Web Developer
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