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Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2021 14:46:44 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Ulrich Mueller <ulm@gentoo.org> [2021-01-07 13:56]:
> >>>>> On Thu, 07 Jan 2021, Richard Stallman wrote:
> > I see two ways we could possibly manage to use repology.org in the
> > Free World.
> > * Find a way to distinguish free from nonfree packages.  I see two
> > ideas One is to snarf the lists of free packages from Debian and
> > Parabola.  Another is to see if free packages list a license that
> > shows they are free.  You might have other ideas.
> > * Ask the developer of repology.org to work with us to indicate which
> > packages are free, maybe even provide a way to specify "show me only
> > free packages".
> One would first have to define what qualifies as a free package, and the
> world isn't all black-or-white there.

I am sending it to emacs-tangents.

> For example, the tarball of org-mode as released by upstream [1]
> contains Relax-NG schemas [2] distributed under a license that doesn't
> allow modification. Does that make org-mode a non-free package?

Schema may not be software. I do not know what it is. I cannot find it
in my etc/ in Org distribution under ~/.emacs.d/elpa/org-2.....

I have downloaded the package, so I found it in tar.gz and I have not
researched it enough. It may not be software, it looks to me as not
being software. Maybe it is standard.

If you think that the file does not make Org package free, then raise
the bug issue for Org mode.

> The way we handle this in Gentoo is not to install these non-free
> components by default. Users however have the option to enable their
> installation if they do two things: a) set a so-called USE flag, and
> b) explicitly accept these components' license.

I understand. I find it unfortunate that so many GNU/Linux
distributions decided to include proprietary software.

While I do not mind who uses which OS distribution, here I am
referencing why GNU project is not endorsing such distributions:

You may see there that Gentoo includes installation recipes for a
number of nonfree programs in its primary package system.

So if the OS distribution asks you to accept USE flag and explicitly
accept these component's licenses, it is promoting proprietary
software. It may be coercive. If it asks user to accept or otherwise,
that is coercion and not an option.

> Another example is the intlfonts package [3], which contains some
> Tibetan fonts with a non-commercial restriction. Again, Gentoo handles
> this with a USE flag, so users have to explicitly ask for installation
> of these non-free fonts.

Then please raise the bug issue. I myself do not have enough
information on who is doing what there. If you know, raise the issue.

> There are many more packages like that, and I don't believe that one
> could simply divide them into free and non-free by just taking the
> package name. It will depend on what the distro does when installing
> them or creating a binary package from them.

In relation to repology.org, it is index of many various
repositories from many various OS-es. Many repositories will not or
may not have license entry in their package description. So it is a
huge mess of software without distinction if it is free software or

That proprietary software packages do exist, it is known, and you can
also see that hyperlink why GNU project is not endorsing many

There are many proprietary software packages, starting with the
Debian's non-free repository and many others.

But those packages are not subject of research by GNU project, unless
some software shall be produced to give solution to most popular
proprietary software. GNU project creates and supports free
software. So those other software pieces that are not free are beyond
the subject of discussion in GNU project.

I hope you understand that. I do not mind who personally uses what
software, as that is beyond myself nor GNU to tell anybody.


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