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Re: Privileges and practicalities [was: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Privileges and practicalities [was: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el]
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2021 21:47:36 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Ulrich Mueller <ulm@gentoo.org> [2021-01-08 19:25]:
> >>>>> On Fri, 08 Jan 2021, Jean Louis wrote:
> > What GNU project promotes is free software. GNU never says to its
> > users to use exclusively free software and never condemns people for
> > using proprietary software.
> Yet it maintains a blacklist of common GNU/Linux distros and labels them
> as "unethical", even if these distros (like Debian and Fedora) have a
> clear policy to exclude anything non-free from their main
> repositories.

I am not sure if I understand well. Do you perceive labeling some
distros as unethical same as labeling users of the distro unethical?

For me that is not the same. Majority of GNU/Linux users are not well
informed about free software.

pDecision makers are well informed and they make conscious decisions to
provide access to proprietary software. For that set of people I would
say they act in a way that is contrary to free software philosophy,
they use it only technically without teaching people about it. So I
say, they do act with lack of responsibility in that regards. They
value their technical capabilities more than freedom of their users.

> I am certain that these distro maintainers act in good faith if they
> mention (for example) CPU microcode for Spectre mitigation in their
> documentation, even if that microcode isn't free software.

They may act in good faith. But that may not be aligned to free
software principles. Good faith as general term is not same as good
faith to provide fully free software OS.

I do not think that GNU project ever said anything about mentioning
any proprietary software in relation on how to liberate users. So what
if people mention it? I see no problem mentioning proprietary software
as long as we clearly say what is the problem with it.


So there is mentioning of Microsoft Windows there many times. Problems
are clearly listed with references for more understanding.

Then, Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre https://www.hyperbola.info also
mentions proprietary software and relevant software that is risk to
software freedom in a package named `your-freedom'

Example line from there is like:

abiword:abiword:::[semifree] Hard-codes nonfree fonts, [uses-nonprivacy] has 
non-privacy search engines and translators e.g. Google search engine and the 
defunct AltaVista’s Babel Fish translator which queries are redirected to the 
main Yahoo! page

Then maybe Hyperbola maintainers try to rectify it by changing
something in that software.

Or other example:

acetoneiso2::fsf:AcetoneISO:[uses-nonfree] ask to download and install nonfree 

akonadi-calendar-tools::::[uses-nonfree] only useful with nonfree

apm::::[uses-nonfree] has no policy against distributing nonfree
software through their online database of Atom packages,
[uses-nonfree][uses-nonsecurity] make-depends on coffee-script and
depends on npm

ark:ark:::[uses-nonfree] recommends nonfree unrar

As you may see, software that relates to proprietary is mentioned and
nonfree software is mentioned, and purpose of mentioning it is to
point out that it is nonfree.

If we come back to repology.org server, they do not have the purpose
to say distinguish, so they just follow data structure of packages
they are pulling, regardless if such data structure does not speak or
does speak about the license of the software.


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