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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free softwarei
Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free softwarein public forums?
Thu, 07 Jul 2011 23:30:53 +0200
Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 (X11/20101029)
Henry Jensen wrote:
On Wed, 06 Jul 2011 13:06:21 -0700 (PDT)
"Jason Self" <address@hidden> wrote:
This Guidelines are pretty good. May I use them as a blueprint?
Sure. Note that it's a collective work under GFDL, but that doesn't
matter much if you're just going to use the ideas.
If I understand you correctly, references to NON-FSDG-Software should be
treated the same way as completely non-free software.
I think it depends on the context. It's important to remember that a
conversation is different from a software repository. If I know that
you're able and willing to do your own add-on freedom checking (or you
don't use add-ons) then there's not much of a problem with suggesting
you install Firefox.
I had a post like this in mind:
I objected that posting a reference to this NON-FSGD software at the
Trisquel forum is probably not a good idea, but the author of the post
said that "no one seems to have an issue" with this and "Non-FSDG
software isn't non-free software." Since no one of the Trisquel
team (I am a simple Trisquel user) responded I wasn't sure how the rest
of the free software community sees this matter.
The thread shows that ryanpablo knows that Firefox has issues, but it
looks like his main reason for choosing Trisquel over Ubuntu is that he
doesn't like Unity. Adrian's great response clears up some
misunderstandings and tries to find out what ryanpablo wants instead of
immediately giving him what he asks. I think Adrian said "no one seems
to have an issue" because Kahny's earlier links to Firefox were not
disapproved of. And he probably meant it as: "the issues have been
explained here, IceCat 5 is not out yet, so you can use Firefox 5 for
now and handle it with care". He could have expressed that better and it
made sense to point out IceCat's alpha.
I would put Adrian's other comment more subtly: non-FSDG software like
Firefox is very free, but not fully free. Or better yet: not fully
committed to software freedom. It's certainly on the better side of the
Good point. But sometime it is hard to know where to draw the line. Of
course, if someone would post a link for a proprietary software with
instructions to download and install it, it would be a clearly
violation. But goes the same for NON-FSDG software? What about the very
mentioning of NON-FSDG Software and distros? I think there is a point
where this is not controllable nor fixable. E. g. some FSDG distros are
based on NON-FSDG distros. It is only natural that the NON-FSDG distro
is mentioned several times. E. g. gNewSense has the string "ubuntu" in
almost every package file name.
Context matters. In the case of packages file names it's not an issue,
IMO, because it gives credit to the project where a lot of the distro
work has happened. So it's also not a problem to say "gNewSense is based
on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian". Neither is it a problem to state
facts (e.g. "GNOME is also the default desktop in Ubuntu") or opinions
(e.g. "LinuxMint has nice artwork").
An example of problematic behavior is when someone refers to LinuxMint
every chance she gets, no matter how relevant to the discussion. Or
someone constantly pointing out the advantages of non-FSDG software over
fully free alternatives.
P.S.: I'm not involved in the Trisquel community and I don't mean to
overstep my boundaries. I just think it's an interesting case to comment
on and clarify with regards to the free distro checklist.
Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free software in public forums?, Koko Koala, 2011/07/08