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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free

From: Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] MAME emulator is giving incentive to use non-free software
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 17:59:11 +0200

On Sat, 2 Apr 2016 08:48:58 +0000
alírio eyng <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 4/2/16, Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli <address@hidden> wrote:
> > Why not just requiring some documentation along the emulator that
> > documents at least one fully free software that can run on it.  
> this is missing some complexity:
> we don't want something better done natively (we exclude
> ndiswrapper)[1] but we still want to allow introducing free software
> on nonfree platforms[2]
My point was that documentation (and packaging as you point it) can
steer users towards free software.

The goal of the software may even be altered this way, if it cannot
be used fully free with its regular uses cases.

The former case might be faster to do, but getting it right would be
difficult since the user would have to be aware of that documentation.

Which one to do would then depend on the context.
For instance with qemu and libvirt, the software was modified not to
steer users towards running non-free GNU/Linux distributions.

While unrelated, the case of debootstrap is also interesting, since, on
parabola, it by default debootstraps free software distributions.
References and configuration related to non-100%-free distributions
were removed.

> i think packaging is better than documenting, shouldn't be much more
> effort
Right, I assumed documenting was way faster. I was probably wrong.

> but this doesn't address the problem of discernment
> example: i can go to [3] and see there are four games, i know they are
> free because they are inside a free distro frontier
> if users need to exit the free distro frontier, they probably will
> find nonfree and free games and don't see much difference
> the ideal would be to have a comprehensive set of games packaged
> inside the free distro frontier
The documentation would have had to take that into account.
I was thinking of something along the lines of HOWTO that you find in
the documentation of the distributions. Such as list of commands that
would explain how to do it, while making sure that freedom is preserved.

But as you pointed out, packaging might be faster and easier.

> hiding the emulator executable/package
I don't understand what it means.

> would warn when they are exiting the free distro frontier and poke
> them to add free games to the distro (suggesting to developers or
> sending patches)
That is very similar to documentation for me.
We might also want to do that on the parabola wiki, trying to implicate
people who might want to use such emulators.
Example: Why is <foo emulator> not in Parabola
         |-> <Explanation suggesting to send patches>

> alternatively, forking all emulators and creating a
> free community around them would also provide a freedom frontier
That is nice too. Uzebox seem in the right direction with that.


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