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Re: Latex freedom issues

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: Latex freedom issues
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 09:09:32 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0.7+183 (3d24855) (2021-05-28)

* <> [2021-06-26 23:15]:
> >> Somewhere, RMS said "And TeX was free - just barely."  IIRC, the issue
> >> is that you have to change the name of the software to redistribute it,
> >> or something.

TeX is free software.

LaTeX is free software.

> >> Honestly, I will not trust any alleged freedom concerns coming from
> >> Parabola and Hyperbola folks.  Their policies are extremely strict,
> >> more strict than most FSDG distros.  Just look at the your-privacy
> >> package!  They're getting into users' business way too much.

This may be viewpoint of poster who selected wrong distribution. To me
personally, those distribution are doing me favour, they are selecting
exclusively free software lessening my own efforts. I can just say
thank you. They are not going into user's business at all.

There are various groups of users, there are those which wish to have
exclusively free software, some prefer free software over proprietary,
and some don't care and some use proprietary. Parabola and Hyperbola
are for those who care about freedom. The fact is written everywhere. 

> >> Probably.  I left the FSF-approved ghettos once Python packages
> >> were not repackaged under a free repository, but simply REMOVED.
> >> Honestly, I'm getting tired of all this.

Message to OP.

You are in wrong place looking for wrong product. Those are
distributions that tend to be fully free, like clean from impurities,
like petrol of high quality that cost more than others. Pure natural
water is not same as city water. If you prefer city water, drink it.

Calling it "ghettos" is not nice. Why you call me as somebody in
"ghetto"? You are directing your message to all users of those
distributions. And you are in wrong place, this is FSF held
Libreplanet, thus free software mailing list. We want free
software. It is not mailing list to endorse non-free proprietary
programs, it will never be. 

If you wish to use proprietary software nobody forbids you.

Don't expect of FSF endorsed distribution to follow your goals to use
whatever proprietary software you wish and want. It is wrong place.

> I like your standing.  If I would take a stance based on functionality,
> I would happily mix: Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and GNU products,
> regardless of their licenses.  I would not like to take a stance based
> on functionality, but on freedom.  For me, functionality is needed, but
> not at the cost of freedom.

Maybe you wanted to say something else, I don't know, it is little

The US intelligence and world intelligence has recently used the
backdoor in proprietary ANOM software that was planted to catch
criminals, they got millions of illegal money, caught hundreds of
people and drugs. Those are criminals. But nobody speaks about the
rights of honest people and their data leaking and abuse. That is not
what goes in the public. With proprietary software there is no way to
protect privacy, life and ensure safety of honest people. When we know
there are backdoors we also know that criminals can have access to
backdoors too. I can bet that Telegram is FBI/CIA/NSA-dependent, they
are finally US company and cannot avoid the intrusion of spy
agencies whatever they may say. Before it was maybe Russian, but would
it be Russian would I trust it more? Hahahhaha. No way. Both sides are
spying on people. 

Proprietary software is not just a problem of privacy, there are many
issues. Fundamental issue is that user never agreed fully to
everything that proprietary software vendor wants to execute. IMHO,
free software licenses are not enough. Users should be warned what is
software doing on the device before even running it.

It should be something similar on what is being displayed on Android
like that this software is asking for contact address book, asking for
camera permission, location permission, etc. However, such warning
information should be given before installation. The outline or
description of software should clearly describe major functionality
and what it does to users' data. Because I don't authorize neither
programmers free software neither programmers of proprietary software
to have THEIR freedom how they want on MY computer.

Example with Telegram is that by instaling it and running it one
authorizes remote vendor's network to inform other people that user
has got Telegram account. I have never agree to it. My Fediverse
account is not informing my acquaintances that I have Fediverse
account. Those are some fundamental issues that are not solved neither
in free software world and never in proprietary.

That issue is not tackled by Parabola and Guix. If software is free
they will include it. I have already mentioned that Guix management
anyway does not put attention to comply to GPL. They live in the
illusion and are left so because nobody is complaining. But that does
not make GPL software compliant to GPL license. Why should they take
care if Telegram which is free software is abusing users' privacy?
That is not in the FSF guidelines, so they don't care. They are using
guidelines for promotion rather than idealistic goal to help users. 

Free software allows extremes. For example it allows to use free
software how user wish and want. Including how programmer wish and

This includes abuse of privacy. It includes backdoors. One can use
free software to create backdoors and spy on other users. One can use
key loggers to spy on other users. 

I am saying that to point out that even if distribution is FSF
endorsed it is not necessarily following ethical norms. Endorsement is
also not a final proof of anything as if they not comply to GPL
licensing that does not make distribution have limited
responsibilities just because they are endorsed.

> I do not care about a particular document or presentation.  What I
> really want to do is make sure that I use only free software.  Will
> avoiding Latex completely be my only option?  If that is the
> situation, how can I make different types of documents like letters
> and papers with tables based on text in Emacs' org-mode?

LaTeX is just one good part of TeXLive distribution. You don't need to
use LaTeX, you can use for example ConTeXT, other similar set of
macros. But there is no Org support that I know.

There is Org support for Asciidoctor which
I use lately to make many nice PDF presentations with asciidoctor-pdf
which is standalone PDF generator.


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