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Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2021 18:21:04 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Arthur Miller <arthur.miller@live.com> [2021-01-06 18:00]:
> As I see, it says "non-free", so what is the problem?

Maybe you should review the fact that Debian does designate their
non-free repository but that repology.el package will show all other
repositories with non-free software, not being designated as non-free
by any manner. So your perception does not come from practical and
personal use of that software, rather from my example, that was not

Example with etoys package, as classified non-free in Debian will not
be shown as non-free in Ubuntu:

>From repology.el output:

Ubuntu 12.04         etoys                4.0.2340     multiverse/games         
 jredrejo@debian.org holger@debian.org

because the 4th column is name of repository in repology. It need not
say "non-free" at all.

When clicking on that entry above, user finds following:

repo            ubuntu_12_04
subrepo         precise/multiverse
srcname         etoys
visiblename     etoys
version         4.0.2340
maintainers     jredrejo@debian.org holger@debian.org
categories      multiverse/games
status          outdated
origversion     4.0.2340-1

> I think it is rather informative to see if a piece of software is free
> or not free, that way I can at least avoid non-free ones.

As from example above, it does not says nothing about the license at
all and thus does not serve to you as user to "recognize if software
is free or not-free". That is why you should make better your personal

> Are we now dogmatically religious where non-free software is forbidden
> to even be mentioned as non-free? That smells to me as a slippery slope
> into dogmatism and absolutism.

GNU.org website does not offer directories of various software where
plethora of non-free software package descriptions can be found,
researched, and inspected. Why should Emacs do that? It is not aligned
with overall goals of GNU. It is matter of freedom and liberty and
teaching people free software and not religion.

> Is there free-speach if people are not allowed to speak freely about
> some subject(s) like mentioning non-free software?

That is absolutely not subject of repology.el package. It should be
clear that everybody is free to speak about anything. It is not
subject of this discussion. GNU is project about free software. It
should not offer access to users to search, verify, find references to
non-free software.

Just think little about that, bakery is about baking bread, it should
not (not normally) offer soaps on the bread shelves. Normally it will
also not offer milk on the same shelves. Diary factories normally do
not produce alcohol in their same factories.

GNU.org is about free software, it is not about giving references to
non-free software. Yet many non-free software are mentioned on GNU.org
website and references are given to free software with similar

If a package like repology.el would say this software ABC is non-free
software, which you may replace by using this XYZ free software, that
would be useful. If it only offers queries and results from a software
database without distinction or without supporting GNU purposes, then
it should not be in GNU ELPA.

By free speech, it can be on any other server. Why not. 

> I think the problem for you is that you see that list as a
> "recommendation list". If you instead interpret it as a "black
> list", than having list of non-free software becomes a useful
> listing in terms of things to avoid :-).

I have no problem with anything. If it comes in GNU ELPA, I will
denounce the package on my website and say why it should not be there,
even if it is there.

My opinions are personal and not representative of GNU project.


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