Savannah rejects a project because it uses GPL

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Sat Feb 11 10:29:02 UTC 2006

> I'm not sure what you mean, `non-free software manuals' to me reads as
> `non-free software manuals', i.e. manuals for non-free software.  If
> MJ meant something else, he is free to clarify.

It's clear from the context that he means gfdl manuals. You should
have learnt that "software" to you means "program", while to him it
means "everything except my desk".  Let's agree to disagree, withough
trying to read the other party's opinions with the wrong semantics (a
problem that happens too often in our environment, bts).

FWIW, I personally think both views about the meansing of "software"
have their points and their problems. But I believe in the distinction
between "functional" and "non-functional" works, that MJ Ray refuses,

>    Later, after following the discussion in debian-legal and
>    elsewhere, after thinking about it ourselves, we came to the
>    conclusion that it has been a very risky choice, and we switched
>    away from it in the next edition of the book.

> Could you share these conclusions?

As I wrote, we switched away from the FDL, whose major problem in this
specific context is the risk of proprietarization by third parties.
As for the discussion in debian-legal, the position statement already
linked (
is a good summary, although it became much bigger than what one can
easily digest in reasonable time (I didn't, actually).

>    [...] derived works whose technical contents can't be folded back in the
>    original manual.

> This is not entierly true, you can fold it back, but then you also
> have to fold the invariant sections.  I think this is a prefectly
> valid thing to require.

I disagree. If the competing publishing house adds a chapter and a
cover text stating that it's "A Nestlè book" (just to use fake names),
I can't really reuse their added chapter in my next edition.

>    > Debian does include non-free software.  It promotes its usage by
>    > giving space to host it.  Even Fedora is a better bet [...]
>    Flame bait, I'm sorry. Same sin you contest to your party.
> Sorry, but that is the simple truth of the matter.

This is your view of the truth. I don't see Debian promoting non-free,
and other people in this list strongly believes that is the simple
truth. Like with the definition of "software", I'd like you all
to agree to disagree and put these points to rest.

> I'm actually an avid Debian user, and it is quite frustrating to use
> it since I cannot in good heart recommend it to my friends or people
> who wish to use GNU/Linux.

I understand your personal point of view, it's just not "the simple
truth" but an opinion not shared by everyone else.


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