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Re: [DS-discuss] Re: A nice guide to Debian GNU/Linux

From: Ramanan Selvaratnam
Subject: Re: [DS-discuss] Re: A nice guide to Debian GNU/Linux
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 22:53:57 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624

Rahul Sundaram wrote:

[I was hoping this discussion to be offlist; not disturb the flow of the list too much.
Anyone bored by it please voice any concern]

I am speaking from the experiences of mingling with
Debian developers as late as last month

me too. i do read archives dating long back to the
present stuff in order to understand whats going on

where Martin M. was proclaiming the purity of
Debian's freedom.

I like the Debian and its anarchic community and all
but my impressions of them and their scope is that they have a much narrow viewpoint and ambitions... than say...FSF's.

i dont see it that way. debian is no more narrow than
FSF as i perceive it.  of course you are entitled to
your opinions and i am not complaining at all.

Let me explain with an example of why I stick to this opinion.

It seems that round one of the battle against legislature for software patents in the EU [] has been won. .... This does not appear to be officially announced as the 'baddies' seem to be licking their wounds as the scheduled debate for Sept 1st has been withdrawn :-). Now, a certain RMS (for FSF) was very active on campaigning against this misled EU legislature. I am sure that most Debian folk would do the same but the way the interests of these two orgs diverge, it is not possible for any effective representations from Debian in this matter.

FSF and their attitude to software render them a wider *viewpoint* on many software related issues hence the concept of 'copyleft' is more ambitious. eg: Wikipedia is covered by GFDL.

I am very sure about the problems with GFDL is due
to their over zealous approach.
To be clear I was referring to the  Debian developers' zeal.

not at all. the present of provisions for invariant
sections and cover text creates specific problems
including the requirement that the manual be kept
machine readable

for example

i can add a statement as childish as windows sucks or

(whats childish about this? :-)

linux is the new god or some stuff as invariant to an
otherwise professional doc.

fdl'ed docs cannot be encryted as per the license due
to the interpretation of machine readability. read
I do not understand this fully. Guessing that there are requirements for machine readable licences (?) ... I wish for a future where more human touch is present than a mechanised existence.

thru the license and you will find the complexity

That is lawyers and the highly lucrative software documentation field for you.

there was pointers to many practical problems. i am
not saying it will affect everyone but that i can and
debian considers this aspect as non free.
we can however ignore this stand and continue to use
fdl docs if it serves our purposes.

for example rms said that he supports linex more
debian bcoz they dont like to non free software

Please send me any references to this if you can

here. take a look

The link seems broken :-(

i am not bashing rms or debian. just pointing out
there are conflicts and you may choose to form
opinions reading thru both sides

Of course. Infact this exchange has made me read up more Debian stuff which is a good thing especially if stepping forward to help write up some docs on the greatest OS I ever knew.

Best regards,


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