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Re: [directory-discuss] directory purpose (was: s/w that requires a midd
Re: [directory-discuss] directory purpose (was: s/w that requires a middleman..)
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:29:40 +1100
Svetlana Tkachenko said:
works for you, I believe -- someone needs to confirm this -- you may
link to it in the FSF directory instead of linking directly. Is it
Those files are not identical. Hashes don't match.
C) Software is free, documentation is non-free, website is non-free.
Pass. We should include the software (but not the documentation) at FSF
directory in some way.
"Pass" is ambiguous here. What do you mean by "pass"? Are you saying
it's included in directory.fsf.org?
This means "a person who cares of freedom would be able to recognise this software is free, and would have no issues with running this software on their computer, were they given a copy of it".
This case "C" is why the "non-free documentation" anti-feature exists.
Indeed it's a good idea to not reference non-free documentation in the
directory.fsf.org record, to avoid FSF suggesting a non-free resource
to users. But the reference to non-free documentation should be
disclosed /somewhere/, otherwise how do you defend the "non-free
I don't believe the FSF Directory is a correct place to list freedom gaps; it only lists things which already are free.
Anti-features should transparently state the rationale for flagging.
For the rationale to stand up to scrutiny, it needs to identify the
artifact at issue. Ideally the record gets a new field to hold the
flagging rationale, which need not be presented on the project page
but rather on the anti-features page for those who go for a closer
D) Software is non-free, documentation is non-free, website is non-free.
(I think we all agree here) Fail.
It's unclear what you mean by "Fail".
"Fail" means "a freedom-aware person would be unable to run this software unless a free replacement is written".
If a software package (e.g. MS Word) is licensed as non-free and the
user has no expectation of liberty, then indeed it'd be pure clutter
to list it in directory.fsf.org.
It could be useful to list MS Word somewhere as a thing that needs a free replacement. But this is not a high priority, because free office suites already exist.
But what about instances of "case D" where software claims to be free,
or is licensed as such, but it's actually non-free due to
noncompliance? If you don't list the package in directory.fsf.org,
visitors will simply believe FSF has overlooked the package, and that
there is nothing wrong with the software.
H-node uses this approach -- it lists non-free items as non-free. The FSF Directory usually did not do this before and it is very hard to do with semantic mediawiki.
When in fact such a package
is the most important package you can list, of course along with
anti-feature banners. This is how the GNU user is best served.
This is an opinion. I disagree with it; I deny the existence of non-free programs, except the ones GNU recognised as high priority and worth spending time to write a replacement for.
Of course it's still disputed as to whether directory.fsf.org is meant
to serve package users. Some people apparently believe it's there to
serve copyright holders, which reflects the direction Ian Kelling has
taken the anti-feature flagging. IMO it should be a resource to
directly serve GNU users, and not the status quo: a tool to mislead
users for corporate gain.
That's not what it does. This accusation is misplaced.