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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Reviewing ConnochaetOS

From: Jason Self
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Reviewing ConnochaetOS
Date: Sun, 06 Aug 2017 09:37:16 -0700 (PDT)

Henry Jensen <address@hidden> wrote ..

> The link to the freeslack project shouldn't be a problem, since
> the page at links
> to the very same project.

There is no reference to FreeSlack on that page, only Slackware.

But even if we consider Slackware, what is being said also be
considered: That page is discussing why Slackware is not acceptable
for adding as an FSF-endorsed distro.

In comparison, the text I'm referring to is an out-and-out referral to
go *use* it if someone wants a 64-bit version: "If you are looking for
a libre Slackware x86_64 variant you are welcome to use the x86_64
slack-n-free repo and have a look at the FreeSlack project."

In one case, the statement (on is about why Slackware is not
acceptable. The other is a statement to go use it if they want 64-bit.
These are not the same. An FSF-endorsed distro shouldn't steer people
to using ones that are not.

> I have a diferent view. The statement from the FSF at [1] can be
> interpreted in the way, that the de-blobbed Debian Linux kernel is
> regarded as entirely free software.

That deblobbed kernel is indeed free software; this discussion is
solely about the "inducement" part.

> Our installer doesn't do such things.

I'm not discussing the installer.

> Yes, there may be occurrences of  names of proprietary firmware 
> blobs in log files. But they are not recommendations, simply names.
> We do not steer people to this proprietary files, since we are not 
> telling people how to get them.

It's not necessary to tell people how to get them in order for it to
count as an inducement. In this case people's log files get spammed
with "file not found" error messages. If memory serves this matter has
also come up with RMS before too, and he's on board with the name
scrubbing. All other endorsed distros use Linux-libre. Why should
ConnochaetOS receive a special exemption?

I've installed ConnochaetOS in a virtual machine and have also made
these observations:

- I like that the browser has been modified to send people to the FSF
Directory for add-ons. That avoids the matter of steering people to
non-free add-ons.

- I like that the browser sends people to the non-JavaScript version
of DuckDuckGo, eliminating the JavaScript Trap.

- The installer advertises itself as "ConnochaetOS Linux"
Based on the entry for "Linux system" in the link to Words To Avoid in
the "Please Avoid Repeating Propaganda and Confusion" part of the GNU
FSDG this should be changed to GNU/Linux or the Linux reference

- Some of the documentation contains no copyright or licensing
information. An example:
but this also applies to the speak install and speakup docs files.

According to the FSDG, "all the documentation in a free system
distribution must be released under an appropriate free license." It's
possible that this is already supposed to be free, but just not stated.

The Slackware Howto is also talking of "Slackware Linux" and "the
Linux operating system", which continues the notion of the "Linux
system" mentioned earlier. Further, I'm not sure that sending people
to the Slackware website for further information is the best approach
that an FSF-endorsed distro should take (The Slackware documentation
wiki has a lot of information...)

These may be fixable, depending on the license and if modifications
are allowed.

I've also not been able to locate the source code for the kernel. doesn't have
it even though other directories in the parent appear to have source code.

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