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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Guix and FSDG

From: bill-auger
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Guix and FSDG
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:54:41 -0500

On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:05:50 +0100 Jean wrote:
> For users, users should not need to run liberation scripts when
> getting distribution. They shall get the full free software
> without the process of liberation.

that is already true for every FSDG distro currently - no one
"needs" to run the liberation scripts in order to get a complete
system made of entirely free software - generally, the build
scripts are published for the curious and ambitious

On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:05:50 +0100 Jean wrote:
> It is
> system of preparing software on the computer, but is not
> distribution.
On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:05:50 +0100 Jean wrote:
> Distribution should have capacity to be duplicated

that is a rather narrow categorization of a distribution -
specifically that is describing a "binary distribution" -
there are also "source-based distributions", in which the
ability to compile the entire system from source is considered to
be its defining quality and primary value - guix is in that
class of distribution, along with others such as gentoo

source-based distributions typically also provide binary
packages as a convenience, such as the guix "substitutes"; but
those are actually the secondary form of the "distribution" -
the primary "distribution" is in the form of build scripts

arch-based distros also allow compiling everything from source,
by using the very same build scripts that the distro maintainers
used to create the binary distribution; with only the subtle
difference that the binary packages are considered the primary
form, and the build scripts are considered to be the secondary

in either case though, these all "have capacity to be duplicated"
- the build scripts and source code can also be "duplicated" and
"distributed" in all of the same ways as the binary packages - i
dont see that as an essential distinction to make

On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 18:20:11 +0100 Jean wrote:
> I think I brought that issue up back few years ago, as I think
> it affects Guix.

it affects any FSDG distro that liberates any software in any
way, and publishes the scripts for others to do the same - that
presumably includes all of them

On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:05:50 +0100 Jean wrote:
> Distribution shall offer final product, free software, and not
> tools to make the final product.
On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 08:05:50 +0100 Jean wrote:
> published as special package for distribution maintainers or
> duplicators
On Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:01:34 +0100 Jean wrote:
> that such could be provided as a package for somebody who
> wish to prepare distribution.

this is the sort of language that freemor was confused by - i
also interpret that wording as: "only the distro maintainers
shall use these scripts" - the first sentence could easily be
interpreted as: "distros should provide only binaries, and not
publish liberation scripts" - i assume that was not your
intention; but that is how it reads

the point freemor was making is that, if those tools are used
only for "preparing the distribution" then there is no reason
for anyone other than the distro maintainers to ever run them -
freedom one is a factor there too; but freedom zero is enough to
conclude that absolutely anyone should be able to use those
scripts for absolutely any purpose; not only for the single elite
purpose of insulating others from the dirty work of creating the

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