Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Tue Jul 22 00:40:49 UTC 2008

On Jul 21, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com> wrote:

> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>> Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>>>> This is fundamentally contradictory.  If you have to choose between
>>>> these two, you're choosing between promoting either FS or OSS. 

>>> It is a problem the GPL creates.

>> That's a red herring.  The GPL has *zero* to do with it.

> the GPL is the well-known instance.

The GPL meets both the FS and the OSS definition.  Again, bringing it
into this argument would be a red herring even if you refrained from
your proven-wrong and now proven-to-confuse-yourself misunderstanding
that the GPL imposes restrictions.

>> How about you step back and analyze what you mean by "promoting FOSS",
>> like I have?

> For me it means using/reusing/improving freely-available, well-tested
> code in all possible situations.

And where did you get this idea that this is what Free (and|or) Open
Source Software are about?

>>> I believe they are misguided in applying restrictions that make it
>>> impossible to use GPL code in many situations.

>> Red herring and false premise.

> Sorry, but I happen to believe my opinion is as valid as yours.

You can believe it is valid, it just so happens to be irrelevant to
this debate about the differences between the FS and the OSS
movements, because GPL is accepted and promoted by both.

> Present some evidence that not permitting code
> reuse/redistribution/improvement has ever helped anyone if you want to
> get anywhere with that argument.

Not permitting this would be contradictory to both the Free Software
definition and the Open Source definition.  This is getting silly.

Permitting them under certain conditions and requirements is what all
the tens (hundreds?) of licenses that meet definitions is all about.

The conditions and requirements of some of these licenses at times may
feel too cumbersome to those who don't share the same values and
goals.  That's fine, and by design.  They have caused more software to
be brought into the corpus of software available as Free Software and
as Open-Source Software that otherwise might have been made harmful
proprietary software, and in other cases they have prevented or
significantly delayed the release of harmful proprietary software.

> It is only difficult to escape when equal/better choices don't
> exist.

'fraid you've never tried to move to a superior Free Software
platform, away from an application that uses a proprietary format,
that nobody else supports and yet you've stored years of data in it,

>> You're evaluating the scenario under your own system of value and
>> prejudices, not under the two very different systems of values of the
>> two movements I have described.

> Yes, of course I use my own values.

If you're incapable of or unwilling to put yourself in a position of
understanding other values, as necessary to answer a question such as
"do you notice the difference between these two movements?", there's
no point in my wasting time with that.

>> IOW, it's circular logic, and the
>> conclusions are unrelated with the question or the premises.

> There's plenty of evidence for the choices that a non-restrictive code
> base like the original TCP/IP implementation can produce, but no
> equivalent for GPL restrictions.

IOW, while pretending to answer one point, you're not even making an
effort to understand that point, but rather trying to go back to an
apparent fixation on an unrelated point.

Sorry, I don't want to go back there, we're through with that one.
Please enjoy the debate.

Alexandre Oliva         http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! => http://www.fsfla.org/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}

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