on naming the devils in the Linux-libre front page

Nick nick at njw.me.uk
Sun Nov 8 21:01:22 UTC 2009

Quoth Dmitry Samoyloff:
> В сообщении от Четверг 05 ноября 2009 21:29:26 автор Alexandre Oliva написал:
> > On Oct 25, 2009, Nick <linux-libre-list at njw.me.uk> wrote:
> > > P.S. Please could you change the reference to my gentoo ebuilds from
> > > 'Genfree' ebuilds to 'Gentoo' ebuilds. Much as the (albeit strange)
> > > pun is nice, it is quite confusing for new people who are looking to
> > > see if a libre kernel is easily available for Gentoo.
> > 
> > I see what you're getting at, and I can sympathize with it.
> >
> > ...
> >
> > Now, my inclination would be to adjust the entries that do, so that they
> > don't, rather than removing the pun on Genfree, but I'd appreciate
> > arguments based on the Free Software philosophy for or against either
> > move.

Well, there are certainly people who want to run distros whose 
package management systems make installing non-free software 
convenient, but who choose not to exercise that option. For example 
the speed and flexibility that Gentoo offers was a good reason for a 
friend of mine to choose it, and he's quite happy to stick only to 
the free packages, which is also enforced by the package manager 
(using the 'only accept fsf-approved licenses option' currently in 
beta in Gentoo's main package manager).

There is real value in the diversity of GNU/Linux distributions, and 
many aren't difficult to run without touching non-free software 
(particularly those which provide linux-libre builds). It's worth 
bearing in mind also that people looking at Linux Libre will already  
take issues of software freedom seriously, and will very likely be 
using only free software with their distros already (with the slight 
exception of parts of the Linux kernel, which is what we're here to 

I'd really appreciate it if you called the distributions by their 
preferred names, as the alternative is confusing and I don't see the 
value in it. If you consider it important, I don't have a problem 
with mentioning that these distributions as a whole don't meet the 
FSF's guidelines for wholely free systems.

I look forward to hearing back from you, and thanks for the 
thoughtful reply.


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