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[Fsfe-uk] Re: BBC's DRM Iplayer windows only

From: Yavor Doganov
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Re: BBC's DRM Iplayer windows only
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 14:34:46 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Pan/0.132 (Waxed in Black)

В Sun, 13 Jan 2008 07:27:00 +0000, MJ Ray написа:

> The GNU/Linux FAQ is inadequate because it ignores frequently asked
> questions like "Is this just credit-seeking by the GNU project?"

The GNU/Linux FAQ does not attempt to answer all questions in their 
entirety, it is intended to be read as a supplement to other articles 
like linux-and-gnu, why-gnu-linux and gnu-users-never-heard-of-gnu.

> "Why does FSF still reject some groups who call it GNU/Linux?"

This is explained at /gnu/gnu-user-groups.

> and "How have groups been persuaded to call it GNU/Linux?"

There is no single answer to this question.  And unfortunately
most of the groups call it "Linux".

> Some of the questions there that actually are frequently-asked ones,
> such as the X11-Apache-Perl one, have weak answers and don't give
> references to support the claims.

Why do you think it's a weak answer?  IMO it's very persuasive. Like
this one:

Alan Cox is not exactly the person who is afraid to argue or defend his
position, but there were no followups to this message.  Not surprising.

> Finally, it's unstructured (compare with the GPL FAQ) and rather random.
> There are lots of questions there but I suspect many of them are
> relatively uncommon.  It's mostly a list of "Questions I Wish Were
> Frequently Asked" as far as I can tell.

This is because of the way this article has evolved.  You are wrong that
this is an artificial compilation; initially the article contained only 
a few questions asked by various people when the GNU project began this 
educational campaign.  Most of the questions were asked in real life, at 
various speeches, interviews, or by mail from people who wrote to RMS and 
the various GNU addresses.  The CVS history is public and in case you're 
interested you can take a look at it:

> So there you have it: that FAQ is a random list of weak answers to
> unasked questions in an irritating tone.

I never found it irritating, but I'm not a native speaker so I won't 
argue.  This is subjective, anyway.

> I don't remember it ever helping me in persuading people to name GNU. 

I believe you.  Try harder, and don't give up.  Persuading people is 
difficult, with or without the help of the essays.  I don't think that 
the sycophantic followers of Linus Torvalds can be persuaded, but that 
shouldn't stop us trying.

I am mostly enjoying success on this front, personally.  Last year I have 
persuaded several LUGs to change their name, without even trying hard.  
In 2006 following a discussion initiated by me [1] the GNOME Foundation 
made this a policy (that was hard, though).  Most of the people I know 
also started calling it GNU/Linux.  But this is not to say that the 
campaign is successful, we are still very far from that point.

[1] http://mail.gnome.org/archives/foundation-list/2006-August/msg00078.html

> And you may not fix those bugs, because it's verbatim copying terms.

Sure you can, but the changes have to be approved by the author, who is 
the leader of the GNU project.  If the license allowed arbitrary changes, 
it would turn the article into "Why we should call the OS Linux" very 
quickly.  Personal opinions are just that: personal opinions.  I don't
think it is useful for the society to modify them.

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