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Re: referencing non-free software

From: J.B. Nicholson
Subject: Re: referencing non-free software
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2018 20:02:15 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.5.2

Please stop copying me on your replies, Ilya Shlyakhter. Both Reply-To: and Mail-Reply-To: were set and pointed to on my reply which was sent only to the same address, the mailing list address. That's a pretty clear sign that the poster doesn't want replies going to them.

Ilya Shlyakhter wrote:
"Of the many things you can accuse the FSF of, this is not one
of them" -- It's a direct quote from .

I didn't write the text you quoted. Your posts in this thread are needlessly confusing because you quote without attribution and you quote multiple people in the same followup.

"Which merits one picks helps determine the outcome of the
comparison." -- but _who_ should pick the merits and do the
comparison?  I'm suggesting it should be the users.

The users are free to modify their copies of free documentation and distribute their modified copies. This discussion concerns what the FSF will accept into GNU.

I understand the argument for preventing naive/unsophisticated users
from getting trapped into proprietary programs without a full
appreciation of the consequences.  But most Org mode users would not
be in that category.

You're making claims beyond your knowledge. You also do this in another post in this thread about where users go to learn Org mode. You would do well to stop doing that and speak only for yourself instead of making unbacked claims about what others know or what programs they're allegedly prevented from using.

I have trouble understanding why it's unethical to point even sophisticated and discerning users, fully capable of understanding the problems of non-free software, to such software.
I think you're having trouble because you're reacting to your own misstatement. I'm not aware of anyone besides you claiming it is unethical to point users to nonfree software. You don't indicate where you get such a notion and I see no such language in which is the source you initially complained about. That page says proprietary software is unethical ("Proprietary software is a social and ethical problem, and our aim is to put an end to that problem."). That page also says that the context of the reference to nonfree software matters.

A ban on such pointing has obvious cynical explanations (FSF just doesn't trust any users' judgement, and/or wants to reduce the need to compete with non-free software on technical quality). Loosening the
ban would have the benefit of disproving such interpretations.
There is no such ban nor did you direct anyone to where GNU bans such language. In fact, I've already provided a quote of a direct counterexample from has been around for many years and I've never seen anyone raise your inquiry before. Clearly you don't agree with GNU's guidelines or restrictions. But you approach your disagreement in a way I find indistinguishable from someone trying to use GNU documentation to promote or offer nonfree software mentions as an alternative.

Perhaps you should consider that is clear as stated and reread that page with a mind toward trying to understand what it says. I bring this up because each of your posts to this thread consist of you misstating something and then reacting to your own misstatement (that's how you began this entire thread, in fact). You also appear to ignore questions that challenge your misstatements. None of your followups suggest you'll continue in a respectful manner.

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