[SM-Discuss] prometheus done -- plus, should we sequester/reject java spells?
seth at swoolley.homeip.net
seth at swoolley.homeip.net
Tue Apr 25 09:50:15 EDT 2006
On Mon, Apr 24, 2006 at 09:51:56AM -0500, Jeremy Blosser (emrys) wrote:
> On Apr 22, seth at swoolley.homeip.net [seth at swoolley.homeip.net] wrote:
> > I'm talking mostly about anything we have that's java-based. I'm
> > inclined just to say that java should be its own grimoire (sequestered)
> > until we can get the spells to actually build/run in gcj or some other
> > java compiler/runtime. Thus they're provisionally rejected, in a way
> > since they can't be built with our system without a rejected spell.
> I don't really get the trend to make "sequestered" grimoires for various
> groups of spells. Ok, some people don't want games on their system, so
> maybe that one makes sense (though some of the choices for what does and
> doesn't go in games are iffy). But if it's just a matter of large spells
> people don't want, why don't we have separate perl/gnome/kde/etc.
> grimoires? The answer is probably that it's hard enough for us to track
> and maintain already.
> Moving java spells out because they cause a bit of a headache now feels
> like trying to put them out of sight and out of mind, and I don't think
> that's the way to get them fixed.
If that's not the way to get them fixed, then what is the way to get
them fixed? Moreover, I care little about actually fixing them -- that
burden is upon others. It shouldn't be my responsibility to make them
free when they aren't free now. I should have the prerogative to
consider them rejected until they are no longer rejectable.
You missed the main point, as did others: Philosophically, they don't
meet our main grimoire criteria and thus belong in z-rejected.
"In some way theoretically free" doesn't mean free. Are they actually
free to users of our system? No they are not. Remember that porting
between java runtimes is almost like porting between platforms in C. It
rarely goes as expected. C can simply be written in a more portable way
than java's portability constraints enforce, so we really can't assume
things work the way Sun advertizes.
I joined this distro from the beginning because we used the FSF
guidelines for free, not the DFSG or the OSI concepts of free. I will
continue to make noise about the lack of freeness of the system if I see
that we're not making progress on it. I don't see any progress with the
java-related spells. At least with p4, we're making progress toward a
freeer system, so I have no reason to complain. We have no volunteers
willing to say, "I'm working on freeing the java spells or plan to
once I'm done with projects X, Y, and Z."
Moreover, as I'm QAing the grimoire, I'm not free to QA those spells.
You can continue to ignore a problem that doesn't directly affect you.
It does directly affect me. I can't say, with honesty, that we've QAd
the whole thing. I have to hedge it with "except those that aren't
really free for which I have not accepted the license of some
requirement." I don't know if you guys have read the java licenses
(they are not all the same), but it's not simply that it's unfree. They
are also immensely long. Every license I agree to I keep on file, this
includes EULAs. It goes right next to every NDA or contract I've
signed. I'm a very legalistic person, but I'm also a minimalist. The
fewer terms, the fewer complications. That's one reason I don't
download music or participate in fancy DRM schemes. The GPL, while long
itself, I feel I can understand and trust. I don't have that trust with
Sun, and I don't think it should be bundled in the regular download, for
I know people will interpret our Social Contract that we actually have
only fully-free stuff.
Grimoires are easy for us to support. That's why we have grimoires.
We've had grimoires for long enough that another grimoire should be no
big deal. Nobody used the argument that it's not worth our time when we
rejected the pine/pico/imap spells, so I can only assume that those who
object on that argument now simply do not agree that they violate the
intent of our social contract. I think they do and the argument that
it's possible that they are free doesn't work for me because that's just
not how java works for most of them. The only argument I can see for
keeping them in the main grimoire is that our policy is that unit free
but dependent upon a non-free item isn't a rejectable spell. That's not
been our sub-policy on rejectable spells historically, so I can't see
any reason to keep them unless they actually are shown to work on a free
At least, if we have a different sub-policy, we should reference the
language from the Social Contract to a sub-page that lists the
extra-social-contract policies / administrative rules on licensing.
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