Re: About the article

Subject: Re: About the article
From: Adam Di Carlo <adam@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 02 May 1999 16:43:24 -0400
>>>>> "Didier" == Didier PH Martin <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

Didier> Hi Adam, <comment> Then why do you only write tools that run
Didier> on non-free platforms?  I've seen several announcements of
Didier> your stuff, and it looks interesting, but I can't run it.
Didier> </comment>

[BTW, why not follow std quoting rules?  I don't like this XMLish
email quoting...]

Didier> <reply> you spoke about free platform <question>Is it
Didier> Linux?</question>.

Well, for me, freedom is defined by the Debian Free Software
Guidelines <URL:>.

Free platforms include all Debian platforms, which includes Linux and
the GNU Hurd.  It also included FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.

Didier> if yes, then, if you call it free, this is
Didier> probably because you downloaded it and compiled it (free) and
Didier> did not bought the already compiled one (not free).

Whether or not I compiled something doesn't determine freeness.
Freeness is determined by the accessibility of the source.  Again, see
the above URL or <URL:>.

Didier>  So, if
Didier> both cases are true, in three to four months from now, we'll
Didier> need some testers that can compile mozilla code (free) on
Didier> Linux with a dsssl and XSL MIME filter. Can we count on you as
Didier> a vonlonteer to do this?

Well, not me personally, but I'm confident that Mozilla will be
included in the next Debian release.  Some folks apparently have rough
Mozilla m4 packages in non-official locations; we can hope they will
be officially released into Debian unstable (potato) soon.  We can
also try to make sure that the included Mozilla includes the
components you need.

Didier> You'll have to: a) compile Mozilla on Linux, b) compile the
Didier> modified dsssl engine and the xsl engine also c) test the
Didier> behavior and report bugs to bugszilla.

According to the SGML/XML Kit web pages, it also requires the non-free
Talva document explorer.  So even if you do manage to replace the MSIE
dependancy with Mozilla (or either), you still have that dependancy to
contend with.

Didier> We would be glad to get some help from people able to
Didier> recompile the Linux OS (free) because actually a lot of them
Didier> have Linux pre-packaged (not free).

Um, no, I am a Debian user and developer. The system *is* prepackaged,
but also free.  You are confused on what "free" means.  I *could*
compile the whole darn thing on my own, but I don't need to.

Didier> So for someone able to
Didier> recompile Linux, to recompile Mozilla and its components is a
Didier> piece of cake.  </reply>

Installing Debian packages is even easier: 'apt-get install mozilla'.
And just as free.

Now, just to clarify my intentions:

I do not wish to insult Didier, and I'm afaid my first mention of this
was rather insulting (I must have been grumpy).  For this I apologize.

While I do not follow RMS in saying all software must be free (I think
some great software would never have existed if so), I do believe that
the success of XML/SGML/DSSSL/XSL etc *do* depend on quality, free

I also *guess* that Didier's work is useful, especially for making the
SGML workflow and toolchain easier to use for users.  (I don't know
because I haven't run it).

Therefore, I wish I could use Didier's work on my main SGML platform
(Debian GNU/Linux).

At any rate, I hope this exchange has been instructive and
informative, and not just inflammatory.

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<URL:>

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