Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: David Welton <>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 12:42:19 -0600

On Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 01:45:59PM -0500, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:

>    > Yes, I remember.  However, as far as I know nobody ever claimed
>    > that the DFSG meant anything except an explanation of what
>    > Debian would accept in their distribution.  In particular,
>    > nobody ever argued, at least not to me, that DFSG software was
>    > equivalent to free software.

>    Well, as far as Debian is concerned, it is.  It sounds like you
>    are trying to include a more intangible quality in your
>    definition, a sense of community, or something of that ilk?

> Yes, it's like I said yesterday: for me, the concept of free
> software is not equivalent to, nor defined by, a set of licensing
> agreements.

That is, however, how you determine whether something is or isn't. I
think your concept of free software is how I might define 'successful'
free software, in the sense that it is something of value that is good
enough and popular enough to encourage other people to use and
contribute to it, forming a community, rather than just something that
meets the definition.

David N. Welton               |   Fortune rota volvitur - descendo minoratus               |    alter in altum tollitur - nimis exaltatus    |        rex sedet in vertice - caveat ruinam! - |        nam sub axe legimus - Hecubam reginam