I'll retract partially. The precise reference I had in mind was in fact on
the GNU site linked from Debian.org, my mistake, although I've definitely
seen overwhelming GNUism among Debians. Here is a quick question as I
asked it on UnderNET and got an immediate and definite response (I'm

undernet: {
<eapoe> how in tune is debian to the GNU philosophy?
<roofox> you need to change the file that inetd.conf references
<roofox> man services
<roofox> eapoe, Debian is the -embodiment- of the GNU philosophy
<NetBandit> they dont call it debian/GNU linux for nothin
[... irrelevant ...]
<eapoe> Because i'm looking for basic impressions of the linux community
on their perceptions of debian. I'm seeing some extremely strong
connection between
 the harsh GNU philosophies and debian.
<NetBandit> well like homeboy said, debian is the emodiment of GNU, the

Apparently, if what you say is accurate (and I have no reason whatsoever
to doubt you), Debian has some PR work to do, because public perception of
Debian is then apparently overwhelmingly inaccurate. People do consider
Debian to be "the GNU of Linux" or "the Linux of GNU", joined at the hip
and virtually unanymous in philosophy. You don't get immediate, undisputed
answers out of IRC otherwise.

Even so, I meant and mean no harm or insult to Debian Linux or its users.
My only concern is with Perl licensing and the Perl community. I'm not
aware of nor do I dabble in Debian internal politics or interests, and I
was not lumping Debian into the "commercial entities" who currently abuse
Perl. I consider Debian and all linux distros who include perl to be
completely in line with both the perl licenses and the better interests of
the perl community.

I also don't want to tangent into Debain philosophy.

However, maybe you can find out something for us. Specifically, why isn't
Perl 5.6 a part of "official" Debian in this latest release, and 5.005_03
still is? Is Debian slow at getting this out, or is there a more obvious
reason from the Perl end? (I'm being provocative, not insulting.) I've
already gotten this answer out of SuSE, and maybe bringing it into this
discussion will help clarify some of the problems that improved licensing
(or improved policy or improved awareness) can help to solve. It's not a
trick question, just a leading one, for the group's benefit.

Ladies and gentlemen, maybe licensing isn't the method of choice of
preventing the abuses that are harming this community, but it seems to be
the appropriate place to affect at least one of the two:

1) The combination of GNU/AL (or policy or lack of it) allows a(ny)
company to modify and distribute Perl and perl without redistributing the
source as well as to forbid redistribution of compiled binary, and

2) The existing policies (or lack thereof) or lack of attention or concern
allow a(ny) company to purchase strong control in the development and
direction of the Perl language for proprietary goals (which is why I asked
the question about 5.005_03... linux distros are outright rejecting it
everywhere, as is FreeBSD).

If these problems could be dealt with, I wouldn't have much to gripe

These have already been recognized as problems (, Chris), and ignoring the
issues has only made matters worse. If licensing can't handle them, then
perhaps a working group should exist that could guide us into freedom from
these issues. (Chris, if something else could handle these problems, then
I would also see no need to change the current licensing except for


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