Re: Certification for GNOME apps
- From: "Richard M. Stallman" <rms gnu org>
- To: Jonathan Blandford <jrb redhat com>
- Cc: ciaran fsfe org, desktop-devel-list gnome org, foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Certification for GNOME apps
- Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 14:11:03 -0400
* Evince is free software. I personally don't feel that the existence
of non-free software keeps free software from developing.
You know this situation better than I do. However, retarding
development of free software is not the only potential problem to be
avoided. If we spend effort to make non-free software better (better
technically; it can't get ethically better except by being free), and
that encourages people to stick with it rather than switch to free
software, we've scored an own-goal.
* Poppler isn't able to render every single PDF out there (though we
are getting better!) Having Acroread as a fallback means that users
of Free systems will be able to get work done.
Some may do that--but we should not suggest or encourage it. To do so
would undercut the message that non-free software is an ethical
* The Evince team is writing a totally different application than
Acroread. Acroread is a giant, fully-featured pdf viewer that
supports every obscure feature that the PDF spec covers. We aim to
provide a reader that's optimized for reading documents, and covers
the sensible bulk of PDFs.
What solution will we recommend in the free world for other PDF files?
We can't recommend using Acroread. Is Poppler meant to handle all PDF
files? (I don't know the relationship between Poppler and Evince.)
* I know that our efforts stand on their own, and that in time, users
who know nothing of licensing will pick Evince over Acroread.
I hope so too, but we need not leave it to this alone. Let's teach
users to value freedom, whenever we get the chance; then they will
choose Evince over Acroread partly for the freedom, well before it
developes enough technical advantages to win them that way.
Meanwhile, I was told recently that there seem to be undocumented
features in recent PDF files. Figuring them all out may be difficult.
We shouldn't put all our hope onto outdoing Acroread technically.
* For all we know, Acroread might be Free software someday. I'd love
if it was a great product that they opened up instead of a poor one.
It isn't impossible, but it is a very long shot--I don't think we
should bet on it in our plans. Adobe is the company that had Dmitry
Sklyarov put in prison, and they never apologized for this, or said
they would not do the same thing again.
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