Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

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Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

أحمد المحمودي-2
Package: wnpp
Severity: wishlist
Owner: "أحمد المحمودي" <[hidden email]>


* Package name    : othman
  Version         : 0.2.0
  Upstream Author : Muayyad Saleh Alsadi <[hidden email]>
* URL             : http://othman.ojuba.org
* License         : Waqf Public License
  Programming Lang: Python
  Description     : electronic Quran browser

 Othman electronic Quran browser displays Quranic text in Othmani script style
 as written under authority of Othman ibn Affan the companion of prophet
 Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
 .
 Othman project features fast search, autoscrolling, copy Quranic text to
 clipboard.



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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Adam Borowski-3
On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:18:34PM +0300, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
> * Package name    : othman
>   Description     : electronic Quran browser
> * URL             : http://othman.ojuba.org
> * License         : Waqf Public License
http://www.ojuba.org/wiki/waqf/license

While I do like the preamble of the license (putting aside religion and
anti-Americanism), the body does include significant usage restrictions:

# The user may use the work for any good purpose and he may not use it to
# harm others or violate the permissive principles of Islam.

"Harm others" is a vague term that can be applied to a wide range of
activities usually considered ok[1].  Most of these seem to be irrelevant to
a Quran browser[2], unless you consider criticizing Islam to be "harming".

"Violate the permissive principles of Islam" seems to forbid using this
browser to search for, or refer to, lines of Quran which are harmful from
whatever side of view.  This is a legitimate use of this package.  This
fails the DFSG, unless we interpret the phrase "permissive principles" as
limited to only those parts of Islam which grant some kind of permission
rather than forbid something.  Since religions (and laws in general) operate
by restricting things, being unable to actually grant something not
otherwise possible without that religion/law, such an interpretation doesn't
appear to make much sense, though.


Also, this comment mentions issues found by Fedora guys:

} 2009/11/14 21:21 هشام هواري,
} السلام عليكم و رحمة الله تعالى و بركاته،

} Before trying to submit hijra, I exposed this license to #fedora-devel on
} irc, and it was seen as being non-free, the reason is this excerpt : “The
} user may use the work for any good purpose and he may not use it to harm
} others or violate the permissive principles of Islam. Notice that any
} work that is most likely harmful can't be put under Waqf in the first place”
} The definition of “good” must be clear.

} I hope that you will take that into consideration.
} في أمان الله
} و السلام عليكم و رحمة الله تعالى و بركاته


[2]. Even if a restriction seems to be moot for the intended use, one of key
Free Software freedoms is being able to repurpose the program in question
for anything else, including taking small pieces of code for use in totally
unrelated software.

[1]. Examples of "harming others" being generally ok:

* any piece of software used in a company that builds a highway that would
  relieve the traffic in a large city, but to build the highway, you need to
  remove a single house.  Obviously, that house's dweller will be harmed
  even if he receives generous compensation due to childhood memories and
  other such considerations.

* anything used during an audit that exposes a slacker, embezzler, terrorist
  or fraudster.  The person caught will be obviously harmed, even if he
  intended harm himself.  In fact, during a war or most struggles, you can't
  even undisputably name one side as "good" and the other as "evil".  Heck,
  this includes even disputes between neighbours about a flower on the hedge
  between their houses.

* use in a nuclear power plant.  While many, including me, consider those to
  be nearly strictly better, cleaner and safer than coal plants, there are
  many which consider these to be outright evil.  In fact, we have seen
  multiple software licenses which disallowed any such use for "moral"
  grounds as opposed to merely not risking standing afoul of some unnamed
  regulation.


--
1KB // Microsoft corollary to Hanlon's razor:
                // Never attribute to stupidity what can be
                // adequately explained by malice.


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

أحمد المحمودي-2
On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 11:27:27AM +0200, Adam Borowski wrote:
> "Harm others" is a vague term that can be applied to a wide range of
> activities usually considered ok[1].

I am indeed discussing this matter with upstream. That license terms
need to be clear not vague.

> This fails the DFSG, unless we interpret the phrase "permissive
> principles" as limited to only those parts of Islam which grant some
> kind of permission rather than forbid something.  Since religions (and
> laws in general) operate by restricting things, being unable to
> actually grant something not otherwise possible without that
> religion/law, such an interpretation doesn't appear to make much
> sense, though.

I don't understand this paragraph.

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  Digital design engineer
 GPG KeyID: 0xEDDDA1B7
 GPG Fingerprint: 8206 A196 2084 7E6D 0DF8  B176 BC19 6A94 EDDD A1B7


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Mike Hommey
On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 12:48:47PM +0300, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
> On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 11:27:27AM +0200, Adam Borowski wrote:
> > "Harm others" is a vague term that can be applied to a wide range of
> > activities usually considered ok[1].
>
> I am indeed discussing this matter with upstream. That license terms
> need to be clear not vague.

Clear or vague, if they stick to a license that restricts usage, then
it fails DFSG #6.
See http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2010/03/msg00064.html, for
example, for a quite similar case.

Mike


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

أحمد المحمودي-2
On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 01:04:26PM +0200, Mike Hommey wrote:
> Clear or vague, if they stick to a license that restricts usage, then
> it fails DFSG #6.
> See http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2010/03/msg00064.html, for
> example, for a quite similar case.
---end quoted text---

Yes, but it can be placed in non-free, right ?

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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Simon Richter
Hi,

On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 02:19:03PM +0300, أحمد المحمودي wrote:

> > Clear or vague, if they stick to a license that restricts usage, then
> > it fails DFSG #6.
> > See http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2010/03/msg00064.html, for
> > example, for a quite similar case.

> Yes, but it can be placed in non-free, right ?

I think the main problem is that "good" is a subjective term, so people
who believe that they are doing "good" feel entitled to use the work,
and others who disagree with their views will claim that they are in
breach of the licence. Who gets to be the authority on what is "good"?

I'd also prefer if people would not use my software for causes I find
objectionable, but I don't think I can even do so much as draw a clear
line what constitutes "use". For example, I've written a tiny script
that will take your GPG key and produce a printable file with the
important data of the key arranged so that you can easily create bits of
paper to hand out at keysigning events. Now, people are using this to
establish secure communication channels, which can be used for any kind
of purpose, including conspiring to commit crime. Am I at fault for not
excluding this in the licence? Have I facilitated that crime because I
made it easier for the criminals to conspire?

I think at some point I just have to decline responsibility for others.

   Simon


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Gunnar Wolf
In reply to this post by أحمد المحمودي-2
أحمد المحمودي dijo [Sat, May 01, 2010 at 12:48:47PM +0300]:
> On Sat, May 01, 2010 at 11:27:27AM +0200, Adam Borowski wrote:
> > "Harm others" is a vague term that can be applied to a wide range of
> > activities usually considered ok[1].
>
> I am indeed discussing this matter with upstream. That license terms
> need to be clear not vague.

Without getting deeper in the licensing of Othman itself, would you
consider the text of the Coran itself to be DFSG-free? I _think_ that
any religious text can only be distributed verbatim, not modified in
any way - That is completely legitimate, as it has been debated over
and over regarding the IETF RFCs.

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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Andreas Tille-6
Hi,

could you plese change

 othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

into

 othman -- electronic Quran browser

or is there any reason that the Quran can better browsed with Python
than any other programming language?

Thanks

    Andreas.

--
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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Adam Borowski-3
In reply to this post by Gunnar Wolf
On Mon, May 03, 2010 at 10:24:54PM -0500, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> Without getting deeper in the licensing of Othman itself, would you
> consider the text of the Coran itself to be DFSG-free? I _think_ that
> any religious text can only be distributed verbatim, not modified in
> any way - That is completely legitimate, as it has been debated over
> and over regarding the IETF RFCs.

The Koran is definitely out of copyright, and thus in the public domain.
While altering the actual text may be pointless (and disrespectful for the
religion in question), it is still allowed, at least in a vast majority of
countries.  And taking excerpts or adding commentary is a damn popular thing
to do.

--
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                // Never attribute to stupidity what can be
                // adequately explained by malice.


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Frank Lin PIAT
In reply to this post by أحمد المحمودي-2
On Fri, 2010-04-30 at 23:18 +0300, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
> * Package name    : othman
> * License         : Waqf Public License
>   Description     : electronic Quran browser
>
>  Othman electronic Quran browser displays Quranic text in Othmani script style
>  as written under authority of Othman ibn Affan the companion of prophet
>  Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Regarding the long description,

Not everyone knows that "Othmani script" is a script for Arabic. (I
didn't know it anyway;) So it might be worth mentioning that the text is
in Arabic only (is it?).

> Othman project features fast search, autoscrolling
I suggest "Othman brower features fast search and autoscrolling"

> copy Quranic text to clipboard.

Copy/Paste is a trivial feature. You might want to drop it from the
description (except if this feature is fairly unique for Quran readers)

I wonder who many people use the word "Coran" for Qur'an in English. If
this is quite frequent, you might want insert this synonym somewhere in
the description.

My 2 cents,

Franklin


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

أحمد المحمودي-2
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 09:39:02PM +0200, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:

> On Fri, 2010-04-30 at 23:18 +0300, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
> > * Package name    : othman
> > * License         : Waqf Public License
> >   Description     : electronic Quran browser
> >
> >  Othman electronic Quran browser displays Quranic text in Othmani script style
> >  as written under authority of Othman ibn Affan the companion of prophet
> >  Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
>
> Regarding the long description,
>
> Not everyone knows that "Othmani script" is a script for Arabic. (I
> didn't know it anyway;) So it might be worth mentioning that the text is
> in Arabic only (is it?).
>
> > Othman project features fast search, autoscrolling
> I suggest "Othman brower features fast search and autoscrolling"

Thanks for the above suggestions.

> Copy/Paste is a trivial feature. You might want to drop it from the
> description (except if this feature is fairly unique for Quran readers)

Yes, the uniqueness is that copy/paste can actually copy the text in
the non-Othmani arabic script (called Imla'i script, that's an arabic
word transliterated, I dunno the proper translation unfortunately). This
is because usually text processors (& fonts) do not support the Othmani
script, hence pasting the verse in a text processor for example would
give un-readable result.

> I wonder who many people use the word "Coran" for Qur'an in English. If
> this is quite frequent, you might want insert this synonym somewhere in
> the description.

I realized that people using the word "Coran" have french background.

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  Digital design engineer
 GPG KeyID: 0xEDDDA1B7
 GPG Fingerprint: 8206 A196 2084 7E6D 0DF8  B176 BC19 6A94 EDDD A1B7


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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Brian M. Carlson
In reply to this post by Frank Lin PIAT
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 09:39:02PM +0200, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:
> I wonder who many people use the word "Coran" for Qur'an in English. If
> this is quite frequent, you might want insert this synonym somewhere in
> the description.

In my experience, it's either "Qur'an" or "Koran."  I think Gunnar used
"Coran" because TTBOMK that's the term that's used in Spanish (except
with an accent: Corán).

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Re: Bug#579796: ITP: othman -- electronic Quran browser in Python

Filippo Rusconi
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 08:25:33PM +0000, brian m. carlson wrote:
> On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 09:39:02PM +0200, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:
> > I wonder who many people use the word "Coran" for Qur'an in English. If
> > this is quite frequent, you might want insert this synonym somewhere in
> > the description.
>
> In my experience, it's either "Qur'an" or "Koran."  I think Gunnar used
> "Coran" because TTBOMK that's the term that's used in Spanish (except
> with an accent: Corán).
>

Well, in fact, in French that is "Le Coran", with a 'C' and not a
'K'. In Italian that is "Il Corano". Interestingly , the word is
always accompanied by the definite article in both languages, although
I do not know if the article should be necessarily be capitalized.

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                 Filippo

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