RE: FLOS manuals

  • From: "Sina Bahram" <sbahram@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 11:10:26 -0400

The below email is from Sina Bahram as a private citizen and in no way reflects 
the views of anybody or anything else!

That's it, I've stayed quiet on this issue for far too long!

Jamal, you are an ass.

With all due respect, I don't' see why anyone would want to discuss the weather 
with you, much less anything of actual import.

While you've been incessantly whining, some of us have actually been trying to 
work on this problem.

The file has now been uploaded to my website, and I'm working on it on my 
laptop. The zip archive contains .webarchive files which
have to be converted to a more sensible format: you can thank Steve Jobs et al 
for such a stupid way of storing a webpage.

So Jamal, can you please contribute something positive, or shut the hell up?

Take care,

-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jamal Mazrui
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2010 7:22 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Chris Hofstader
Subject: Re: FLOS manuals

Hi Chris,
Your original post on this topic said that you were doing this in conjunction 
with the FSF membership coordinator, who presumably is
quite familiar with FSF policies and practices.  Also, Adam said in the message 
you forwarded that almost all the manuals were GPL,
so the few that were not could have been removed if that was important.

Besides the suggestions that list members had given you about free file sharing 
services, Elf then gave you info about how to upload
to his public FTP account.  After we subsequently determined that nothing had 
been sent via FTP, you asked for the FTP info again,
which Elf repeated. 
  The files were then sent as email attachments instead.

The discussion about the inaccessible .WebSite format was also under the email 
subject of Floss manuals, to which you have otherwise
responded, so I do not know why that discussion was missed.  I do realize that 
can happen with email, but it puzzles me that you
never thought to check that the files had been received in usable form since 
your goal was to make them publicly available..

The FCC is not conducting a proceeding on Section 255;  the Access Board is.  
More importantly, this project has had no relation to
that proceeding, so there has been no issue in discussing the project with me.


On 6/10/2010 5:56 PM, Chris Hofstader wrote:
> Hi,
> First, I fucked up when I led people to believe that this was an 
> FSF/GNU project. Most of the manuals are about proprietary systems 
> and, therefore, FSF/GNU cannot endorse them by working to get them any 
> sort of wider distribution.
> I should not have included reference to Deborah or FSF in any way but 
> I was pretty new to being a GNU full time employee and I didn't know 
> all of the rules. To make things worse, I hadn't looked at the list of 
> items that Floss distributes so I had no idea if they were free 
> software oriented or a more general This was a mistake, not waiting 
> for Adam from Floss Manuals to provide the tar ball that he promised 
> before Susan jumped in to try to get it done.
> Also, Susan never got a note from Mr. Elf telling her that there was a 
> problem which we could have addressed more than a month ago. If we 
> don't know thereis a problem, we won't try to fix it.
> Now that our 508/255 refresh comments are pretty much done (we have a 
> few grammar and paragraph flow problems), I can actually talk to you 
> without any sense of impropriety. I wouldn't want to hear that you got 
> in trouble for working with FSF/GNU people who were working on making 
> suggestions about regulations that your agency is responsible for 
> enforcing. I've seen lots of others get in trouble for questionable 
> communications between an advocacy and software development group like 
> us and a regulator like you.
> Also, I will *never* pre-announce *anything* without the knowledge 
> that what is being announced has already happened as problems 
> regarding projects that require a lot of volunteers can get erratic.
> You also complained recently that GNU does not have an accessibility 
> web page. We're doing some research on various licenses so we are only 
> linking to free software. I think you will like how we are doing it as 
> it is wiki based.
> If Elf posted to the blind programmer list about the weird file format 
> I didn't see that message. With over 500 emails per day, I can't do 
> too much more than skim through the mailing list posts.
> I expected it will be a .tar.gz available for ftp download very soon.
> As for "first impressions" I think the rave reviews that the vinux 
> distro have caused anyone looking for the manuals to have forgotten 
> about the books and, instead, are enjoying the bits.
> To recap:
> 1. I should never have let FSF be mentioned in my original announcement.
> 2. I should have answered all questions regarding the Floss project by 
> refering people to Adam and washed my hands of the affair. Instead, I 
> asked Susan to work on it and send the information to the Elf. She did 
> the best she could and didn't know enough about some of the tools on 
> the command line to succeed in the task.
> I expect it will be available for download sometime tomorrow.
> Happy Hacking,
> cdh
> On 06/10/2010 03:39 PM, Jamal Mazrui wrote:
>> Chris,
>> Unfortunately, this has become frustrating, and it is affecting my 
>> motivation to get involved in FSF projects. Below is the message you 
>> posted at the end of March indicating an FSF-related effort you were 
>> undertaking to make all available Floss manuals easily accessible to 
>> blind people -- with distribution help from Elf and me after we got 
>> the collection. Multiple list members responded to your post, 
>> expressing strong interest in such documentation.
>> Every few weeks, after hearing nothing about follow up, I have 
>> inquired about the status. Almost every time you have said that you 
>> forgot about it, and indicated that your wife will take the next step.
>> Although you have your own web space on DreamHost, and other free 
>> services exist for sharing a large archive, the manuals were 
>> apparently individually sent to Inthane as about 40 email attachments 
>> in a format he could not open.
>> While other accessibility efforts are surely underway, this is the 
>> first impression many of us are getting about the FSF commitment to 
>> accessibility. Isn't it time to take charge of this matter yourself, 
>> and ensure delivery on an offer that was made to our community?
>> Jamal
>> -- Original Message --
>> From: Chris Hofstader <cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 15:53:15 -0400
>> Subject: Fwd: Floss manuals for people with vision impairment
>> Hi,
>> Deborah, the FSF membership coordinator, and I sent an email to the 
>> person in charge of Floss Manuals, the company that published the 
>> command line tutorial I mentioned earlier. Adam says that almost all 
>> of their books use GPL as their license and that he can provide their 
>> entire catalogue in PDF rolled up into a big .tar file. His note is 
>> below.
>> This is all happening pretty fast so I haven't had the chance to take 
>> a look at the rest of the books they have but I'd bet that some will 
>> interest some of you.
>> If Jamal or Elf want, they can take the entire .tar open it up and 
>> put as much as they like on their sites. If PDF needs to be converted 
>> to text, I'm sure that won't be too hard.
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> From: adam hyde <adam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>> hey Chris and Deborah,
>>> All books from FLOSS Manuals are available under a free license and
>> you
>>> are welcome to use them as you choose for free as long as the same 
>>> license is maintained (we use the GPL for all books except 3 or 4
>> which
>>> are either CC-BY-SA or FDL). We can provide PDF, plain html (each 
>>> book on one page) or odt. Probably for us the PDF is the easiest to
>> provide.
>>> Here is an example of a PDF from us:
>>> <>
>>> we can provide you with a tar of all the manuals in pdf if you like...
>>> adam
>>> Founder FLOSS Manuals
>>> German mobile : + 49 177 4935122
>>> Email : adam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> irc: #flossmanuals
>>> "Free manuals for free software"
>>> <>
>> On Thu, 10 Jun 2010, Jamal Mazrui wrote:
>>> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 14:45:08 -0400 (EDT)
>>> From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
>>> Reply-To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> Subject: Re: FLOS manuals
>>> Elf reported to the list that the 40 or so files were in a Macintosh 
>>> .WebSite format that he could not access. He was going to search for 
>>> a tool that would enable him to open the files, but no one knew of a 
>>> Windows-based one that could definately do the job.
>>> Can't you post the collection in a zip archive somewhere (DreamHost, 
>>> SendSpace, or whatever)?
>>> Jamal
>>> On Thu, 10 Jun 2010, Chris Hofstader wrote:
>>>> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 13:50:59 -0400
>>>> From: Chris Hofstader <cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> Reply-To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> Subject: Re: FLOS manuals
>>>> I think Susan did a handoff to Mr. Elf a couple of weeks ago.
>>>> I've been covered in tar and feathers volunteering on the clean-up 
>>>> in Alabama all week so this effort hasn't even crossed my mind in 
>>>> the slightest.
>>>> cdh
>>>> PS: Please call me to discuss the things I left on your voice mail 
>>>> last week.
>>>> On 06/10/2010 11:13 AM, Jamal Mazrui wrote:
>>>>> Can we get a status update on making an accessible collection of 
>>>>> these available?
>>>>> Jamal
>>>>> __________
>>>>> View the list's information and change your settings at 
>>>> __________
>>>> View the list's information and change your settings at 
>>> __________
>>> View the list's information and change your settings at 
>> __________
>> View the list's information and change your settings at 
> __________
> View the list's information and change your settings at 
View the list's information and change your settings at

View the list's information and change your settings at

Other related posts: