Is Okular doing the right thing?
Posted Jun 2, 2009 8:04 UTC (Tue) by PO8
In reply to: Okular is doing the right thing
Parent article: Okular, Debian, and copy restrictions
"Implementing the spec as designed" is not an excuse for putative bad behavior here. If some portion of a spec called for program behavior that was racist or sexist, or would intentionally damage the user's software, computer or person, you surely would be willing to disregard that portion of the spec?
Specifications capture intent; implementors with different intent must choose whether to respect a specification. Disregarding a spec is not to be done lightly—the willingness to faithfully implement specs is a form of social contract that makes the spec model work. But the broader social contract sometimes takes precedence.
In this case, the decision to be made is whether a spec clause that will to some degree restrict the fair use activities of less-knowledgeable users is a serious enough problem to warrant deliberately violating the specification. I can see the argument for both sides here, but certainly the issue deserves more serious consideration than "one must always blindly follow specifications."
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