Re: Having a non-free and a non-cd branch?
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[Apology in advance: slight rant ahead which would be better suited to
Kevin Atkinson <email@example.com> writes:
> Sorry, I didn't mean to say non-GPL. Want I mean to say is that I think
> companies should be rewarded for distributing there programs freely even
> if they are not complete free by debian's standard.
Perhaps so... but why should *Debian* reward them, if they aren't
meeting Debian's standards?
Besides, it's not as if Debian totally ignores non-free stuff. We
package it, we provide a bug tracking system, we distribute it on FTP
mirrors. Personally, I think that Debian does a lot for non-free
packages, considering that it would be just as easy to say "sorry,
that doesn't qualify" and direct our efforts somewhere else.
Putting something in non-free is not just a philosophical
statement... it is also a legal one. Vendors can take the main and
contrib sections and just slap them on a CD without even looking at
what is there, because the DFSG is a sort of "guarantee" that it is
okay to do so. Putting something in non-free means, among other
things, "hey, we're not sure it's okay for you to distribute this, so
use it at your own legal risk".
Sure, it might be nice to create a "CD okay" version of non-free. But
what would be the justification for spending effort on that instead of
on something else? Debian is non-commercial, and already has clear
guidelines which suit its needs; those purposes are served by
"non-free". If CD vendors need to operate under a different set of
licensing guidelines, is it really Debian's job to audit packages for
them? Debian already has one set of licensing guidelines... do we
> And it is in the contrib. section because it relays on non-free
> software... Thus it can never officially itergrated into debian because
> of the Qt library KDE uses. I think that that is a shame.
Debian doesn't include any other desktop environment based on proprietary
software (eg. CDE) either. So what? If you want proprietary
software, why pick a distribution which is explicitly committed to
100% free software?
The Social Contract and DFSG are what set Debian apart from the other
distributions. Compromise them, and everyone here might as well pack
up and go home.
KDE is simply not worth compromising the principles upon which Debian
was built. You are free to disagree with those principles, but I
suspect it will be a cold day in hell before Debian as a whole rejects
[It is worth noting here that a DFSG-free replacement for QT would
encourage KDE distribution in far more venues than just Debian --
Debian objects for philosophical reasons, but far more distributions
(and not just Linux) would have a financial incentive to prefer a
Rob Tillotson N9MTB Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
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