Re: Debian Weekly News - June 27th, 2000
On Thu, Jun 29, 2000 at 04:48:48PM +0200, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > Consider this: any reasonable person who wants to become
> > a Debian developer, can become a Debian developer. Once a developer,
> > they can contribute to the official .deb repository.
> Consider this: any reasonable person who would like to package
> non-free software for Debian simply *can't* because we don't allow him
> to do so even for Debian non-free. KDE is an example for which other
> distributions are less prohibitive.
Consider that Debian legally cannot distribute at least portions of KDE
and that the KDE people have NEVER been exactly straight with us. They
weren't even straight with me and I feel I have every right to claim to
have done more than anyone else in Debian to try and resolve the problem.
DON'T EVEN pin this on Debian - we tried and we tried damned hard many
times over the course of now years now. If KDE wanted it resolved, it
would have been.
> Yes, i know about the legal problems regarding KDE, but Debian should
> IMHO be not the legal guardian for other people's right if they don't
> bother to stand up for it. The parties which have been harmed by
> breaking their rights should.
Are you saying Debian should infringe Copyrights because Copyright holders
have not been screaming at KDE about the gross violations? How could
anyone take Debian seriously if what we're doing amounts to the very same
thing the major proprietary software companies are trying crack down on?
> If it fills a gap not solvable with Debian proper i definitely would.
> Just like i did with some assorted KDE packages not available via the
> official Debian sites. Or the recent OpenMotif release...
> > Hence, there is simply no need for such a repository.
> IMHO you got it completely backwards. The perspective under which the
> idea of such a kind of repository arose is probably product of the
> licensing restrictions which make Debian less attractive and useful
> than it could actually be for quite a number of *users*. Users have a
> different perspective than you have and *want* some of the stuff which
> is not allowed into Debian. The creation of such a repository is
> their way to react against the obvious censoring of software included
> with Debian.
As noted, there already IS a KDE repository - so what are you on about?
> Since there are quite some users who simply happily use Debian for
> it's technological merits/benefits and who don't mind using non-free
> software they'd be happy to have a repository where they can fetch for
> their Debian setup what users of other distributions can get far
> easier than Debian users.
People argue that a seperate repository lowers quality. Looking at
rpmfind, I'd agree. And there are quite some number of people out there
who use Debian because they know that the software in Debian free to use
in any way our DFSG allows with no other Copyright related restraints.
There are some few cases of patented software, but those aren't in main to
my knowledge (though I have argued they belong in main on a box safely
outside the reach of software patents..)
> KDE is just one example of evidently *very* popular and excellent
> software which would be a perfect candidate for such a repository.
> Users are far less anal about restricted licenses than Debian and as
> it looks like some of them are fed up with Debian's pedantries.
KDE is so far the only example of such software. If Debian legally can
package it and someone wants it, it gets packaged. That's the Debian Way.
This announcement is a knee-jerk reaction to KDE and the possibility of
removing non-free. No more than that.
> Yes, they could choose one of the other distributions who are more
> appropriate for their needs like Redhat or SuSE et. al. who are not as
> pedantic about proper licensing than we are, but why would a happy
> Debian user want to abandon the exquisite Debian system just for a few
> packages if they can be had from some other source?
Pedantic about licensing? Um. I respect the licenses of the software I
use and package. I respect the licenses even of proprietary software (and
why not? How can I expect people to respect the GPL on my own code if I
do not respect their licenses - even if them happens to be someone like
Microsoft? Of course, I do not like Microsoft's license conditions and
therefore do not and will not use their products, but that's another
> PS: Yes, i use non-free software too and don't mind using it as long
> as there is no free equivalent. And even if there is a free
> equivalent i'd use the non-free one if it would be superior. Yes,
> instead of holding my breath until a free version appears i'd
> rather prefer to get my work done. Yes, i love free software but
> accept that there *is* and there *should* be a place for non-free
> software in the real world. No, i don't believe in a Free
> Software Utopia, but only in Free Software alongside Non-Free
> Software. Utopias are bound to turn too easily into tyranny.
I use non-free software until there is a suitable free equivalent. I
won't give up netscape until Mozilla is at least as stable. Which is far,
far, far from happening it would seem.
Joseph Carter <email@example.com> GnuPG key 1024D/DCF9DAB3
Debian GNU/Linux (http://www.debian.org/) 20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC
The QuakeForge Project (http://quakeforge.net/) 44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3
The software required Win95 or better, so I installed Linux.