Re: Negative Summary of the Split Proposal
Credibility does not come from staying close to the majority view.
Credibility comes from sincerity. The way to gain and keep
credibility is to take a clear position based on solid logic, and
follow it to its consequences based on the facts. That is how the
Debian has gained its credibility, and that is how it can keep its
Debian uses the DFSG to make a distinction between free and non-free
software. The issue here is, what is the significance of that
distinction? Having classified a program into one category or the
other, how does Debian use that classification to treat software one
way or another?
Right now, Debian classifies the packages as free or not, but that's
as far as it goes. The free and non-free packages are promoted in the
same way, and that tends to minimize the distinction. If you don't
treat the distinction as important in your actions, you are saying
that the distinction is not very important.
Wichert's proposal would focus more emphasis to this distinction, by
according it more importance. It will show the users that Debian
means business about the distinction.
If things happen as Richard would like, non-free will essentially become
available only to those who ask "is <something non-free> packaged?" on
irc or in an email to the lists.
If things happen "as I would like", non-free software will be a thing
of the past. But if you're are talking about the proposal I made to
Debian a few months ago, that is an exaggeration. If the non-free
packages are available from a separate site, anyone who wants to
publicize that site could do so. I think Carter would do that.
Probably others would, too.
However, this change would make it possible for others (me, perhaps
Wichert) to refer users to the Official Debian system, without
referring them at the same time to the non-free packages. So it is
true that users who get Debian via the GNU Project's references to
Debian would not find out about the non-free packages *through us*.