Re: The Gordian Knot (was Re: Negative Summary of the Split Proposal)
On Thu, Jul 08, 1999 at 11:08:40PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> That is exactly the sort of thing I have in mind for the web pages. I
> would suggest having names such as "official.debian.org" and
> "free.debian.org" for new free server. I hope that these names will
> be memorable enough, that if we recommend those sites, people will
> remember the host name.
Ah, well, I misunderstood. I thought that you were asking that all
references to all non-free software links be removed from www.debian.org.
While that would be a touchingly sincere political move it would do very
little to improve the market dominance of the only distribution committed
to a Free methodology. Which would, net/net, end up reducing the influence
of Debian/Free Software instead of increasing it.
Creating a seperate version of the site that is free of proprietary links
and is at an address other than www.debian.org is a proposition that is
hard to argue with. I guess it breaks down to getting the volenteer labor
to create such a site.
Removing the non-free software from apt's source list, the mirror network
and other resources is rather a different question. Shipping apt with a
non-free-free source list rather defeats its core purpose which is to
make it easy for users to find the software they want. However, I can see
your point that it may silently "addict" users to non-free software without
Again, I would love to see apt detect when it is about to install a non-free
package and take that oppurtunity to present the user with some Free
Software propaganda. ie:
# apt-get install gimp-nonfree
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 packages upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 51 not upgraded.
Need to get 29.9kB of archives. After unpacking 72.7kB will be used.
WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO INSTALL A PACKAGE ON YOUR SYSTEM WHICH IS NOT
FREE SOFTWARE. THIS MAY MEAN THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO
THE SOURCE CODE, MAY BE SUBJECT TO LICENSE FEES, OR A NUMBER OF
OTHER INCONVENIENT AND IMMORAL SITUATIONS THAT NO REASONABLE
DEBIAN USER WOULD EVER ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE DRAWN INTO.
Are you very sure you would like to proceed [y/N]? y
Get:1 http://mirror potato/non-free gimp-nonfree 1.0.4-2 [29.9kB]
Fetched 29.9kB in 0s (88.0kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package gimp-nonfree.
(Reading database ... 28294 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking gimp-nonfree (from .../gimp-nonfree_1.0.4-2_i386.deb) ...
Setting up gimp-nonfree (1.0.4-2) ...
Isn't that more fun than removing a line that a determined user will just
put back in? It's certainly more irritating to users of non-free software.
Ean Schuessler A guy running Linux
Novare International Inc. A company running Linux
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