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Re: Cross-distro binary compatibilty

Adam Stiles wrote:
> As I've said before, binary compatibility is irrelevant.
> [...]
> Source compatibility is all that really matters, and there are
> enough examples around to show that this is entirely achievable.
> [...]
> The only reason why you would ever want to be able to run a binary
> not compiled by you is if you did not have the source code;

Oh, sigh.  You are forgetting two things.  One is that Debian is a
binary distribution, not a source distribution.  (Of course two
notable source distributions are Linux from Scratch and Gentoo.  But
Debian is neither of those.)

> and if you don't have the source code, it's probably because someone
> doesn't want you to have it.  If somebody doesn't want you to have
> the source code, then there is probably something in it that they
> are ashamed to show you.
> I won't run software written by cowards.  If there is no way to accomplish a 
> task using purely Open Source tools, then I'll do it by hand -- or create a 
> new tool and make it Open Source.

The other thing is that an operating system is a very general purpose
tool.  It is not just this one thing or that one thing.  An OS is many
things and an enabler for many things.

Section 5 of the Debian Social Contract[1] was written specifically
with non-free software in mind.  "We acknowledge that some of our
users require the use of works that do not conform to the Debian Free
Software Guidelines."  And "We will not object to non-free works that
are intended to be used on Debian systems"


[1] http://www.debian.org/social_contract

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