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Re: Steam for Linux? No thanks.

On Fri, 22 Feb 2013 16:29:58 Vincent Cheng wrote:
> Of course, arguments don't have to be based on facts to be valid.
> However, arguments based on strongly-voiced opinions/perceptions with
> little to no factual basis tend to just devolve into inconclusive
> mud-slinging.

In general decision making is not always precise or accurate. For example 
risks assessment may be highly speculative and not based on any good 
observation/science but it is not necessarily wrong.

Speaking about this issue, my argument that DRM is wrong or at least not 
useful is hardly lacking supporting facts to consider or articulate.

> Best-case scenario is that the parties involved in the
> argument just agree to disagree.

That's OK if both parties at least communicated their arguments and tried to 
understand each other. Lack of communication could be worse if parties just 
assume than other side is immune to arguments.

> Since it's fairly obvious by now that we'll never reach a consensus on
> the "ethics" of including Steam in Debian non-free, let's consider
> Debian Policy instead (which I hope is the one area we can agree on).

I think pretty much everyone would agree that DRM is not a nice thing.
I object to Steam because it is promoting DRM and all wrongs associated with 
DRM. I'm surprised that in our community there are some who fail to recognise 

Our policy do not prohibit DRM and I don't want to search for loop holes to 
block Steam for unrelated reason.

Project-wise we're trying to work with FSF on their assessment of
Debian Free-ness. Non-free is a big topic on the list. Despite infamous 
disclaimer FSF and our users are definitely associate non-free with Debian and 
that fact affects their judgement.

I don't see how uploading Steam can help Debian and FSF communication. I can 
easily recognise potential for harm coming directly from Steam upload.

Again, we don't need Steam and it can be harmful not only for our user's 
freedom but also to our project in general. Pros and cons seem to be obvious 
-- there is no harm from absence of Steam in non-free. There might be negative 
consequences from Steam upload to non-free. Is there are any good from Steam 
upload? Hardly any... Do we need anything else beyond common sense to 
understand it?

I think there are more than just policy to be considered before upload.
Merely compliance with Policy can be a poor basis for decision making.

Is Steam upload benefits Debian in any way? I doubt that...

> So, two questions for you:
> 1) Why should Steam be exempt from Debian?

Lack of benefits and potential for harm.

> 2) Which sections of Policy does Steam violate such that it would be
> rendered unsuitable for Debian non-free?

I don't know and to me DRM alone is bad enough to look no further.
It could be that there are no obstacles for upload from Policy 

> If you're insistent on blocking Steam from entering Debian non-free
> (given that's it's already waiting in the NEW queue [4]),

Well spotted, I didn't realised it's already there...
Thank you for mentioning that.

> be prepared
> to think of convincing answers for the above questions using Policy as
> a framework. No need to convince me or anyone else reading this list;
> you just have to be able to convince ftpmasters (and possibly the
> CTTE).

Understood, thanks. No more noise here. :)

> That, or start a huge thread in debian-devel in the hopes that
> you can get enough support for a GR to get rid of Debian non-free. I
> wouldn't count on that happening, however. ;)

I don't want to get rid of non-free. It is useful and necessary.
I just think perhaps there are things that are not good enough to be there...

Best wishes,
 Dmitry Smirnov
 GPG key : 4096R/53968D1B

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