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Re: Draft new DFSG

It was suggested I say this here even though others have said the same sorts
of things.

I believe the suggested changes to (which is not changes but a complete
replacement) DFSG is a dud, completely.  I believe trying to adopt it will
hurt and quite probably destroy Debian.  Here's why:

* The DFSG2 proposal is worded in a way that would cause a lot of software
  currently in main to no longer be there.  This is going to seriously annoy
  both upstream authors and maintainers of those packages.

* It's hard to read.  The original DFSG is short ans sweet ant to the point. 
  I can't say that about this one.  It's long, legal-looking, requires
  interpretation more than some licenses do, and really only changes things
  in ways I think are bad.  The DFSG you could show users who are interested
  in Debian and they could read the page and see for themselves how we
  define free.  To those same people, we'd have to explain the DFSG2 because
  to many of them it looks more like their auto insurance contract.  I
  dodn't get it myself till the second time I read it and I knew what it was
  trying to say.

* It depreciates the BSD advertising clause.  Yes that is annoying, but look
  at what uses it!  This means among other things Apache and of course the
  BSD utils.  There are valid reasons a company might release their code
  under BSD or other license with something like the advertising clause. 
  Changing the DFSG like this is essentially telling them we don't want
  their software.

* The patch clause.  You may not like it Ian, but taking it out is a -BAD-
  thing.  By removing it you will be denying a license such as the QPL from
  being considered free.  I'm not going to hesitate to say that I am sure
  you are aware of this and if you have considered the implications, you
  don't really care.  Not only would the new version of Qt be out of main,
  but so would things such as tex.

* Richard Stallman considers tex part of the GNU system and you want to say
  that it can't be part of the Debian system?  He admits to not liking the
  restrictions on modification either, but he still considers it free.  The
  same for the QPL above.

* Anything that requires non-free software to build is at best contrib, even
  if the license is GPL!!  HOW MANY programs out there require parts of tex
  for their documentation?  How much of the system is still in main when
  you're done?

* People keep telling me that Debian is not targetted for the new Linux
  user.  And while that SERIOUSLY annoys me since it could very easily
  target that user (it managed to work for me as a new user just fine with
  exception of X installation) it seems that the majority of maintainers
  want to target the user who ise fed up with the other dists for one reason
  or another.  How many of those users are going to take Debian seriously if
  we don't include tex or the BSD utilities or any other major or minor
  components of the average Linux system because we think they aren't free? 
  Especially when Richard Stallman considers them otherwise?

I will have to vote _NO_ on this provided it ever gets that far.  Already
the KDE people are accusing all of us of trying to change our policy now
just to keep Qt out of Debian, and frankly that's the way it looks from
where I sit too.

Should Debian become crippled as the DFSG2 would cripple it, I'd go and find
myself a real distribution because Debian sure wouldn't be anymore.

Show me the code or get out of my way.

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