[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Leadership, effects on Debian and open source community

On 28-Nov-98, 19:53 (CST), Kristoffer.Rose@ens-lyon.fr wrote: 
> Martin Bialasinski replies to `Anonymous'.
> > Debian supports all free software. If KDE were free, it would also get
> > the "official" support.
> This is what I thought, too.  But it currently does not appear so very
> clearly: I have meat "sure you do" reactions, i.e., the community thinks
> that we are hypocrites that favour GPL-like things but just pretend
> otherwise.

There are really two statements there, not really related.

1. Debian prefers GPL-like licenses, but pretends not to.

(I'm going to assume that "GPL-like" means infectious "once-free
always-free" licensing.)

I don't think this is true. I think many Debian members (myself
included) *do* prefer GPL-like licenses, and make no pretense otherwise.
Other members disagree. I haven't seen anything resembling a statement
from the Debian Organization (*cough* *cough*) that is hypocritical with
respect to GPL vs. non-GPL licensing.

2. The implied statement that what we consider free is a moving target;
that we won't accept Qt even though it is now (ok, soon will be) under a
DFSG compliant license, and don't like KDE, yada yada yada.

Well, we waited a *long* time for KDE to get its licensing in order,
made several requests to the major KDE people for a simple change to
their license (explicit permission to link GPL code with a non-free
library), and then very reluctantly pulled KDE when it was clear that we
*could* *not* *legally* distribute it. I, for one, would be very happy
to see Qt and KDE and other Qt-based software in the dist -- there is
some very cool stuff out there. This would be a good thing.

As far the "moving target" criticism goes: yeah, I think that Ian blew
from a PR/timing point of view w.r.t. DFSG2. I also don't care a whole
lot for the legal-language style of DFSG2, or for some of the new
restrictions. But the fact is that Debian is democratic group. Ian is
free to propose any thing he damn well pleases, just as any other member
of the group is. All of us are free to comment on it, propose changes,
and otherwise carry on. Eventually, it will (or will not!) be voted on,
and if enough people like it, it will be accepted as the new DFSG.

Steve Greenland

Reply to: