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Re: Draft new DFSG

On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Joey Hess wrote:

> Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > > We add a preamble saying both that: 
> > > 
> > > 1) Although meeting the DFSG is a necessary condition for a package to
> > > be included in the main Debian, not every package that meets these
> > > guidelines will necessarily become part of Debian, and one shouldn't
> > > view the fact that some program is not part of Debian as a statement
> > > by the Debian maintainers that said program does not meet the DFSG.
> > > We (the Debian developers) may opt to keep certain packages out of
> > > Debian for reasons other than those specified in the DFSG.
> > 
> > This is a terrible idea!
> No it's not. Here are a few reasons we may chose to keep a package out of
> debian even though it meets the dfsg:
> * because it is of very low quality, and there is already a far superior
>   alternative that is also free

This is a restriction we have never used before, and it would act to
create a barrier to the introduction of new sofware. Only well established
software could get into main, excluding a newly developing package from
gaining the development advantage of being distributed with Debian.

> * because it implements something inherently unsecure, or is written in such
>   an insecure manner that fixing it would require a rewrite

We have many such programs now. If the package indicates its known
insecurities, we have been willing to let folks use it. Isn't that what
"freedom" means?

> * because it is 5 gb in size and will only be used by a few hundred people
>   on earth.

So, large databases of information of use to only a few people constitutes
a reason to reject the efforts of a developer who can afford to make such
an upload?

While I understand your limits are extreem, so as to be acceptable, the
principle of the idea is flawed.

> All of these seem valid to me. The fact is, no-one in their right mind would
> wnat to maintain such packages for debian, so they never get into the
> distibution in the first place. All free software is *not* in debian, and it
> never will be.

This I can agree with. What I disagree with is taking the decission out of
the hands of the developer who will deliver such a package.

While your criterion above seemed reasonable to you, it should be clear
that others will disagree ;-)  I would much prefer to keep the dynamic
that produces packages unfettered by arbitrary rules intended to restrict
access to free software on any other basis than: 1. it has a maintainer;
2. it is DFSG free.

Anything else defeats the idea of freedom that is the foundation of

Waiting is,

_-_-_-_-_-   Author of "The Debian Linux User's Guide"  _-_-_-_-_-_-

aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (850) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

_-_-_-_-_-_- If you don't see what you want, just ask _-_-_-_-_-_-_-

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