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Re: Ian's DFSG2 would harm Debian and Free Software

On Wed, Dec 02, 1998 at 14:14:34 +0100, Avus wrote:

(As I've stated earlier, I don't agree with DFSG2 either)

> - This was obviously motivated by the QPL draft for Qt

There is _no_ evidence of that. When the QPL was announced, Ian was
attending SANE at Maastricht; he's indicated earlier that he was considering
a proposal to change the DFSG.

> - Those KDE advocates were right who said that Debian (i.e. the radical
> 'majority' of developers) simply don't *want* KDE in their distribution;
> that Debian lied about their real motivation to exclude KDE and that
> they abuse their Social Contract to further personal preferences.

Once KDE's licensing issue is solved (I understand they'll be switching to
an Artistic-like license that doesn't suffer from the bad interaction that
the GPL still has witht he current QPL draft), I'm sure we'll have KDE
packages again (if you want to make them, send in a new maintainer

> - The proposal comes from a convinced KDE enemy/hater, who even voted
> against the KDE newsgroup. Not convincing for fair suggestion.

Ian's objections against KDE, as I understand them, are the same as Debian
expressed: currently, KDE's licensing is to a degree inconsistent and makes
it impossible for us to distribute binaries we build. It's great to see that
people are working to resolve this issue.

> - He wants to push it through in a rush, "by the end of [his] term as
> Debian leader", to exploit the still existant anti-Qt and anti-KDE feeling
> among some developers.

Please give the Debian developers some credit. We're not Ian's Mindless Army

> Instead of working with TrollTech to try and improve the current QPL
> draft,

Some developers are already doing this.

> this would give a clear signal to them: "We don't care about your
> problems, we simply don't want you in!"

> - The fact that Ian wants to finish this in his "term as leader"
> indicates something else: He wants to raisen his profile on the expense
> of Debian, eradicate the signs of former Debian leader Bruce Perens and
> bring himself in a good position of becoming e.g. the next SPI
> president. With Open Source becoming increasingly popular, there is a
> lot of fame to be earned.

I've been with Debian almost from the beginning. In all that time, I've seen
express strong opinions, but I've never seen signs that might lead me to
suspect he's in the free software game for the glory.

> - Most important: The respected personalities in the Linux community
> will sharply object to this proposal, because
> o It's incompatible with the OSD
> o It prefers license over technical superiority even among free software
> o It's incompatible with the FSF's free software definition
> This is why ESR, Linus and RMS won't welcome Ian's DFSG. This means that
> a large part of the Linux community will also reject it.

The responses so far clearly indicate the DFSG2 will not be accepted by the
Debian developers. There's no reason to view it as anything other than a
discussion piece (which it is being quite effectively).

> All in all, Debian should provide *guidelines* for free software, not a
> "License for Licenses" like this new draft. 

I applaud proposals to make the DFSG clearer, and reflect more of what
we've learned about the nature of freeness in software since DFSG1. I doubt
that a definite definition of free software is currently attainable.

> After all, it is the free decision of the Debian developers what software
> gets in and what not. Discussing and deciding such issues has always been
> a part of Debian's culture. 

Debian's culture has also always been to have respect for one another, and
to avoid drawing discussions into the area of personalities. I hope that
part of Debian's culture will reastablish itself.

Tevens ben ik van mening dat Nederland overdekt dient te worden.

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