On Mon, Jan 18, 1999 at 12:27:59PM -0500, Raul Miller wrote: > > So our goals are: > > > > * make a working, completely free system. ie, main. > You're saying that the Suggests: links are not an official part > of Debian? I'm saying that the Suggests: links don't force you to have a non-free system, nor do they make the system not work. They're an annoyance in some cases, that's all. Not that that's not something worth fixing -- it is. I use Debian because it *doesn't* annoy me usually. But arguing that we're breaking our social contract just because something's more annoying than it ought to be seems to be going to far to me. > > * add some support infrastructure for non-free software, to make > > it easy to use non-free software if our users want to. > > We've done this. > The current infrastructure requires that main contains links to stuff > that's not in main. A better (more in line with our social contract) > infrastructure would allow those links to reside outside of main. The > technical side of this is being addressed by Ian Jackson. > > The only problem is that some people are suggesting that the current > solution is politically better. > > ? Really? If so, I don't think I'm one of them, so I won't claim to know what `they' want. What /I/ want is to be able to continue seeing what non-free software makes my computer work better. I'd also like this to be as easy to maintain as it is now, if not more so. > > Removing suggestions completely seems to go against that. > That's a straw man. We're talking about replacing some Suggests: > with Enhances: And this is probably why we're talking at cross-purposes. I thought, in the message I replied to, that you were advocating removing the suggestions rather than replacing them. My apologies. > > Personally, I don't think moving solely to enhances: is the way to > > go either -- it makes it too difficult for people to say `unzip is > > helpful for making boot-floppies', and so on. Technical decisions are > > meant to make life easier. > Eh? The only place where boot-floppies seems to use "unzip" is in > /usr/src/boot-floppies/Makefile -- here it seems that, after the user > is supposed to download some stuff from our ftp site, the makefile uses > "unzip" to extract some things from a zip archive. > > The real question is: why isn't that stuff also available in some > alternative format? Why have we chosen to distribute information only > in a format that's not usable by people who only use DFSG Debian? Some of the other packages in this situation: rsync suggests ssh inn suggests pgp kbackup suggests pgp kbackup-doc suggests pgp (the documentation for KBackup) tm suggests pgp (tm is a MIME package for Emacs) elm-me+ suggests pgp ...ie, things which don't have a free alternative just yet, but will RSN. mutt depends on gnupg or pgp or pgp5i fvwm2-plus suggests xv or xloadimage ...ie, things which /do/ have a satisfactory free alternative, and note it. (What will happen here, btw? Does it stay as an or, or does the non-free alternative get move to an Enhances? Even though it doesn't enhance mutt if you installed gnupg?) mikmod suggests unzip, lha and zoo (ie, "If you like, I can deal with compressed stuff!") ...ie, a reasonably valid use, that would be annoying to move!! Woo! :) dpkg suggests developer-keyring (which is in contrib) dpkg-dev suggests developer-keyring these could probably be done the other way around transfig suggests netpbm-nonfree this could probably be done via netpbm-nonfree enhances netpbm ...ie, ones that work just as well the other way around anyway. The above is only a list of ones I noticed as being non-free suggestions, but if it's at all indicative, it's certainly interesting. And while I reserve the right to think you're all insane and enhances is clearly and obviously the Wrong Thing, I can't see any reason why it would /actually/ be any worse than any other way of doing it. Which I guess is my cue to say... Cheers, aj -- Anthony Towns <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/> I don't speak for anyone save myself. PGP encrypted mail preferred. ``Like the ski resort of girls looking for husbands and husbands looking for girls, the situation is not as symmetrical as it might seem.''
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