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

Re: Why non-free? (Was: Re: KDE)

On Wed, Mar 10, 1999 at 09:33:00PM -0500, Phillip R. Jaenke wrote:
> > I think Wichert is a little more reasonable than RMS in this area..  =p
> To be honest, I'm beginning to doubt RMS' reasoning skills period. 


I can see why you'd say that and sometimes I'm likely to agree, but
believe it or not he DOES have his reasons and he has thought about them.

> I'm in agreement. However, I'm in disagreement. I don't believe that we
> should remove non-free packages from main ftp sites. Not in the least.
> However, I think the *main* site for all the non-free packages should be
> seperated. And not just non-free. Contrib as well. 

Remove, no.  Move elsewhere on the site to make it clear that it's not
part of debian/dists/potato for example, that's another matter (and one I
would support...)  RMS doesn't like it, but that's my opinion on the

> But this presents a naming scheme problem. Master.debian.org,
> contrib.debian.org, non-free.debian.org. The last grates on me a great
> deal. The more and more I think on this, non-free irritates me more and more.
> WHY does it have to be non-free? 

It doesn't.  It could be any number of things, not that I can think of a
good name for it either right now.

> I was working in dselect; forgot to install Apache for mrtg. ;P  My boss,
> who is watching, sees me select something necessary in non-free. Looks at
> me, "is that commercial? What does it cost?" 

That's when you explain the DFSG to him.  And why it's important.

> Not everyone who's starting with Debian is familiar with the mentality.
> Non-free could give a LOT of people the wrong idea. 
> So, why does it have to be called non-free? It's free in the commercial
> sense. And the majority of it is free to modify and use yourself.
> (Redistribution of modified source/binaries really isn't that huge an
> issue with me, to be honest. I'll just include a patch.) 

Actually, take xv as an example.  That's shareware or something like that
I think.  I don't have it installed or I'd look.

> So, I think perhaps our goal should not be to alienate non-free, nor to
> embrace it. But to at least make some attempt to not only prevent further
> confusion on the part of new users, but to attempt to make it better in
> any way possible. Afterall, just because it's non-free now, doesn't mean
> it won't be GPL down the road.

We provide it as a service.  Beyond that, I don't think we should really
mess with it.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>            Debian GNU/Linux developer
PGP: E8D68481E3A8BB77 8EE22996C9445FBE            The Source Comes First!
To boldly go where no bunch of geeks have gone before :)   --Joel Klecker

Attachment: pgpCr8g7arM0v.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: