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Re: freedom-subtracted.debian.org (was: Re: KDE)


On Wed, Mar 10, 1999 at 11:00:50PM -0500, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > 
> > ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/main
> > ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/contrib
> > ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/non-free
> > 
> > This implies that all three are equal, which is not the message we want to
> > give.
> You can read anything you wish into the above, but if they are "equal",
> then there would be no reason for the division, they would all just go
> into main. The subcatagorization here is of stable distributions.

But only "main" is our distribution. contrib and non-free is not part of the
Debian distribution (in the sense that main is). This is a fact that could
be stressed by having either a virtual domain that does essentially pointing
to the normal ftp achive with symlinks but leaves contrib and non-free out.

I do not even request that any existing domain name changes. I would only
wish that we ADD a virtual domain where contrib and non-free are simply not
there. official.debian.org for example. People who don't like it could use
ftp.debian.org as they do now.

> We make
> a clear distinction about non-free, that is not ambiguous to most folks.
> Making the distinction helps clarify the difference between Free and
> non-free, for anyone who cares to read the licenses involved.
> You don't "teach" people about the difference between good and evil, by
> only talking about good (or evil, for that matter). In fact, most
> educational studies show that negative examples, with a few positive
> examples, inform the student faster than giving only positive examples.
> By making a clearly separate place for non-free software, we provide
> examples of licenses that fall short of being free. We do no interfere
> with the installation of these packages in our user's systems, by
> providing proper Packages files for those archives. This seems to me to be
> correct according to our Social Contract.

You are defending the existing structure very convincing and very hard, too.
Now, can you also respect that some purists like me would enjoy a virtual
domain where contrib and non-free is just not accessible? Is your tolerance
huge enough to accept adding such a virtual domain, which doesn't harm
anyone, especially not existing infrastructure?

I don't argue anything you said above, but it is not the only way to see it.
Just as an example, the current situations seems to make some users not to
think about free software at all, because they don't realize they are
installing non-free software. It is very convenient to just press return on
the dependency resolution screen. However, this is only a side issue. We can
avoid such a discussion when we support both needs, the purists need and the
common user need. I am not asking for a one-sided solution.

Thank you,

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org   finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org     master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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