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Re: moving contrib & non-free (was: Re: KDE)

Montreal Thu Mar 11 14:20:26 1999

Wichert Akkerman <wichert@cs.leidenuniv.nl> wrote:
> Previously Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> > Is it problematic to use virtual domains and a symlink tree to hide non-free
> > under some hostname, for Free Software advocats?
> Yes, FTP can only do IP-based virtual hosting. The reason I haven't
> come up with a nice proposal yet is that it's a complex solution. Here
> are some issues:
> Given that:
> 1) we want to make the distinction between main (the Debian
>    distribution) and the rest (contrib & non-free) more clear. The best
>    way seems to be to move contrib and non-free to another (virtual)
>    host
> 2) moving things to another host means that all mirrors will suddenly
>    stop mirroring contrib and non-free unless they manually add that
> 2 is a bit troublesome. Somewhere I wouldn't really mind if that
> happens: we still have contrib and non-free and anyone can get them, but
> we can't handle the load for that. We would need mirrors.
> Now a mirror can mirror both main and the rest, and even put symlinks
> back in debian/dists so users can use a single tree. But then we would
> end up with mirror in debian.org which don't have the split anymore..
> We also can't ask our mirrors to do virtual hosting, since not every
> mirror has a second IP available.
> My current favourite is moving contrib and nonfree to nonfree.debian.org
> (or nondfsg.debian.org), and asking our mirrors to mirror that as
> /debian-non-free (or /debian-nondfsg). That way will continue to make
> everything available to our users, while having a ftp.debian.org with
> only our official distribution (ie main).

And all of this justs goes to illustrate how ridiculous and needlessly 
time consuming this whole matter is.  Like someone else mentioned,
this is a step backward from a nice, simple, unambiguous situation.

I see little evidence that people are thinking that Debian endorses
non-free and contrib software.  One person stated that he could not
make the difference in dselect and that apt fetches contrib/non-free
by default, so perhaps you want to make this clearer (eg, better
documentation/presentation) on the dselect/apt end although I
personally do not see a need.


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