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Re: ITP: purity-offensive

On Sun, Sep 12, 1999 at 01:26:30PM -0500, David Starner wrote:
> It appears that most of the discussion were held on debian-private.
> The other parts are in Nov 97.

I didn't subscribe to -private then as I was not yet a developer.  But I
heard about this, and it's irrelevant to my rant.  :)

> My summary (from debian-devel) (and comments)
> * Legal problems in some countries 
> 	Often a problem with packages. Debian should try and develop some global 
> 	solution to legal problems instead of piecemeal like now. 

We can only deal with these as they arise.  Implementations of censorship
are almost impossible to predict or develop objective criteria for, as they
blow with the political winds.

> * Somebody might object to buying it with Debian
> 	Someone might object to buying GHC (because Microsoft had a hand in it), 
> 	too. In fact, I bet more people would get annoyed about alleged
> 	Microsoft code than the purity test. 

If somebody objects to our product, they can return it to the vendor for a
refund (or simply delete it if they downloaded it from us).  We're not
cramming the dynamic linker down anyone's throat, let alone some corny
peripheral piece of software like the purity test.

> * What does this program do to increase the quality of Debian?
> 	An attack that could be leveled against many of the packages of
> 	Debian. In general, if someone wanted to package them, we don't
> 	worry it. In particular, I believe that if it is installed, it
> 	will head to about midrange of the popularity contest.

That argument is a road with no end.  Debian developers can be expected to
agree with the social contract and that's about it.  We have developers of
all kinds of religious and political persuasions and we cannot expect to
build a consensus on issues like this.  It will lead to interminable
threads and flamewars, and we're plenty good at that on issues that are
predominantly (or wholly) technical.

> * It's not fun, it's just sick
> 	Many disagree. It's always interesting to know, say, that Jay has a 69
> 	and Patti a 93. I found taking them very interesting.

See above.

> * Violence is okay to have, but not sex stuff
> 	Again many harshly disagree. Cf. Heinlein's _Time Enough for Love_ for
> 	the pro-sex argument in literary form.

See above.

> * It has no redeeming value
> 	"The Bible is the most evil book ever written." - Thomas Paine
> 	A viewpoint I'm inclined to agree with. Again, this is straight value
> 	clash.

See above.

> * Bruce doesn't like it
> 	Seemed to be the deciding factor.

Bruce is no longer is a position to make decisions for the project.

> I'll also point out that all of these (except the last) can be applied to
> fortunes-off & kjv-bible (which has its own sick sex parts.)

Agreed.  As someone recently mentioned, we passed the policy amendment
that calls for a data section in the archive.  I say we should get cracking
on implementing this, and stuff the purity package (in its unexpurgated
form) there, along with the fortune cookie files, the Bible, and probably
lots of other stuff.

Marco, please wait on this purity thing until it is seen whether we shit or
get off the pot WRT the data section.  (This is not a flame of the FTP
admins or anyone else, it just seemed appropriate to swear gratuitously in
a discussion of offensive content.)

As regards the fortunes data files, to be fair, all of the cookie files
should be moved into the data section...but I had an idea.

What if we shipped the base fortune package with a small cookie file that
contains a couple of dozen tips for using the Debian system?  Kind of like
those annoying pop-up "Tip of the Day" windows that some M$ apps use
(except fortune only runs on demand, of course).  Since these would have
technical content fully germane to the usage of our OS, they would easily
qualify for inclusion in the main section.

Of course, one of the cookies provided could advise the user how to obtain
the other fortune cookie packages.

Just a thought...

G. Branden Robinson              |   America is at that awkward stage.  It's
Debian GNU/Linux                 |   too late to work within the system, but
branden@ecn.purdue.edu           |   too early to shoot the bastards.
cartoon.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |   --Claire Wolfe

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