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Re: anarchism_7.7-1.deb

On Sat, Sep 25, 1999 at 09:10:19PM -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> >  - is it free?
> >  - could someone be bothered doing the work of packaging it?
> > 
> > if the answer to both questions is yes, then there is no
> > justification for refusing the package.
> Yes but the maintainer should also ask
> - Does it enhance Debian?

if it is useful or interesting to even one person then it enhances
debian. in other words, this is not a useful question to ask - if it
wasn't of value to at least one person then they would not have bothered
to package it.

many of the packages in debian are in debian because the maintainer felt
that they were useful to them personally....if others benefit from it
too, that is good but it is sufficient that the maintainer has, by their
work, made debian that much more useful to themself.

i, and i guess many other developers, originally joined debian so that
some useful tool or program would become part of debian. this is one of
the strengths of debian...all of us are here because we want to make
debian better or more useful, and one of the prime motivators is to make
it more useful to ourselves. our policy and technical standards are a
framework which allows us all to do that without conflicting too much
with each other.

> Not because he has to but because he should want to.  And other
> developers and users should feel free to comment.

yes, others are free to comment but there is no justification other than
non-freeness for excluding a package from debian.

> The reason is that we are not just shoveling packages on a CD but at
> least trying to put together a finished product.

and it is the maintainers job to create their package according to
policy so that it becomes a smoothly integrated part of the whole that
is debian.

> > 'utility' is a subjective thing. i personally would find the
> > anarchist faq far more useful and interesting than (a bad
> > translation of) religious texts.
> I understand.  But would the entire Debian constituency?  (Which is
> what?  Just the developers?  Developers + users?  All Linux users...)
> If we are interested we could find out.

it's irrelevant whether other debian developers or users agree with me
or disagree with me about the relative utility of these two packages.
by not censoring packages, by refusing to censor packages, we create
a distribution which is good and useful for everyone - not just those
whose needs are the same as the censors. some find the bible package
useful and i don't begrudge them that - if it makes debian more useful
to them then it is a good thing that it is included.

we should not be censoring, we should not be saying "the bible is good
but the koran or bhagavid gita or even the anarchist faq is worthless".
or vice-versa.

if something is free and someone does the work to package it then we
accept it in the distribution.

> This has been a bit of a rant.  Let me try and add something
> constructive.  It looks like we are going to 3 CDs.  In the future
> we will only get bigger.  How do we manage that growth while not
> irritating users (swapping CDs sucks) or censoring maintainers?

most suggestions have been variations of the following idea: to put all
doc and data packages (especially those not directly associated with a
program) on a CD by themselves. that seems like a good idea to me.

> One approach which has been suggested is to make extra cds by section.
> So a data CD could include the bible, anarchy FAQ etc. Perhaps at some
> point there will be a ham radio cd, electronics cd etc. This has the
> advantage of being infinitely extensible but I worry that it narrows
> the scope of Debian for the general user as most CD vendors especially
> the cheap ones will probably not bother with the extra CDs.

actually, it would increase the scope of debian as a general purpose
distribution - there would be something in it for everyone.

if we get to the point of having specialty CDs then those who want them
will be able to purchase them from specialty vendors or download the
packages for free from the net.


craig sanders

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