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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

Some of your concerns have been addressed in the revised Resolution

Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> writes:

>  John>   users require the use of programs that don't conform to the Debian
>  John>   Free Software Guidelines.  Our contrib area may help with this
>  John>   software."
> 	This seems particularily confused. If you are remobving
>  non-free, why is there still a contrib? So we have a whol;e section
>  of packages with dangling dependencies? 

No.  There exist installers and other packages in contrib without a
Depends: line that requires non-free software.

>  	I think I disagree. I have not found Mozilla to be as yet an
>  adequatre replacement for netscape; nor can I find something for the
>  festvox packages, and I certainly would hate to lose angband and
>  zangband (which are only in non free since they prevent commercial
>  use; the sources are freely available for modification).

Mozilla ought to be amply ready by the time woody is released.
Anyway, none of these are shipped with Debian now.  What is the harm
in not shipping them on our FTP site?

I don't think that games justify the continued support of non-free

> 	Indeed, it cnsider this resolution as breaking the social
>  contract, and using a general resolution to weasel out of a contract
>  makes it no better.

An absolutist view of reality seldom is real, it seems.  Times and
circumstances change.  There is a conscious effort given to produce a
delta as small as possible.  We are not renegging on any fundamental
promise we made; we are altering the mechanics of fulfilling it.

>  John> 2. Supporting non-free software gives nothing back to the Free
>  John> Software community.
>  	Argue this with example of angband and zangband. How does
>  preventing commercial exploitation by the community (yes, these
>  packages are bazaar developed) in any way detract from the free
>  community? Indeed, it seems to me we get wonderful rogue like games,
>  with full source code, rights to modify and diistribute -- as long as
>  the free-as-beer quality is not removed from it.

You are arguing against the DFSG here, not the Social Contract.  If
you perceive a problem in the DFSG wrt this topic, the appropriate
place to take it up is with the DFSG and not with the Social Contract
or Policy.

>  John> The contract is supposed to be one between us and the Free Software
>  John> community.  Supporting a non-free section in no way supports Free
>  John> Software or its community.
>  	That is a narrow minded (some would say bigotted) view. Us
>  people in the free software community use commercial software too. I
>  use word, excel, and rational rose, as well as oracle, in my
>  life. Being able to use it on a free platform enables me to use, and
>  contribute, to the free software community.

I don't see how this is disagreeing with what I said.  In fact, it
bolsters my opinion.  You have found those non-free programs even
without our help.  Why should we be compelled to help you find them?

>  John> At one time, one may have argued that we needed to support a non-free
>  John> section in order to have a complete and coherent system.  As discussed
>  John> in #1, this requirement does not today exist.
> 	Give me a replacement for festvox. Or angband. Or even xv --
>  some png images I produced show up as all black under imagemagick --
>  but show fine under xv.

None of these ship with Debian now.  All are available frmo other
sources.  Why should we be compelled to make non-free software
available from us, even though it's not part of our dist?

>  John> 5. The existance of the non-free section is being used as a cop-out by
>  John> those that seek to peddle non-free wares.
> 	Heh. Bigotry revealed.

Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that it may be you that are
guilty of this.  The recent KDE discussions, for instance, have
produced a not small group of people that claim that "it's OK because
they can just shove it in non-free."  In other words, we are serving
as a legitimizing agent for software whose license does not allow it
into main.

>  John> 6. Most importantly: it's the right thing to do, morally.
> 	 Bull shit. The right thing to do is not to renege on a promise
>  solemnly made. And this motion is letting down the users to whom we
>  said we understand that you use software that does not meet out
>  guidelines, but we shall, dear user, support you in that as well.

And we shall continue doing so.  Read it carefully.  We said that we
created non-free.  We did not say that it was a permanent resource.
We said we'd support the use of that software; we still will.  We did
not say that we would distribute it for them forever and ever.

John Goerzen <jgoerzen@complete.org>                       www.complete.org
Sr. Software Developer, Progeny Linux Systems, Inc.    www.progenylinux.com
#include <std_disclaimer.h>                     <jgoerzen@progenylinux.com>

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