Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free
Looking over this resolution, and the implications in it, I can't help but
feel we're taking a step back. We're taking a step away from where debian
needs to go. By closing debian to closed programmes, debian becomes
closed. Whether all software is GPL'd or MS-EULA'd, it doesn't matter.
Both restrict the system, and the further development for it.
By purging non-free, we lose more then just software. We lose credibility.
Debian's moral "standards" will be so strong and exclusive, that the
group of users and developers for debian will become an old-men's club
much in the way FreeBSD has become. Why must debian shoot itself in the
If the non-free software were entirely replaced by free software with the
same functionality, then the non-free software will whither and die of its
own accord. The fact that it continues to thrive demonstrates its
usefulness, and forcing new users to only use free software may send them
to other distributions, where they will be able to install a wider
variety of software due to non-free being present.
I do not believe that forcing users to rely on freshmeat for software that
debian considers 'immoral', as the last paragraph implies, will help
Allow me, for a second, to draw a parallel with the Religious Right:
They exclude anyone who, they believe, is not 'pure'. They eliminate
those with slightly different perspectives, because they do not conform.
Their argument is much the same. They don't give back, they're immoral,
they don't have use for them. Heck they take up the prized front seats
of the church!
That is the same attitude that this resolution reflects. If debian wants
to portray itself as an open system, then they'd best stay open to those
that don't conform.
David "cdlu" Graham
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