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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 12:22:22PM +0100, Paul M Sargent wrote:
> I'm only a user, but just to make a point...
> You don't get many people who like cheeseburgers in health food stores.
> Health food stores tend to cater for people who have already made the
> decision that 'I want to eat healthy'. If your store stocks all kinds of
> food, but tells people about the advantages of healthy food, then you get
> the fat slobs through the door and give them the oppertunity to see the
> error of their ways.
> ...and you cater for the people who have already made the decision.
> I don't think I need to explain the analogy. You just need to make the
> decision whether Debian is evangelising free software, or just catering for
> those who have seen the light.

An excellent rebuttal, which nicely demonstrates the danger of analogies.

Honestly, I think Debian does a little of both (evangelizing free software
and catering to those who already have "seen the light", or value free

Personally, I don't much like evangelism (that doesn't mean I don't
occasionally succumb to it).  But I think it is better to lead by example.

As I said elsewhere, this GR is being widely misunderstood as a ban on
.debs of non-free software all over the world.  Such a ban is impossible.
The GR is a predominantly technical proposal, although John's attached
rationale veritably overflowed with principled arguments.  And it is his
rationales, and the replies to them, that seem to be generating most of the
heat in this discussion.  John may feel that excluding non-free software
from official Debian archives is the moral thing to do, but *the General
Resolution is not a resolution to assert the morality of anything*.  This
may be an object lesson in placing potentially contentious proposals and
their rationales in separate messages in the future.

In actual practice, with a little care -- and a little effort on the part
of people who already maintain non-free packages -- the transition to a
post-GR state need not be very painful for our users.  The beauty of our
packaging system, especially in conjunction with apt, is that we can have
our "health food store", but it will be one in which the patron can summon
the greasiest meatball sub you can imagine with only a word -- if he wants

G. Branden Robinson            |    Somewhere, there is a .sig so funny that
Debian GNU/Linux               |    reading it will cause an aneurysm.  This
branden@ecn.purdue.edu         |    is not that .sig.
roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |

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