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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 08:58:52AM -0400, Branden Robinson wrote:
> I think you misunderstand the point of the GR.  The point is *not* to make
> non-free software difficult to use.  The point is to redirect some of
> Debian's official development resources away from the upkeep of non-free
> packages.

Except that maintainers do what they want anyway, so there's no more
or less resources available for free packages merely because Debian no
longer supports non-free ones.

An argument can easily be made that there's in fact less resources
available: maintainers who maintain both free and non-free packages now
have to spend more of their time getting infrastructure working for the
non-free packages, and thus have less time to devote to either set of
packages themselves.

Here's some of that cost:

> A parallel mirror network could be set up, and
> the mirrors that currently opt-in to non-free could opt-in to that. 

> We might need to implement the long-discussed "Origin:" or similar field in
> dpkg.

> A separate BTS would need to be set up for the non-free packages.

> The automatic bug reporting tools might need to be made aware of these
> alternative bug systems.

And, guess what, at the moment none of those factors matter because they
all just fall out of having separate sections for main and contrib.

Others include having a separate new-maintainer address and procedure
of some sort for the non-free archive, managing and updating a non-free
policy document, doing releases and making CDs, coping with naming
conflicts. We'd lose the ability to reassign bug reports from a contrib
or a main package to a non-free one, or vice-versa. We'd lose the ability
to continue packaging a program that goes non-free for a couple of months.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG encrypted mail preferred.

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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