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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free, Draft 2

Today, Adrian Bunk <bunk@fs.tum.de> wrote:
> There are two possibilities if Debian no longer offers non-free software  
> on its servers:

> 1. Someone starts something like a ftp.nonfree.debian.org and he also
>    provides websites and a BTS. This means that nothing changes for the   
>    user (except another line in the apt soures file), but some work has do
>    be made twice.

(Mind the sarcasm!)

Won't happen. As soon as the debain project will no longer support
non-free or, "nonfree" software in its storage areas, it will not be
possible to create the named record.

> 2. Case 1 doesn't happen. You have to search several sites for getting a
>    package and you don't have one central BTS.

This is more likely. And it is already happening. See all the little
apt archives lying around somewhere with no-one knowing that they are

> And what does Debian win technically? A few percent less used ftp space
> and a few less bug reports, but nothing that really makes a difference.

And what does it lose?

* Some frustrated first-time users who discover that debian does no more
provide java prepackaged on their ftp site and that they will have to
seek someone who does.

* My respect for being a free, nonetheless tolerant software
distribution, geared towards real needs of real users, not just
towards issues of taste. As stated in
<20000607171216.O4179@yakk.net.au>, non-free software should be
_easily_ available for comparison. Let users see that netscape won't
fix the bus errors! Let them see that xzgv is faster and more
intelligently done than xv!

Instead of hitting the user in the face and telling her[1] that she
won't need it anymore, debian should propagate the advantages of free
software over their non-free equivalents.

Why not have more task-* packages, maybe even have an own section for

> cu,
> Adrian

Thank-you for your time,

[1]  sorry for non-gender-neutrality

Andreas Stefan Fuchs                             in Real Life aka
asf@acm.org, asfuchs@gmx.at, asf@ycom.at         in NNTP and SMTP,
antifuchs                                        in IRCNet and
Relf Herbstfresser, Male 1/2 Elf Priest          in AD&D

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