Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free
email@example.com (Colin Watson) writes:
> There are not quality free replacements for all programs in non-free.
I suspect people will always advance this argument. I still remind
you that Debian's distribution does not include non-free software now.
> I'm using one right now: trn4, which I intend to package (separately
> from trn - a lot of trn's users still seem to prefer the older version,
> as the interface has changed somewhat) just as soon as I get through the
> new-maintainer queue. (And yes, I am committed to free software; I don't
There are plenty of quality newsreaders. slrn and gnus, to name two.
> think I'm required to be *exclusively* committed to DFSG-freeness.) At
Yes, I have been known to maintain software in non-free as well. In
fact, I do now. I am perfectly well ready for them to be removed.
> Personally, I wouldn't consider a Unix system complete for me without an
> rn descendant.
Most don't ship with one :-)
> There's one more program for you. And, for our other users, there'll be
> one more, and one more, and one more; *real people* use non-free
> software, people who are otherwise enthused about free software and the
> liberty it gives them. I don't know a single person using Debian who
> doesn't use a number of packages out of non-free, be it satan, the jdk,
> doc-html-w3, mysql, tin, trn, tetex-nonfree, speak-freely,
> distributed-net, or a bunch of others that you can go and look up for
> yourself. These are not people who have sold out; they're people who
> still find the non-free software better than the alternatives, and would
> like nothing better than to see free versions of the programs they use.
And I'm not preventing them from using it. They can even continue
using apt for it to preserve ease of installation. The "all the
Unixes do it" is wrong; non-Linux systems don't always even ship with
a web browser! Much less, SQL servers, a voice conferencing system,
> Some of these people use Debian because it's the best GNU/Linux
> distribution available. I use Debian because of its emphasis on freedom,
> too, but the other motive is valid, in fact one we should want to
> encourage, and more common than you seem to believe. At the moment, it
I agree that the other motive is valid and important. I do not see
them as mutually exclusive. Note that this proposal makes NO effect
on the Distribution.
> It doesn't even do us any particular harm. non-free takes up 10% of the
> disk space that main does, so I don't think the resources arguments are
> sensible. The people bitching about KDE and Debian would bitch about it
It is not a harm of resources. It is a harm of principles.
> You tar all non-free software with the same brush; I think it's obvious
> that there are licences and licences. Supporting a non-free section
> while working to create free replacements or to have licences changed
> gives a great deal back to the Free Software community.
One can do this without requiring Debian to distribute the software