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Re: Seconded, sponsored. (was Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free)

Jeff Licquia wrote:
> >    I feel that having the man power, the capacity, and the will to support
> > the current non-free and contrib sections, and then refusing work to
> > continue to support these sections is not only contrary to the Social
> > Contract, but contrary to the DFSG.  Even though the DFSG is a work
> > refering to a software's license, I feel the implications of this proposal
> > violate those guidelines in the spirit of Debian as a whole.
> So let me get this straight:
> The Debian project is now *required* by the DFSG to *package* and
> *distribute* non-free software?  (As opposed to, say, allowing people
> to run non-free software on Debian machines, but not provide them.)
> So it is *logically inconsistent* for us to even *consider* not
> distributing non-free software?

I don't think Debian is required to package & distribute non-free. 
However, if there are developers who want to package non-free software,
its a disservice to the users to not make those packages available.

That said, it is perfectly reasonable to put non-free on its own server,
and make apt's configure script include a question "do you want to run
non-free software" and only add the appropriate line to
/etc/apt/sources.list if they say yes.

I think that in the interest of promoting free software over non-free,
we could have the non-free debs recommend free alternatives if they
exist so that dselect can show a package is non-free when the user is
selecting packages.  Or maybe dselect could just show the names of
non-free packages in red.  I'm not going to pretend that that won't be a
lot of work though.

Let people be aware when they're installing non-free stuff, but lets not
cripple debian's functionality.

jpb (not a developer but in the queue)
Joe Block <jpb@creol.ucf.edu>
CREOL System Administrator

Social graces are the packet headers of everyday life.

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