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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 02:35:31AM +0200, Fabrice Gautier wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 08, 2000 at 05:41:21PM -0500, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> > 
> > Then why have a gajillion people replied to this proposal by begging
> > us not to "remove Netscape from Debian"?
> Maybe because they didn't chose the right words, their concern
> being "don't remove Netscape debs from your archive because either
> those debs will disappear or they will not be as good as those
> currently in non-free and may give my installation poorer quality".

The right words?  Didn't you read Adam's post I was replying to?  John
basically asserted that Netscape WAS NOT part of Debian, and Adam
essentially replied, "Yes it is!"

I understand that people are concerned about Netscape debs not being
easily available or well-maintained.  I do NOT understand how anyone
can dispute the statement, "Non-free is not part of Debian" who
understands what Debian is about.  The fact that this has happened
indicates that we are not getting the message out, and that perhaps
some measures must be taken to correct this - measures such as

> Maybe they don't think that Debian's goal is advocating for
> free-software but rather allowing user to put in practice what they
> learned from free-software advocacy. I think this is in this way Debian
> help the Free Software community allowing them to use a free system as
> free as They want. (but not as free as Debian want).

If they don't think that Debian has advocacy as a goal, they are
simply mistaken.

The form of that advocacy may be an open question, but our place in
the free software community places the fact of advocacy beyond

> > If it isn't packaged, it won't matter; either way, they'll have to
> > install it themselves.  If the user is interested in packaging it and
> > submitting it to Debian for inclusion, (s)he will have to go through
> > new-maintainer, at which point the user should be thoroughly educated
> > as to the difference and why it matters
> User won't be interrested in packaging! They are users. They will
> install it, and maybe break their installation.
> My concern is in the case users find others apt (or simply debs)
> repositories.  For the moment i think that in fact Debian have almost
> all the control over .deb package. Except the KDE Debs archive the
> only place you can find apt-getable debs is the Debian
> archives. (There also i guess some repository for commercial
> distributions, but there is no confusion possible with Debian in those case)
> Look at the KDE debs archive, clueless users may think this may be an
> official location. With others sites like this, it will be easier for
> user to get lost. Those sites may not put their packages with a
> non-free section. Now a user find a apt-getable site with, for
> example, netscape debs and jdk debs. He add a line in his apt
> sources.list to keep in sync with the updated versions of those
> packages. If this site have only a main section all the non-free
> packages will be with free package in dselect or aptitude.
> Look at KDE debs archives again. KDE2 debs are not in Debian not because
> they aren't DFSG compliant but because there is a colision between two DFSG
> compliant licences. How to make the difference between non-free
> packages staying around?
> While for the moment Debian have the power to label non-free packages
> as non-free, keeping them in a sort of jail, it may lost this power be
> letting them go into the void. A cool thing is that i don't need to
> read every licence when install a Debian package. I know if it's DFSG
> compliant or not looking at the section.

Users who add other apt repositories besides our recommended ones are
beyond our help in this regard, whether we nuke non-free or not.

As for non-free apt repositories that aren't clearly non-free: Every
Debian package has a Copyright field which the user can look at to
determine the licensing if they like.  If it becomes a problem that
lots of people omit it when they package stuff, we could put code in
dpkg that throws a fit if the Copyright field is missing.
Alternately, we could have apt give more information about what
archives packages are coming from, so as to make a clearer distinction
between official Debian packages and others.

Whatever happens, if non-free were not on Debian servers, it would be
much more clear that non-free were not a part of Debian.  The mere act
of changing sources.list should make this clear.

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