[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Thu, Jun 08, 2000 at 08:29:38PM -0500, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> I do NOT understand how anyone
> can dispute the statement, "Non-free is not part of Debian" who
> understands what Debian is about.

Any-who? I thought this was about disputing the statements in section
5 of the Social Contract... 

> 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
> John's.

The fact that this has happened means this is a flamefest....

> > 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.

I'm sure there a lot of Mainteners advocating, but at least this is
not a goal described in the Social Contract (as I read it)

And is advocating about saying "Debian is 100% Free" or telling to
people why it's better to use Free Software, and why Mozilla is
morally better than Netscape ?.

Note that for me the word "advocating" as a connotation of defending
political or philosophical views. And I don't see such a connotation
in the goals described in the SC. I see a technical solution that
support the free software movement.

> > 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.

They are "beyond our help" while the SC say you have to "support our
users who develop and run non-free software on Debian"

That's the problem I was pointing at. People who want to use non-free
software in Debian will not be helped by Debian anymore.

It will perhaps be clearer to them, but not technically better or easier.

> 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.

I disagree. Non-free packages in Debian are classified as such. There
is a risk they won't be anymore. It's clear for me enought.

>  The mere act
> of changing sources.list should make this clear.

It's only a one time change. I may not remind it very long. Better
have a "You're installing non-free package xxx, are you sure?" or some
sort of vrms plugin in apt if you really want to educate users.

And we already have to specify 'non-free' in the source.list. So don't
make it the default. Or let the user choose which of main, contrib and
non-free they want when configuring the source.list. and warn him
that is not doing "The Right Thing".

I think that to reach Debian you already have to be in the Free
Software Community. It was clear for me at least when I came to

I think that showing Disclaimers in the install process is probably 
a better way to educate users that have chosen Debian by chance.
Or requiring that copies of the Social Contract and DFSG are printed 

Put a note in the Release Notes and in the Install Guide, or proclam
it on every TV show so that you will be sure it's clear to all.

Another way to do is to say that those who want to use non-free software
won't have support from Debian.

There are other ways.

(I think)


Fabrice Gautier

Reply to: