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

On Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 01:12:07AM -0400, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> writes:
> > so ignore non-free. you don't have to dirty yourself with it if you
> > don't want to. be as pure as you like, but don't force your "morality"
> > on everyone else.
> Currently there are three things that the current situation fails to
> do correctly.  I would appreciate it if you could directly address
> these three problems and describe the concrete steps you would like to
> see taken to avoid them in the future.  If I heard some concrete ideas
> for fixing these problems, my support for the GR would probably
> vanish.

firstly, i don't think that these "problems" that you describe are worth
losing any sleep over. but to make you happy, i'll respond to your

> 1) Currently many poeple (as evinced by this very flame war) think

i didn't get that impression at all. i've seen one or maybe two people
make that mistake. i've also seen a few people who are for the proposal
trying to make it seem like what you are saying is correct.

>    that non-free is part of Debian.  How can we prevent the average
>    new user from getting this impression?  (One idea, for example,
>    would be to include vrms by default on all new installations.  I'm
>    not sure that's the right way to do it, but it's one thing that
>    might work.)

currently many people believe all sorts of stupid and incorrect things.  

who cares?

this needs a magic wand to fix properly. we don't have one. nobody
has one...and even if we had one, it wouldn't make any difference in
the long run as the next generation will be born just as stupid and
error-prone as the current one. people aren't very smart, accept that
fact and move on to something important, something it's possible to

> 2) Bugs in the interactions between main and non-free might hold up a
>    release.  This should never be allowed to happen, a release of
>    Debian should never have to wait for something in non-free.

no, that can never happen. non-free can't hold up the release either
directly or indirectly - nothing in main depends on anything in
non-free, and non-free isn't part of the release.

> 3) We all agree that we should try to move to a place where non-free
>    is necessary, I think: we all agree that non-free is an unfortunate
>    reality; there are many things available only in non-free that are
>    not in main which are important to many users (including, I repeat,
>    me).  We should provide some kind of back-pressure to avoid the
>    twin evils of author's releasing softare which is non-free
>    ("because it doesn't really matter; Debian will take it anyway")
>    and nobody taking the initiative to make the free alternatives
>    really work ("because everyone can get the non-free one and it's
>    good enough").

encourage people to work on and use free alternatives. sponsor work on
free alternatives.

well, whaddaya know? we already do this. good. we can do some more.

non-free will go away of it's own accord when it's no longer necessary
- i.e. when no developer feels any need to package or maintain any
non-free software. until then, there is irrefutable evidence of the need


craig sanders

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