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

On Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 02:09:17AM -0400, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> writes:
> > why? while i think that vrms is a good and useful piece of software,
> > i can also see that those who don't approve of it would see it as
> > irritating nag-ware. i don't see any need to spam our users by
> > automatically installing software that nags them with a moralising
> > message.
> > 
> > if people choose to install it, that's fine. if not, then it's spamware.
> > 
> > (the obvious response "just tell people to uninstall it of they don't
> > like it" deserves about as much respect as "this is not spam, click here
> > to unsubscribe")
> You are forgetting context here.
> You claimed there was no advantage to removing non-free.
> I listed three, one of which was to make sure users understood that
> non-free was not part of Debian, and invited you to suggest other
> methods of acheiving that result.

if you'll recall my response, i disputed that this was a problem worthy
of wasting any time on.

> You said it was impossible, and I listed two.  

what, precisely, did i say was impossible? try reading what i wrote. the
things you listed do nothing to solve human stupidity.

sorry, but you're going to have to try harder than that if you want to
try trapping me in silly socratic arguments (aka strawman arguments that
really only work on those too naive to see them coming).  

in any case, you screwed up. you sprung the trap way too soon, you have
to maintain the tone of innocent enquiry until there is no possibility
of escape. try practicing on someone dumb.

> Now you say it's "nagware".

that's because it is. your solution to a non-problem is worse than the
supposed problem.

> Well, yes it is, 

glad you admit it.

> but it is also possible.  

no it isn't. debian should not - MUST not - spam our own users. it is
not possible to do because to do so would be spam and hence unethical.

> But there is still a problem: that users don't know that non-free is
> not part of Debian, and everything is organized to make it easy for
> them to make that mistake.

look, if they can't read what's in front of them then they're never
going to learn. give it up as a lost cause....you're already way too far
into the land of diminishing returns.

> > > Only put `main' in the default sources.list.
> >
> > why?
> >
> > non-free software won't go away just by pretending it doesn't exist.
> > sticking your head in the sand (and worse, forcing everyone else's
> > head into the sand with you) wont help at all.
> But that's not the goal, again, please remember the context.

i do remember the context. it is you who are attempting to create an
artificial context for your socratic argument.

the context is that some people want to hide the fact that free software
exists, and believe that they can achieve that goal by removing the
non-free section from debian archives.

it won't work.  it can't work.

> If you can't keep track of context from one post to the next, you
> should cast your vote and leave the debating to others.

please. i haven't been teenager for nearly 15 years. your style of
argument wouldn't have worked on me even when i was 13 anyway, it's
really not that difficult to see through.

> The reason to remove non-free from the default sources is not to
> "pretend it doesn't exist" but to make sure that users know that
> non-free is not part of Debian.  

if they don't know it by now, they're never going to learn it. stop
wasting your energy on a fruitless effort.

> > > It could be that I'm still confused, so if you would write more on
> > > this issue it would help me.
> > 
> > there are dependancies from non-free to main, but none from main to
> > non-free. nothing in main may ever depend on anything outside of main -
> > that's part of the definition of main.
> Are we allowed to remove things in main which are only used by
> non-free, and are no longer useful outside that context?

preferably not but i doubt if policy mentions it, so if anyone wanted to
indulge in such pettiness i expect it would be possible - at least until
someone repackaged the item in question.

if you care so much about free software, then why are you expending
so much energy on non-free? go find something useful to do, there are
hundreds of free software projects which could benefit from your zeal
and enthusiasm.


craig sanders

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