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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Fri, Jun 09, 2000 at 01:58:17AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:
> > Hurting people in blind pursuit of principles can be bad. In this case,
> > we're harming people who use and maintain non-free software, either by
> > making it somewhat harder to obtain the software or removing all the
> > considerable existing infrastructure that can currently be used to help
> > maintain non-free software.
> Debian is not about maintaining non-free software; why should the
> responsibility fall to us?  Let the people that worry about that do
> it.

According to the social contract Debian *is* about maintaining non-free

Why should the responsibility fall to us? Because we're good at
it. Because we have an existing userbase that appreciates it. Because
it enhances the value of our completely free distribution.

And, apart from the release-manager, only the people that do worry
about non-free software have to worry about it. You don't have to
keep maintaining your non-free packages if you don't want to, mirrors
don't have to mirror non-free if they don't want to, users don't have
to download, buy or use non-free software if they don't want to, BTS
maintainers don't have to do anything special to make the BTS work for
non-free software, autobuilders don't have to build non-free software.

I don't believe the ftp masters have to worry about installing non-free if
it annoys them, although perhaps we should get some non-free maintainers
to help if they are being unduly annoyed. The release manager has to
go out of his way to install packages into frozen/non-free which is
unfortunate, but is fixable. The CD people also go out of their way to
provide CDs with the non-free stuff on them, but I suspect that they
want to do that anyway. The security team also make announcements about
security problems with non-free software, but there's no reason for them
to stop if it bothers them all that much.

That is, again apart from Richard, the only people who have any reason to
worry about it are the ones that do care about it, right now.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG encrypted mail preferred.

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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