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

tb@MIT.EDU (Thomas Bushnell, BSG) writes:

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

This is being discussed elsewhere in this flamefest, so I'll not start
that thread again here.
> 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.

Indeed - the release manager should pull non-free packages that break
main packages if necessary
> 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").

We do this by convincing people that free software is a good thing in
its own right - that's quite a paradigm shift for some of the people I
know, and it takes time and patience to do so. 

Also there's evangelism by example - I'm working on a free browser for

This is the way to persuade people to work on free alternatives -
persuade them of why non-free software is bad; giving the impression
of fanaticism won't convince anyone - it'll scare them off.


"At least you know where you are with Microsoft."
"True. I just wish I'd brought a paddle."

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