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Re: Clarifications

John Goerzen <jgoerzen@complete.org> wrote:

>> This sounds very inconsequent to me.  On the one hand you plan to
>> completely ban non-free software from our archives, on the other
>> hand you offer to use the BTS, the upload queues, the
>> developer-keyring,...

> I do not support those.  I merely offer the olive branch as a
> compromise to the more hard-line people on the other side.

But isn't the current situation (non-free is not part of the Debian
distribution, but Debian maintainers are allowed to use the Debian
resources to support non-free software) a good compromise between
supporting non-free packages in the distribution on the one hand and
completely ban non-free packages on the other hand?

>> You also wrote, that you want to keep contrib on the Debian
>> servers, where most packages will be uninstallable, because the
>> dependencies cannot fulfilled.

> I did not write that I want to keep most packages installable.

You didn't write this, but it would be the consequence.  Have a look
at lyx for example.  This package depends on libforms0.89, which is in
non-free.  You want to remove libforms0.89 from the archive, so lyx
becomes unusable.  Okay, there could be some archive with libforms0.89
elsewhere, but how do I know, that this archive provides the
libforms0.89 package, which is needed by lyx?  Try to combine RPM
packages from different RPM based distributions and you know what
problems I'm talking about.  So all packages in contrib, which
currently depend on non-free packages, will be uninstallable because
of broken dependencies if your GR is accepted.

> I also am unsure that I want to keep contrib around indefinately.
> This GR does not touch contrib.

That's the point: Your argumentation is only based on the naughty
commercial packages in non-free, but you try to circumvent the
problems with other packages which may be useful.  So you don't talk
about removing contrib and you think about continue to use the BTS for
IMHO this isn't a compromise but it is propaganda for your GR to hide
the drawbacks.

>> nothing will change.  But I don't see how the BTS can be used by
>> packages, which aren't handled by Debian (why doesn't the BTS
>> handle reports for the KDE packages now?).

> It could if Debian wanted it to.  Perhaps it would be useful for the
> transition.  Perhaps not.

But this should be clarified _before_ voting on the GR, because it may
be influence someone's vote.

>> And don't forget: All intended and implied changes consume human
>> power.  Human power, which IMHO could be better used to support
>> free software instead of engrave principles in stone...

> Weak argument, human power is being used to support non-free
> software now.

You told us, that removing non-free from the archive doesn't mean,
that non-free software becomes unavailable.  This IMHO means, that the
maintainers of non-free software will continue to spend (little) time
on non-free software without any change.  The only change will be,
that it costs more time to do this, because a second archive have to
be installed, a second BTS has to be installed, a second mirror
hierarchy has to be founded,...
It's only one line to add to apt/sources.list (for every single
user!), but it means more time consuming parts for every maintainer of
non-free packages.

At least my try to catch the arguments in this discussion took much
time, which I could spend more useful.



 * roland@spinnaker.de * http://www.spinnaker.de/ *

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