Do Not Shoot Yourself
On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Adam McKenna wrote:
> Anyway, I don't believe Debian started distributing this "non-free" software
> for the good of the authors, or as a favor to corporations. We are
> distributing it for the good of our users, to make their lives easier and to
> (help) assure quality and security.
And to help them to support the idea of a free operating system, which
debian stands for. If these packages are removed, I won't be able to
suggest Debian, if someone asks for an dsitribution. If there is no easy
way to install not-perfectly-free packages, (And with easy I mean, that
all fits together and vendors can easily profide it one the same set of
CDs), than this person would be lost for Linux for at least the next three
For this reason, I see no really importent difference between removing
non-free and supporting Microsoft directly.
When this loss comes true, there will nothing been won. I don't belive,
that anyone will change a licence to make that program go into debian any
more, because debian will only be used by very less people.
People won't use free replacements for non-free, they will change to a
distribution with only more non-free, because debian-users have a reason
to use them. Most linux and especially debian users like free packages
more than others and will use them, if they fullfit their needs, so they
will use them further, till the free replacement ist useable.
I don't think debian will have more resources to work on free software,
when this resultion becomes reality. It will have less users testing the
free software. It will have less developing time for free packages,
because those, who package non-free packages have a reason for it and will
need more time in future. A non-free package, which has an free
replacement, is in the current way of doing things, only kept, if it makes
not work, the maintainer likes it more than the free replacement, or if
the replacement is still not developed enough to replace it.
In the last two sitiations, it will also make peope to make .deb's for it,
even if they are not on debian-sites. And in the first situation, debian
would one win little amount on disk space in the "new" concept.
So there is nothing to be won (except a totally free system, which can
already be get by mirroring only the main), and lots of things to be
lost. Therefor, how bad the idea of a split may be, but if debian drops
non-free, then I see no other possibility than to support the foundation
of a debian II. (And if it only was to give some of my littly money).
Bernhard R. Link