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Goals vs. Strategies (was Re: Removing non-free)

According to Joseph Carter:
> The issue I see, the strongest issue, is that I have witnessed
> Debian developers flat out saying that Debian distributes non-free
> software and should expand these efforts rather than try to curtail
> them.  This sort of thing from Debian DEVELOPERS who have all agreed
> to stand by the social contract and DFSG is truly disheartening.

Even though the Social Contract specifies the promotion and use of
free software as our shared ideal and _goal_, there are *honest* and
*intelligent* (but not, necessarily, correct) reasons for advocating
and pursuing a _variety_ of strategies toward that end.

This shouldn't be surprising; the symptoms of this strategic variety
are everywhere.  One symptom is choice of advocacy terms: 'Open
Source' and/or 'free software', 'Linux' vs. 'GNU/Linux', etc.

Another symptom is what you are observing: There is willingness, even
eagerness, among some Debian developers to facilitate the use of
*certain* non-free software in accord with *certain* Debian policies
... but **ALWAYS** with the intention of drawing and keeping users
with Debian, under the assumption that keeping users as non-free
withers is simply *smarter* than driving them away via loss of
non-free utility.  You may disagree with them pragmatically, but it's
unnecessarily destructive to question their commitment to the goal.

(Besides, I think maybe you have unrealistic expectations of a
political document like the Social Contract.  You can't expect its
most 'obvious' interpretation to be shared by everyone.  Each of its
points are compromises between those who would strengthen it and those
who would weaken it.  So, unless you're an outlier, there will always
be Debian developers who are less interested than you in immediately
pursuing X for any X.)
Chip Salzenberg              - a.k.a. -              <chip@valinux.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
    but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early."  // MST3K

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