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Re: Clarifications

Martin Keegan <mk270@cam.ac.uk> writes:

> John Goerzen <jgoerzen@complete.org> writes:
> > 4. Debian was created with the cause of creating a free operating
> > system.  So says our Constitution.  Distributing non-free software
> > falls outside that definition, and the spirit of our organization.
> I'd *thought* that the spirit of the organisation was summed up by
> the Social Contract as it now stands. What you're suggesting flies
> utterly in the face of s4, which says that not only "Free Software",
> but "Our Users" are the priorities.

Why do you assume that our users will be hurt by removing non-free
from the FTP site?  Remember that the distribution does not contain
non-free now.  As this is software not in our distribution, but yet we
put it on our FTP sites, it is no more than miscellany that ought to
be expunged.

> The proposal to remove non-free from Debian (and hence, AIUI, from
> the normal archive) will have a deleterious effect on the users, and


> > 5. Not distributing non-free software does not mean that non-free
> > software cannot be easily used in Debian.
> Debian's apt-get is complicit in making software a LOT easier to discover
> and install. That is also makes non-free software a lot easier to install
> seems to have caused quite a few ructions.

The fact that apt makes it easy is one reason that the proposal can go
forth.  All people need to do is update their sources.list files and
things will still work.

> Except Section 4, that thing about the Users.
> "We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free-software
>      community. We will place their interests first in our priorities."
> Oh look! It wasn't "Our Users" and "Free Software". It was "our users and
> the free software *community*" [my emphasis]. The proposed change injures
> the interests both of the users (through having a more difficult system
> to use) and those of the free software community, which will have to live
> with an impoverished Debian system and the political flak from this
> decision.

The Debian system does not contain non-free now.  How many times do I
have to repeat this?  The Debian system does not contain non-free.

You say it "injures" users but you don't say how.  You say it injures
the Free Software community because of an "impoverished" Debian
system, and yet the Debian system would not change.  You also fail to
recognize that users of the Debian system do not necessarily use
non-free, as it is not a part of the Debian system.  And you fail to
recognize that getting non-free software elsewhere is trivially.

> > 10. The Social Contract is not intended to be, nor can it be,
> > immutable.
> I don't believe it was intended to be easily and quickly mutable, either,

Which is why we are having this discussion now.

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