Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free
>Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 19:56:49 -0400
>From: Adam McKenna <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free
>On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 06:46:11PM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
>> How many times do I have to repeat it.
>> DEBIAN DOES NOT INLCUDE NON-FREE NOW.
>There's no need to yell. BTW I'm on the list. So CC'ing me is not required.
>> There is NO CHANGE to our distribution by accepting this proposal.
>> The change is, at worst, to the archive and a few sources.lists.
>A change in the "distribution" is exactly what you are proposing. By
>definition, a "distribution" is the set of packages that we "distribute". If
>we are going to stop "distributing" the packages in non-free, then by
>definition, our "distribution" will be changed.
>I really can't see what motive you could possibly have for your proposal.
>The proposal will make it harder for developers to package "non-free"
>software, and harder for our users to use it. That might be enough to
>convince some developers that their time is better spent elsewhere, and it
>may convince some users that the shrink-wrap-packaged, all-inclusive distros
>are really the way to go instead of going with the technically superior
>product that debian is. Is that what you really want?
It would seem to me that as a user and developer of free-software there
are a few solid arguments for the continued inclusion for the non-free
software, despite conflicts with the DFSG (Debian Free Software
1) Some non-free packages have been placed in the section for reasons
that do not contradict the spirit of the DSC (Debian Social Contract)
2) Some non-free packages are necessary in bootstrapping free software
projects until free alternatives become available. (e.g. Qt)
3) Some non-free packages are of direct use to the community and are
under licenses which are not in the spirit of the DSC, but allow for 'in
spirit use' under many circumstances. I am thinking here of packages
like SNNS which has commercial restrictions.
4) There are real-world pragmatic reasons for accepting the use of
non-free packages until free versions are available to fill the niches.
The reality is, to create usable systems which provide all the services
that a user may want, the use of non-free software directly supports the
free software movement. To expand: If we want to follow the terms of (4)
in the DSC, we must support the use of free software, the development of
free software, and the growth of free software. To this end, we must
accept that non-free and commercial uses will be included in this end.
If we deny the need for access (and more importantly, compatibility and
stability) to the non-free packages we directly contradict these views.
The promotion of the free-software includes providing reasons for people
to move into the free software community. As we enlarge the offerings of
the free-software community we will be able to slowly eliminate the need
for non-free offerings. In the mean time, it seems to me that removing
the non-free packages would be a direct blow the usability of the Debian
system and therefore a blow to the goals of encouraging the use of 100%
free software in the long run.
5) Unless there are dependencies from the main sections into the
non-free section, no conflicts have been created. This is easy to avoid.
> 4. Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software
> We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free-software community.
We will place
> their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our
> operation in many different kinds of computing environment. We won't object
> software that is intended to run on Debian systems, and we'll allow others
to create value-
> us. To support these goals, we will provide an integrated system of
high-quality, 100% free
> software, with no legal restrictions that would prevent these kinds of use.
The goal is to have a complete system which adheres to the DFSG, until
then we should have one which works towards that goal while remaining
true to the DSC.
Just my two bits.
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