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Re: "Needs of users" vs. "Free software"

On Jun 14, Ben Armstrong wrote:
> I personally believe that if this is what keeping non-free in our archives
> is going to do to the project, than we had better dump it, and fast. Unity
> in the project is far more important than continuing to support non-free
> as a "favor" to our users.  It is not worth it.  It does nothing now but
> cause strife and division.  Each camp wants to portray the other either as
> "religiously fanatic free-software zealots" or "morally bankrupt non-free
> software lovers".  The whole issue has escalated from what should have
> been a simple correction to remove ambiguity from our goals into a
> full-scale nuclear war of words.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry. 

Let me get this straight: we should dump non-free because there are
people in Debian who want to keep it (and have the gall to speak up
for that position)?  This is the most irrational argument for this
proposal yet.

Yes, we'll fight about this proposal.  Maybe a few people will quit in
protest no matter what happens.  Personally, I think Anthony Towns'
proposal is a sound compromise, but it may not satisfy those (insert
inflammatory word here) who think that Debian-the-project should not
be in the business of hosting non-DFSG software in any shape or form.
I tend to agree with Jason Gunthorpe that non-free should be allowed
to die, not with a bang, but a whimper; at some point, nobody will
care about it any more, and that is a Good Thing.

Getting rid of non-free by fiat, though, will only piss people off
more.  Imagine what would have happened if the Cabal (TINC) had
decided to rm -rf dists/*/non-free on all of our servers.  We
certainly wouldn't be having a flamewar; instead, we'd probably not
have a project.  The bottom line is that have a process, and it should
be followed.  And then we each have to decide where we belong in
whatever situation comes out of this process.


P.S. The mailer you used to send the message to which this is a reply
is non-DFSG-free. ;-)

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