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My (less-then-important) personal position

On Wed, 14 Jun 2000, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> 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.

Kindly address the main point of the post and don't butcher it to only
respond to my personal position.  My personal position is of very little
relevance.  The lunacy over pitting free software vs. the needs of the
users is what I wanted to focus on.  I regret now even stating what I
believed personally. 

> 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.

Sure, whatever.  If it dies slowly instead of quickly, that might work. 
Its continued presence is doing nothing but harm to the project.  If it
needs to be done gradually instead of all at once to "protect" people from
the inevitable, well then, so be it.  I don't want to quibble about
implementation.  I just worry that dragging it out means dragging out the
debate, that's all.

If, on the other hand, you can see a way to keep non-free around for a
while yet without making this debate drag on forever, and without further
expenditure of Debian's time which would better be served in focusing on
producing free software *to meet the needs of our users* I'm all ears.

> 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.

I don't think I ever suggested it be done without following the process.

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

[ Aha!  So perhaps I don't fit your mould of "free software zealot"?  Hm,
funny then, why should I support the GR? :)  Fact is, I'm lazy, and my
conversion to mutt has been a difficult and drawn-out thing summarized
in one phrase: "old habits die hard" ... i've been a pine user for about
seven years. ]

Oh, and by the way.  If the GR passes, I'll stay with the project.  If the
GR doesn't pass, I'll stay with the project.  It really isn't that

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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