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Re: My (less-then-important) personal position

On Wed, 14 Jun 2000, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> I don't think it's an "either-or" thing.  Free software is great, but
> we should also service the needs of our users.  Personally, I think we
> do a good job of providing a free system that can be augmented by
> various packages that fail the DFSG, but that we keep around because
> (a) users want them and (b) developers are willing to maintain them.

hm.  i'm not so sure.  if the "needs of our users" included a crack habit,
would i feel i needed to service that need too?  ok, so my example was a
bit to extreme extreme. >:)  i do believe there has to be *focus* though. 
we decide what we're good at, and then focus on that.  not *every* need of
the user needs to be served directly by Debian.

> Can we serve our users with only free software?  Yes.  But we can
> serve them better by providing some additional software.  Personally,
> I'd rather people use Debian with 1-6 non-free additional packages
> they get from us than have them buy from Corel or Stormix, ending up
> with some hodgepodge of free and non-free software.  Without those 1-6
> packages (different for everyone ;-), a lot of people won't use
> Debian.  I think we can sacrifice a bit of purity for some acceptance
> in the domain of Linux users (heaven forbid I use a word like
> "marketplace"... that might sound like PR.  ;-)

I don't come to the same conclusion as you about not having those 1-6
non-free addtional packages.  I have tried additional software from
non-Debian sources, both in .deb and tarball formats (actually, some even
in .rpm format).  Some of it was free, and some non-free.  The fact that I
had to go outside of Debian to try it out doesn't make me any
less-inclined to want to use Debian.  OK, perhaps I'm not a "typical" 
user (whatever that is).  But I fail to see how "the marketplace" in the
"age of the Internet" would be any different.  Must your entire system be
installable off a single set of CDs?  I think by now people are used to
obtaining software from a variety of sources, and so this argument that
"people won't use Debian if it doesn't contain non-free" (and it doesn't
anyway ... that's just an illusion) just doesn't hold water.

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