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

On Wed, Jun 14, 2000 at 08:40:51PM +0000, Ben Armstrong wrote:

> i do believe there has to be *focus* though. we decide what we're     
> good at, and then focus on that.                                      

that is precisely the point of the whole flamewar. we *have* a focus,
we've had one for years - providing the best and most free operating
system possible.

what is happening now is that a small group of extremists are trying
to hijack the project's focus and exclude everyone and everything that
offends their personal morality.

> 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?

his argument didn't depend on CDs. the point was that having to hunt
for various packages, retrieving them from multiple sources of variable
quality and unknown adherence to policy standards will be enough to
drive people away to some more convenient distribution.

> 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.

for users of other dists that is true. debian users are much more used
to the idea of debian being a fairly "complete" operating system, where
they can find pretty nearly everything they might need or want from the
one trusted, high-quality source.

that, in fact, is the source of many new debian developers - they find
something that nobody has packaged yet, package it themselves, and
apply to become a maintainer so that their work becomes part of the
distribution. that's the custom in debian, and one of the factors that
helps us to have a very high quality system.


craig sanders

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