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Re: Let's not forget why many people use/contribute to Debian

On Sun, Jun 18, 2000 at 08:37:37AM +0000, Benedikt Eric Heinen wrote:
> > > Right and free are not the same things.  The GNU project wouldn't have gone
> > > anywhere if RMS decided to refuse to support proprietary platforms.
> > The effort of the GNU project allows to run free software on non-free
> > operating systems. This is good, because it allows that more people learn
> > about free software and use it.
> That part is OK, but you're just ignoring one thing: Just that
> people know emacs from a Windows platform won't make most people
> change to Linux.

This was not exactly my point. I grant you this observation, but I think
that at least he made a firts contact to free software, and one can start to
talk to this person about freedom.

If you really want to go into a discussion about free software advocacy,
well, I think that people should not be talked into a free operating system
because of the technical aspects (you can still do everything you used to
do), partly because it is not true (unix is very different from windows) and
partly because I feel the moral aspect about copying to be more important.

> It is more likely, that you can tempt someone into switching to
> Linux or another free OS, if the switch can go gradually. And - no -
> I would not for a second consider dual booting Windows [non-free
> world] and Linux [free world] as a GRADUAL change, because though
> the user can switch back and forth, he will only be in either the
> free or non-free world.

Of course. There are many technical things within free software we can do to
make it easier for our new users (better installation, easier setup ketc)
and they are done!

> > > I'm not against removing packages from non-free when there are free programs
> > > that do everything that the non-free ones do.  I'm against someone telling me
> > > Mozilla is "almost good enough so I have to use it" when I want to use
> > > Netscape.
> > Luckily, nobody will try to tell you what to use. Your objection has nothing
> > to do with the GR at hand.
> That's right - the GR at hand will not forbid to use Netscape. It
> will just make it more difficult to get a debianized Netscape or
> leave you alone trying to install Netscape (which is not much of a
> technical challenge for most people on the list; but still a
> nuisance to those of us using non-free software). And while
> techno-savvy people will not have much trouble with that, trying to
> win a newbie over to Linux will be a lot more difficult, once you
> tell him what is neccessary to install Netscape on Linux BY HAND.

There was a time where netscape was not even included in non-free, only a
installer was, and still, it could be found on the Debian CD image I got
from the vendor. Many vendors will still include a debianized netscape, and
many more packages, on a third add on CD. Of course there are a lot of users
who install over the internet, but I think those users also have some
experience in browsing the net and can find the unofficial Debian packages
of netscape in no time (every search engine should show them with the
keywords "debian netscape".

People are used to the procedure of downloading a file for installation.


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org Check Key server 
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    for public PGP Key 
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http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       brinkmd@debian.org

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