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Re: Anarchism package



On Wed, Nov 15, 2000 at 03:39:08AM +0200, Eray Ozkural wrote:
> Yep, debian already has the bible and dictionaries.
[snip]
> So what?? I don't think that developers must have the final verdict on 
> what is useful for users in at least such cases.
[snip]
> My resolution: remove all this mumbo jumbo from debian (bible, quran, 
> anarchism, .*ism) etc. And keep the really useful ones like the dictionary.

The only problem with this otherwise well-thoughout resoultion is that
you are advocating the favoring of popular religions. Believe it or
not, the bible would be considered a useful package by many people (I
know more than one fundamentalist Christian who uses Debian). Since it
could hypothetically be decided that the KJV Bible is of more use to
users than the religious texts of some other minority religion, this
would cause your "keep the really useful ones" philosophy to include
religious texts only if many users "felt they were useful", i.e. wanted,
them, i.e. believed in the religion. So, this would mean that only
major religions could have their texts included in Debian if we went
with your resolution.

What it all comes down to is who decides what is useful. If it's the
users, then the above paragraph about unfairness to minorities applies.
If it is the developer that does the upload, you end up with the very
situation we have now which you are trying to correct.

However, as a counterargument to my earlier "discrimination against
minorities" claim, Debian discriminates against minorities all the
time by software that is generally useful to majorities. For example,
most of the software in Debian GNU/Linux is not designed to be used by
blind people. This is debatably good, since if all software was
designed to be used by the blind it would be awfully boring and
significantly decrease what it would offer to a non-blind end user.
BUT, there is nothing that prevents developers from uploading
blind-friendly software. If we were to go with your resolution of only
allowing packages that were "useful", it would be very possible that
software for blind people would be disallowed.

Not like I'm taking any side... Ideally, a GNU/Linux distribution
would contain software, but it seems that documentation is necessary
too. You could extend this so far as to say that the documentation
does not need to relate directly to the software, for example the
dictionary. But by these criteria, something like the bible is
acceptable as a package if a large number of users consider it useful.

Either way, it seems that policy on what can and cannot be packaged
would clear up the situation and possibly prevent future flamewars.

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