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Re: Debian GNU/w32, may ready to be started?


There have been some complains about the Debian GNU/w32 port.

In my opinion, these are not justifications to stop the project and cancel
its work. I will attempt to explain my point on them:

Florian Weimer writes:
> Has RMS accepted "GNU/w32"?  I guess he won't like it...

I don't think RMS will pronounce about the name for the port
of Debian and GNU software to cygwin. And it'd be very unlikely
that the FSF opposes to the port. The GNU folks are currently
supporting the run of GNU software on M$ platforms.

For example: they ported GCC to DOS and win32, they sell precompiled
GNU software for windows, and books on the same subject, etc.

Andrew Suffield writes:
> On Sun, Nov 25, 2001 at 12:14:09AM +0100, Robert Millan wrote:
> > The port name was agreed to be 'w32' last time when A Menucc1 posted
> about
> > it.
> For definitions of "agreed" which don't include "consensus", I
> guess. I saw a lot of argument, then somebody declared that it would
> be 'w32'.

It was Menucc1 (the main person working on it that time) who declared the
name to be 'w32'. There were lots of complains about personnal likes,
and a few complains about legal problems.

Names with legal problems were discarded, and it was obvious that a
consensus based on personal liking was impossible... unless of course
a votation is made. Although I'm not a Debian Developer, thus without right
vote, i don't have any problem in a votation on the name for the cygwin
port to be made.

Please go forward with it if you feel that 'w32' is an ugly name: propose a
and explain your reasons to Mark Paulus <mpaulus78@earthlink.net>, who's
working on a base system with 'w32' as a name at the moment.

> > There aren't any licensing, DFSG-compliance or policy problems, 
> How nice of you to tell us all that, where did you get your law
> degree?

I didn't, i'm rather ignorant on laws subject. My point was just quoted
from Menucc1.

If you find any legal problem with building software for the
platform, composed entirely of free software, please explain it here.

> Alternatively, post the link to the discussion on debian-legal about
> it...

I was unaware of the existance of a discussion on debian-legal, and i'm
unable to find it. Could you please post the link?

> > This port is meant to run on any win32 implementation. Some win32
> > implementations are free (wine, reactos), others are not (microsoft).
> Wine is blatantly contrived as an excuse to do this, since running a
> win32 port of Debian under wine under some linux-gnu based system is
> rather absurd. I was not aware that reactos was anywhere near useable
> quality.

I don't think this is a blatant excuse, it's just an example that marks the
difference between building software for a nonfree implementation of a
platform (which is impossible) and building software for the platform

For example: POSIX is a platform standard. There are free implementations
of POSIX like GNU/Linux and there are nonfree ones like UNIX.

And I don't find it absurd. Using wine is a desirable alternative for
porters who
want to help on the GNU/w32 port but don't like using nonfree platforms
to accomplish it.

As a free software advocate, I'd prefer windows users to use our free
than all the crappy nonfree software that is present for the windows

And most of the windows users i've spoken to wouldn't migrate to a free
without the following accomplishments:

- full binary compatibility
- driver support for every hardware device in the market

which are two goals we will reach some day but are not true as of now.

since some people will surely keep on windows for a lot of time, why not
competing with windows nonfree applications on their own terrain?

once microsoft has established asf as the standard video format, msn as the
standard messaging network, IE-optimised as the standard html format, lit
as the standard ebook format, what is the point on using a
operating system, given any technical advantages it may have?


Robert Millan          Debian GNU/Hurd user
zeratul2 wanadoo es    http://getyouriso.dyndns.org/
237F 8688 C2E5 BC64 E152  97B4 FB28 D41B C8D6 942C

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