On Mon, Dec 03, 2001 at 06:14:04PM -0500, Dale Scheetz wrote: >> So I propose that anybody who likes goes back to support CYGWIN with >> dpkg and APT support, but under a neutral name. > I just don't get it. We support Windblows systems on several fronts in > Debian GNU/Linux. We deliver samba, who's only function is to provide > servers that Windblows recognizes. We deliver windows emulators so Linux > users can run proprietary M$ software on their otherwise free systems. :) I occasionally lend a hand to the Samba maintainer with that package, and I have written bits and pieces of code for inclusion in Samba. One of my own packages is FreeTDS, a database client library for connecting to MS SQL servers (and Sybase, also a proprietary database). The difference is, this kind of software running on Linux helps /supplant/ proprietary operating systems, for a net gain in freedom. Porting Debian to Win32 serves to /enhance/ a proprietary operating system; and it's an open question whether this actually results in a net gain in freedom. I'm aware there are /local/ gains in making cygwin available under Win32, which is why I don't disagree with the idea of porting dpkg to cygwin and basing a distribution on it; but I'm not confident that the /global/ effect is a positive one, so I can't endorse putting this on the same level with other Debian ports, or using the Debian name for it. > How is this any different from Debian providing support for free software > running on a proprietary OS? The provided software is free. Only the > target OS isn't. The result is that folks who couldn't use free software > before are now able to. Doesn't that "promote the use of free software"? The first thing that comes to people's minds when they think of 'Debian' is "free operating system". Many people believe there is value in this connotation. A port of Debian to win32 is /not/ a free operating system, it's a collection of free software running on a proprietary operating system. Using the same "Debian" name for both things would dilute this connotation. Is that what we, as a community, would want? Steve Langasek postmodern programmer  After "group of idiosyncratic, cantankerous jerks", that is; but hey, that's what makes us so loveable.
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