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Re: sid: libc6-2.2.5-4 kills vmware workstation 3.0

On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 10:40:41PM +0200, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 08:16:07PM +0100, Stephen Stafford wrote:

> I just say the consequences of that choice, that is you're having
> problems with an old version and you don't have the freedom to fix
> that.
> > >From reading this thread, it looks to me almost as if you would advocate a
> > system whereby Debian refused to run any non-free software at all.
> s/refused/discouraged/ and I would agree. Isn't the goal of Debian
> providing a free system so users don't have to run any non-free
> software anymore? IMHO the "we support non-free software" clause was
> only temporary, when there are free alternatives for the non-free
> software we could drop the support of non-free software. I feel the
> time has come to drop it.

Then that is where we differ.  That is NOT what I see the goal of Debian as
being.  The goal of Debian (from where I stand at least) is to offer people
the *choice* of running free software if they want to.  If they *choose* to
run non-free software (either instead or as well) then they should have that
*choice*.  This is enshrined in the Social Contract.  If at some point this
changes then I will re-evaluate my position.  I suspect I will not be the
only one.

> > The free alternatives to VMware are not really all that good at all I am
> > afraid.  Development on plex86 has pretty much died since Kevin changed
> > jobs.  bochs was never really an alternative at all, its aims are somewhat
> > different.
> True, but plex86 development is going to continue, subscribe to the
> list if you want to get informed on everything.

I have been a lurker on the plex86 list for roughly 2 years.

> > VMware might be non-free, but it is damn good.  
> I think for the price of a license you can better buy a nice
> second-hand computer. I'm sure that will a damn bit better!! (I
> actually use this method, with an old computer I got for free beer)

That is your *choice*.  I *choose* to run VMware instead.  Please do not
seek to restrict my freedom.

> > When a libc6 change breaks
> > it, then asking why is not *ever* a bad thing.  Expecting changes in libc6
> > to not break things is sensible.  If it does break stuff then we should look
> > at why.
> We looked at it. We saw it wasn't libc's fault.

But you can see why people might be forgiven for thinking it was?  An
unversioned change that breaks lots of stuff?  I think that looking to ask
questions to libc6 is not at all unreasonable.

> > If it turns out that the breakage is unavoidable, or serves a greater good
> > then fine.  I don't really understand this case well enough to know if that
> > is the case or not.  The breakage is/was deemed necessary by the libc6
> > maintainer (presumably) and I tend towards trusting Ben's judgement.
> It's not really breakage, it's fixing a bug. The programs which now
> break were buggy, I don't see why there should be any support for
> that. Instead, the programs should get fixed

Programs which were not broken suddenly break and the reason they break is
because a bug was fixed??  Forgive me for finding this a hard thing to
understand.  I accept that it might be (probably is) true.  But it isn't
even close to obvious, or intuitive.

> > Your "advocacy" looks like so much wind and piss in all honesty.  You do no
> > favours either to yourself or to the free software movement by it.  You look
> > and sound like a rabid, unthinking, kneejerking moron.  That is usually a
> > description reserved for RMS :)
> I already said people compare me with RMS and I take it as a
> compliment. Actually, there are people who can work with me (Yes,
> really!), there are also enough people who can work with
> RMS. Personally I never worked with RMS or discussed with him, but I
> don't think I would have big problems with that. I never see why
> everybody just say that RMS and GNU are bad.

I don't say that GNU and RMS are bad.  I *do* say that rabid and stupid
looking kneejerk reactions are bad, make you look bad, and make free
software look bad.

> > Seriously examine what it is that you are saying.  What it looks like to me
> > (at least, probably others too) is "You run non-free software, so fuck off,
> > we hate you, we hate your mother, we hate your sister's cat.  Go whinge to
> > the people who made the non-free software, because they should have forseen
> > when they wrote their software a couple of years ago that we were going to
> > break it."
> This want not meant so, I already apologized about that. Do I have to
> do more?
> > When I joined Debian I did so with the understanding that "Our priorities
> > are our users and free software".  Free software is not served at all by
> > your silly rants, and our users are definitely not served by firstly having
> > the software they *choose* to run break, and secondly being insulted and
> > belittled by you for making that choice.  
> True, the best way would have been that they didn't have to run
> non-free software. That's one of the reasons I'm subscribed to the
> plex86 mailinglist. This case actually shows that it is very important
> that plex86 development will continue. It convinced me to put some
> energy in the plex86 project soon.

No, you *again* TOTALLY miss the point.  I don't *HAVE* to run non-free
software.  I *CHOOSE* to.  Expect me to spit and snarl as soon as you even
LOOK like restricting my choices in those matters.  I run non-free software,
in the case of VMware, because it is better than the free alternatives by
several orders of magnitude.  The free alternative (and there really is only
one), plex86 isn't even *close* in terms of usability or performance.
IF/when it does ever offer the same functionality/performance then I might
decide to switch.  But that will be MY CHOICE.  I resent the implication
(and you aren't being misunderstood, you imply the same thing in virtually
all of your posts to this thread) that the only reason that Debian tolerates
non-free software at all is because free alternatives don't exist.  As soon
as free alternatives exist, then you seem to be suggesting that we prevent
people from exercising their right to decide.  

> > One way or the other, VMware not working any more is a bug somewhere.
> > Whether it is a bug in libc6 or a bug in VMware itself.  Since VMware has
> > been running on this machine essentially without change for over a year, and
> > a new version of libc6 has just been installed, then surely I can be
> > forgiven for asking questions of libc6 first?
> True, but if you read the thread, it's actually already said it's a
> vmware bug, that a patch is available for the newer version and that .

It's a VMWare bug, fine.  It's a VMware bug that didn't manifest itself
until an unversioned change to libc6.  I can accept and understand this.
What I can't accept or understand is your continual insistence that if only
nobody would run the evil non-free software world peace would spontaneously
break out.  Grow up.

> > I know that it is very easy to be infected by the rabidity of "non-free is
> > bad by definition -- people who use it are either evil or
> > misguided".  
> I never think they are evil, I think they are victims. I personally
> feel that I've to advocate free software and write free software.

No.  I am NOT a victim.  I damn well *CHOOSE* to run non-free software.  I
make an *INFORMED* choice in the matter.  

> > All I can do is assure you that most people grow out of that.
> I can assure I will never grow out of it. Did people ever grow out of
> complaing when somebody takes away their freedom of speech? I don't
> think so and I don't see a reason that it will be different with
> software freedom.

You are trying to take away that VERY freedom.  You are seeking to prevent
me from choosing what software I wish to run.

> > I *choose* to use non-free software of many kinds. 
> Of course you can choose that you don't want freedoms. But don't
> complain that you haven't those freedoms.

NO.  I *choose* to exercise freedom.  I *choose* to run VMware.  YOU are the
one who wishes to say that if I choose to do that then I don't have the
right to freedom.

> > I am also forced to do so ssometimes.  
> <RMS argument>Does somebody points a gun to your head then?</RMS argument>

Effectively.  Do I want to be locked out of the office tomorrow?

> > I
> > will *not* have someone try to make me feel evil, stupid or misguided
> > because of it.
> No, but you have to work with the problems of non-free software then.

This is NOT a non-free software problem.  It is a libc6 change problem.  The
change may have been justified.  Software maybe shouldn't have been depending
on the behaviour which it was.  This does NOT make this a non-free software
problem.  It isn't only non-free software which has broken.

Your claim is that the breakage wouldn't have occured if the software had
been free is just silly, and doesn't hold any water.  It sure as hell
*sounds* like that's what you are saying at least.


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