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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal

On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 11:51:13PM +1100, Hamish Moffatt wrote:

> > Sure; but the free software community might see benefits in making
> > non-free software available -- eg, making the Debian system more useful

Please remember that there is no particular link between making non-free
software available in .deb format and storing that software on Debian
servers.  The mere fact that it would no longer be stored on our servers
does not imply that it will no longer be available.

> However there are still some necessary non-free packages. Some of the 

In that case, we are already violating the very first clause of our Social
Contract -- "we will never make the system depend on an item of non-free

> are unviewable with Xpdf. In fact, there is no free way to view these
> files at all - gv/ghostscript includes the same files in
> another non-free package, and the only other option is acroread.
> I think we would be doing our users a disservice to remove support for
> these languages. If we had a free alternative then by all means remove
> the non-free stuff, but we don't in some cases.

Wait a minute.  Remember that these are non-free packages, so they are not
part of the distribution now.  Somebody *already* has to go out of their way
to find them, and they're not on the CDs we build, etc.

Is it really all that much more difficult for the user to look for them at
ftp.nonfreepackages.com instead of ftp.debian.org?

> The latest Xpdf (2.00) uses Motif. The binaries in the xpdf-reader
> package are linked with LessTif but unfortunately it works quite a bit
> better with Open Motif from non-free. For some PDFs in some locales,
> Xpdf segfaults. It may be worth creating an xpdf-reader-openmotif 
> package for contrib. Here's another case of no free working solution.

uhm, gs?  gv?  kghostview?

-- John

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