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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal

On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 08:30:38AM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> 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?

It's really difficult to discuss this issue when the "no non-free"
solution is such a moving target. It might mean contrib disappears,
or it might not, it might mean non-free/contrib can't use the BTS, or
it might not, it might mean someone else will set up some archive or it
might not. Without knowing things like that, it's hard to get a concrete
idea of what benefits and drawbacks there'll actually be, which sucks.

Anyway, one thing will definitely be the case: if this GR passes, testing
won't support non-free, which means updates to software in main that
break non-free software won't be held back, which will probably make
life difficult occassionally. It might also make contrib a lot harder to
manage if it's kept, since dependencies on non-free components (which
is what contrib is for after all) will never be satisfiable as far as
testing's concerned, and those packages will never be promoted to testing.

Personally, I don't think it's feasible or worthwhile to maintain either
contrib or infrastructure support for non-free if we drop non-free.

> > 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?

The best indication that a package is useful, and that similar packages
aren't adequate replacements, is that someone's willing to maintain
it, IMO.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

 ``If you don't do it now, you'll be one year older when you do.''

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