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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal

On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 06:50:29PM -0600, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> On Nov 12, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > How dare they make decisions that could force our users to use
> > free alternatives to their beloved non-free tools?
> The problem is that there isn't a free alternative for many of the
> things in non-free, unless we want to establish "ideologically pure"
> alternatives to the W3C and IETF.

Then we better just give up now, for we have been producing a useless
operating system for almost ten years now.

Remember: DEBIAN DOES NOT CONTAIN NON-FREE SOFTWARE.  Only our archives do. 
Our operating system, the Debian Distribution, does not.

Also, remember that my amendment specifically states that compatibility with
non-free software must be ensured whenever possible.  This is actually a
stronger situation than we have now, where we promise to stick non-free
software in some forgotted clump of inodes, but make no promises that it
will actually be even minimally useful.

> My gut feeling is that the current compromise has served us well as
> long as I've been a developer, and there's no compelling reason to

I disagree with your premise, and maintain that the current compromise has
been a constant source of trouble.  Two years ago, when I last proposed
this, people criticized it because they couldn't do without their beloved
Netscape.  That the operating system was so useless without it that we
better not even dream of moving non-free to another server.  (Of course, the
operating system didn't contain Netscape even then.  See the confusion?)

Now people have a different set of pet non-free packages.  Of course, I am
not going to personally visit everyone's machines and dpkg --remove software
from them.  I'm just advocating removing this software from ftp.debian.org.

> muck with it.  You can easily ignore the existence of non-free if it
> gets your panties in a bunch, kinda like I ignore the fact that my
> DirecTV service has several religious and shopping channels.

Nice analogy in principle, but deeply flawed in practice.

> Chris
> -- 
> Chris Lawrence <cnlawren@phy.olemiss.edu> - http://www.lordsutch.com/chris/
> Computer Systems Manager, Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Mississippi
> 125B Lewis Hall - 662-915-5765
> -- 
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