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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal

On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 10:22:51PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 09:55:41PM -0500, Shaya Potter wrote:
> > On Tue, 2002-11-12 at 20:43, John Goerzen wrote:
> > > Let me first turn that around and ask you: what does it harm Debian and
> > > Debian users?  Is it that hard to change a few characters in sources.list?

> > many of the packages will not be apt-get'able if they are not on
> > debian's mirror network, because people will not be able to handle the
> > bandwidth requirements.  I remember when johnie ingram had to stop

> Wait a minute.  All we need is one high-bandwidth mirror to be primary. 
> This could be a place like metalab, archive.progeny.com, VA, or any number
> of other options.  The primary server doesn't have to be that
> high-bandwidth.

> All this, of course, neglects the contrib idea, which wouldn't require any
> extra servers at all.

This seems disingenuous.  Today, this non-free software is downloaded
from our archive servers.  We can not both remove it from our servers
and continue to provide the exact same quality of service as before: if
you can replace everything we have today in non-free with a package in
contrib, either you've moved it all into contrib and we have the same
sort of definition problem as exists now, or you've only moved stub
packages into contrib and there will still be the issue of organizing
the actual software in such a manner that it's as easily accessible as
it is now.

I'm not completely opposed to the idea that it may take people a little
extra effort to get at non-free packages.  It may give some the nudge to
finally try free alternatives for some things.  I think there's a
certain balance that has to be struck there, and I'm not sure that
providing non-free software as part of the main archive network is still
the right balance today.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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