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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal

On Wed, Nov 13, 2002 at 11:06:24AM -0700, Kevin Rosenberg wrote:
> > Non-free could be maintained by people that are not regular Debian
> > developers.  This can benefit us in several ways.  First, people that *are*
> Possibly. But, I don't think non-Debian developers have the skills to
> maintain it. Also, from my reading, I suspect enough Debian developers
> care about non-free that it will be they who maintain it.

I think this will hold true for the short term.  I suspect it will not
necessarily hold true for the long term.

> Also possibly, but I think it is well-maintained now. Though I maybe
> overly pessimistic, I just don't think Netscape or any other company
> will likely spend time or money on supporting Debian.

Several companies do now.  Probably Netscape isn't going to be one, true,
but there are various companies that spend money supporting, say, RedHat,
and there's no reason that they couldn't do the same for Debian.

> I agree, we don't have to distribute all software ourselves, but it
> certainly makes things more convenience for our users and developers.

I for one would find it more convenient if Debian could arrange to send me a
nice check each month :-)

It's true that there is going to be an initial convenience loss.  I believe
that it's worth it, and that the loss can be minimized.

> > Debian is the only major Free Software distribution out there.  If we do not
> > tend to what is right, there is nobody else that will.
> It's all in how you define right. 

Of course :-)

> I share your belief about free software and Debian's greatness. I also
> think that having non-free supported by Debian's mirrors and
> infrastrructure contributes to Debian's value.

I'm not sure I agree there.  I for one hope that people are not choosing
Debian based on the non-free software on our FTP site.  In fact, I dare say
that I would not be sorry to see us lose such users.  There are so many
other reasons to be choosing Debian.

> I agree the need is not as great, but that doesn't mean that non-free
> packages have lost value or that the need has ceased.

I think some of them *have* lost value.  Netscape, for instance.  Nowadays,
there's very little need for that.

> I agree that Debian is about Free Software and that excites me. I also
> agree that, in general, removing sections from a project, makes that
> project's focus more sharp and clear. However, I don't that projects
> with focus more narrow and simple are necessarily better than projects
> with more broad objectives.

I agree with that.

-- John

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