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Re: Discussion - non-free software removal



On Sun, Nov 10, 2002 at 07:40:37PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> > A. That the non-free areas be removed from all non-released Debian
> > archives, such as "unstable" and "testing".  All packages placed in a
> > non-free area in accordance with the definition in Policy section
> > 2.1.4 must be removed from the Distribution and archives, subject to
> > the restrictions in section B.  The introduction or re-introduction
> > into the Debian Distribution or the Debian archives of any package
> > meeting the non-free definition in Policy section 2.1.4, or failing
> > the Debian Free Software Guidelines, shall be forbidden.
> 
> This means that unstable and testing will have non-free removed, and that
> the removed software will not be re-introduced later, nor will new non-free
> software be introduced.
> 

It seems to me that proposing something which prevents the
reintroduction of nonfree software any time in the future is short
sighted, and dangerous. 

What if there's some new protocol developed called hsst, hyper super
hyper signal scent transfer, which enables the World Wide Smell to be
created. What if this WWS becomes hugely popular over the course of
the next year, but there is no open source client allowing you to
access hsst links in an effective, reliable manner, but there was a
non-free client called NetSmell, which lots of people were using. 

In this case, users of Debian would be at a disadvantage, and new
users might not adopt debian because they want to be able to access
the WWS. 

On the other hand, the lack of easy availability of NetSmell might
motivate debian developers to create a free alternative sooner. 

I would propose that a minor change be made to the language that would
allow the reintroduction of non-free software only with the passage of
a GR. If this is already implied by the constitution, so be it, but
the language of this GR seems to attempt to revent future
modification. 

-- 
michael cardenas       | lead software engineer, lindows.com
hyperpoem.net          | GNU/Linux software developer
people.debian.org/~mbc | encrypted email preferred

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was and never will be."
- Thomas Jefferson

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