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Re: but I want the GNU versions of packages


On Tue, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:55:44AM +0800, Dan Jacobson wrote:

> > what's the point? Surely you want the best, not necessarily the GNU
> > version (which might be an incredibly bleeding-edge pre-alpha thing,
> > like for example mailutils was not so long ago)?
> OK, let's just say I like the GNU guys and would like them to know if
> there are any bugs in their stuff, otherwise how will it improve?
> And mawk: development halted years ago.  Wouldn't any awk bugs I find
> be better reported for gawk?
> So, how does one find the rest of the packages on one's system that
> "Conflicts:" with genuine GNU alternative packages.
> >From the tone of your message, I bet there are lots that you fellows
> have pre-chosen for us new debian users.  So far I have discovered
> mawk, and mailx.  So, out with it, what are the rest?

There seems to be a classic misunderstanding here.

"Debian GNU/Linux" is not a distribution of "the" GNU system.

People seem to think it is, and that's not too strange, actually. If you
try to search for a more or less "canonical" GNU distribution, you're
quite likely to find Debian.

Debian is an operating system in its own right, which happens contains a
lot of GNU tools, the Linux kernel, and lots of other Free Software, all
assembled primarily to suit the users (including the Debian developers
packaging it), and much less the original developers of the software.

More specifically, Debian does not intend to build an implementation of
an abstract system that's more or less defined elsewhere, such as GNU.

Debian intends to build the "universal operating system", in whatever
way that pleases its developers, as long as they keep in harmony with
the Social Contract ("Debian will remain 100 % Free Software", "Our
priotities are Our Users and Free Software"), the Constitution, and

Debian does not exist to serve the GNU project, although it may help
GNU. It exists because it pleases its developers, and serves its users
and Free Software. It happens to be that in a lot of cases, the GNU
tools are the best tools to build Debian, and this fact is recognised in
the name of the distribution. But it doesn't go much further than that.

I do agree that a virtual package that depends and conflicts in such a
way that selecting it will leave a system that looks as much as possible
like "the" GNU system, containing as few as possible non-GNU tools,
would be a nice idea. 

It's probably the easiest way to allow Debian to be the working system
that's closest to GNU. Why should the universal operating system not fit
that niche as well?

It just needs someone to do it. 

Since you brought it up and seem to feel passionately about the issue,
you're probably the best candidate to create such a package.



E-Advies - Emile van Bergen           emile@e-advies.nl      
tel. +31 (0)70 3906153           http://www.e-advies.nl    

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