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Re: Vote for April 1st?

On Mon, Mar 08, 2004 at 02:16:41PM +0100, Martin Albert wrote:
> All DD!
> I really couldn't believe that i had actually read this:

One question I have for you is: where were you the past several months
when this was being discussed?  You should have no reason to be shocked.

> I can't imagine how any honest DD might ever seriously think of asking 
> me to give up the best you can get, ferociously destroying what it is:

Well let me explain it then.

First, the Debian operating system does not contain non-free.  It is not
distributed on our CDs.  It is not part of our distribution.  The Debian
distribution itself would not be modified in any way by this proposal.

At the same time, Debian is a Free Software project.  We care about the
free speech benefits of free software, the value of the knowledge it
spreads to people, and the empowerment it gives them.  Non-free does not
bring with it these benefits.  It is, really, the antithesis to Debian.

>  - a fully working solution,

That is demonstrably false.  Non-free is in a sad shape on many non-i386
platforms.  Packages there have known security holes that are not fixed
because we either *can't* due to legal reasons or lack of source code,
or aren't fixed because of indifference.  I have no expectation that a
random package out of non-free will actually work on my Alpha or PowerPC
machine, and not much more that it will actually work on my i386

>  - *THE OS Onestop* that we proudly offer as our work, as The source of
>    reliability - especially for users with bad / expensive connectivity.

I don't know what an "os onestop" is.  The Debian OS does not contain
non-free, and neither do our CD images, so I have no idea what you're
talking about here.

>  - the debian archive that i work for to run my computers

I don't see why removing non-free is "ferociously destroying" the Debian
archive; if anything, it would help our mirrors a bit by freeing up some
space... but I think the space requirements are not that big, so it
likely will make little difference to the archive at all.

>  - our Debian Developers' Free! work space to hold what we're working on

Again I don't really know what you're talking about.  Are you asserting
that Debian should be in the business of providing space and bandwidth
to anything developers happen to be working on, whether or not it is
Free or of any interest to Debian?

>  - a repository of assorted documentation.

... which, if it can't be modified to match the actual state of things,
is of questionable value.  Plus, sarge at least will contain GFDL docs
and there is hope that a compromise could be reached with GNU on that.

> I seriously demand (and just spent another night debugging for it) that 
> Debian will be all that for me, any DD, any User.

I don't think that demands will be all that useful.  Debian is, after
all, a volunteer organization.

> 	(We shift valuable packages between archives - ok, as long as they are
> 	 apt-getable with all the quality we get from our dds and archive).
> 	(Personally, as an artist working with media, i neither could nor would
> 	 i want  to miss some hardly non-free software that i apt-get daily!)

Nothing will stop you from using the non-free software on your machine
already.  Nothing will stop others from setting up a non-free
repository.  Nothing will stop you from using that non-free repository.

> Changing the Social Contract the proposed way would actually make it 
> asocial! The gap between online users and dial-ins widens enough 
> without Debian taking over 750 valuable packages away from people that 
> experience hardness on a daily basis, that online users can't imagine.

Nobody is going to people's hard drives and running dpkg --purge on
those packages.  Also, .deb is no magic potion that is easier to
download than a tarball.  In fact, source distributions in tar.bz2
format are often smaller than the generated binary .debs.

> I maintain _The Best_ atari emu you can get: atari800, contrib, because 
> it needs some ROM images, that nobody _can_ make free as there is no 
> one left who owns their copyrights who could and would care for.

Presumably somebody that wanted to could write their own ROM for it.

> Debian without 'apt-get install atari800' - no way, that this could ever 
> be the OS of my choice! I would be ashamed to meet anyone wary!

Uhm, seriously now, I think plenty of people would say that an OS is
plenty valuable even without an atari emulator of good quality.  And, in
fact, since it is in non-free, the Debian OS does not contain it.  Many
quality operating systems do not ship with atari800.

That is a terribly weak argument on your part.

-- John

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