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Re: Social Contract: Practical Implications

@ 11/05/2004 21:01 : wrote Art Edwards :

I would like to make two comments about the Social Contract from a Debian User's POV.
Disclaimer: I am also a Debian user (not a DD, at least yet)

1. The Social Contract has been modified in the very recent past. It can
be modified again. It need not be junked.
I'm ok with this concept.

2. The Social Contract is not the reason I use Debian. I, and other users (I could name names), use it because it has been the best distribution. If removing firmware leads to degraded performance, we will look for alternatives. One easy one would be to put packages with names like kernel-full-2.6.x-sources in non-free and an option in the installer to build with the high-performance, non-free kernel. Another is to use kernels from kernel.org, although this would be clumsy.
2. (a) The Social Contract *IS* the *main* reason *I* use debian (all three emphasis marked are well deserved). There are others, but the SC, IMHO, is what makes Debian the better distro;
2. (b) alternatives are being looked for;
2. (c) using kernels from kernel.org is not clumsy; some improvements I'm cooking for kernel-package will make this option nice, too.

3. If there were two or three of me, I would try to build a different Debian archive. For better or worse, there is only one of me, so 1. or 2. will have to suffice.
Go ahead. It is hard, but other distros IMHO are not competition to Debian, they are allies. With other distros, someone else can try the things we want to do but find hard to try. Every Free Software developer who plays fair game is my friend.

As I have said, some have already bailed.
Their loss. The removal of non-free stuff from the kernel has another /protective/ effect: makes redistributors of said software less likely to be sued. This can be of no value to an desktop-end-user, but can have value to consulting firms, etc...

Art Edwards
Peace and long life,


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