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Re: NEW handling: About rejects, and kernels (Was: Re: NEW handling ...)

* Raphael Hertzog <raphael@ouaza.com> [050322 22:39]:
> I'm also not satisfied with the non-productiveness of the removal of
> useful documentation. I'm also ashamed that some hardware doesn't work
> out of the box on Debian because we decided that firmware are software
> and thus should meet DFSG.
> However I don't plan to leave Debian because it's just not the right
> thing to do.
> I joined Debian because its goal was to satisfy its users... and sadly
> it turns that some developers forget about that when prefering freeness
> over the service to our users.

I'm sad that you see it this way. But in my eyes freeness is one of our
most beneficial services to our users.

For those aspects of computer life we and our users are locked into
software we (including developers and users) are not allowed to fix, 
not allowed to see what they do and/or maybe not even allowed to give
to others, we (Debian) supply the non-free section in addition to our
distribution. I think this is an important service, though one the one
hand I'm happy it has lost much of its importance for applications as
there are nowadays much more free alternatives, and on the other hand
non-free licenses shift a bit into the direction where we are not even
allowed to ship them in non-free.

But the goal we should aim is still "Debian is a free operating system
(OS) for your computer." We are about free software. And free software
includes the promise for freedom. I'm sick of bloody buggy non-free
drivers I'm not allowed to look close enough to have a chance to fix
them. I'm sick of software telling me I have to download it for each
single computer again instead of once and distributing it. I'm sick
of software I'm not able to redistribute to others as I could have
to pay for some legal fees, I'm sick of documentation I'm not allowed
to merge with the documentation within the code, not allowed to bring
in forms I like, or with preposterous demands like not changing the
title or adding a 20k text into every manpage or digest sheet. 

And I really think we have no right to foist such things on our users.

Put non-free stuff in non-free, that's what it is for. If we are unable
to offer free programs, drivers and documentation, we have no right to
hide the next best thing in main. If we are unable to provide what we
promised (free stuff) we should at least mark the non-free stuff as
non-free stuff, so that our users can make their decision.

> We need to have a big political shift on that side, or we'll loose more
> valuable contributors in favor of other distributions... you may not
> care but I want Debian to stay the central distribution and I don't want
> that other distributions do a better service to users than us.

Has there ever been a time when people did not tell Debian will die
instantly (or perhaps only next month) if we do not do what some people
say our users consider the "better service".

  Bernhard R. Link

Sendmail is like emacs: A nice operating system, but missing
an editor and a MTA.

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