[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: What do you win by moving things to non-free?

On Sat, Apr 16, 2005 at 05:54:08AM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> Is the effect of what you are doing really in the spirit behind it or 
> is it counter-productive?

It's well in the spirit of it.  Documentation with political manifestos
bolted on that we're not allowed to touch or remove isn't free, just
like Reiser demanding that reiserfs tools display a page of credits when
the tools start is non-free.

> First of all note that the vast majority of Debian users did choose 
> Debian for technical reasons like the stability of stable or the working 
> upgrades. If a system administrator has to choose between e.g. Gentoo 
> and Debian, the percentage of system administrators who understand or 
> want to understand the differences between the "free software" 
> definitions of the two projects will be negligible - the decision will 
> be based on technical reasons and personal preferences.

Here, you're arguing that putting stuff that people might need in Debian
is more important than keeping Debian free; that Debian should throw
away its principles entirely, and put Netscape (pardoning the anachronism)
and Qmail in main, since they're really important to some people.  I
don't feel this is an argument worth the time to respond to.

> Even further many Debian installations are used as a basis for non-free 
> software - which is a configuration Debian has promised to support.

I don't even know what point you're trying to make here.  If you're
trying to convince Debian that non-free software is important and
should be in the main distribution, you're free to try (though I
won't waste my time with it), but I have no idea what relevance it

> Case 1: foo = nvidia binary modules
> Answer: Because these modules are binary-nonly and therefore
>         undebuggable for everyone except Nvidia. They give you a
>         much better 3D performance, but they sometimes lead to
>         kernel crashes.
> Case 2: foo = some documentation
> Answer: Because the document contains a invariant section in which
>         the author says he dedicates this manual to his dead father.
> In the first case you might have convinced a system administrator that 
> non-free software has serious disadvantages.
> In the second case you'll hear a loud laugher.

Maybe, since you conspicuously omitted the "and therefore" part in
case 2; the practical problems with invariant sections have been well
explored.  (I'm not going to waste my time digging up discussions about
them for you, since you'll just complain that they're not an "official
position statement".  Find them yourself.)

Glenn Maynard

Reply to: