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Re: Sun Java available from non-free

On Sun, Jun 04, 2006 at 08:45:11AM -0400, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> Christian Perrier wrote:
> > And isn't another "small cabal" of freeness junkies, who cannot accept
> > that it is actually possible to work with commercial vendors to assist
> > them in their way to free software, doing exactly the opposite by
> > playing words with legal issues ?
> > 
> Please explain how this helping them on their way to free software.
> Don't get me wrong, I applaud their contributions to the open
> source/free software communities (NetBeans, OpenOffice, Gnome
> contributions, etc).  However, I have a hard time understanding how
> Debian distributing Java, which, judging by all the debate, is still
> under questionable license terms, will help.  In my opinion, a continued
> refusal to distribute it until it met the required criteria would be
> much better.  As it stands, here is it appears:
> Sun has gained for Java:
>   - "approval" or "validation" as "free enough" for all Linux distros
> (remember, Debian is seen as the most restrictive in this regard)

Debian has not accepted Java in main. Any user sufficiently proficient
with anything remotely Debian-related knows that.

>   - a willing accomplice

I'd suggest anyone googling for "Debian Java" and stumbling on this
thread will think differently.

>   - a demotivation to find more favorable licensing terms

Since the people who've made this happen have claimed they want to go on
with this, I question that.

> Debian has gained:
>   - lots of people blogging about this whole mess

Wonderful, isn't it?

>   - possible future legal problems (extent is still being sorted out)

By whom? A bunch of people with too much time on their hands. Is there
an actual lawyer involved? I don't think so.

>   - something it already had (admins who really wanted Sun's Java could
> always go to java.sun.com and install it themselves or use java-package)

Well, see, *this* is not true. Sure, it's possible to install Java on a
Debian system; one can even turn a non-free binary java distribution
into a Debian package and install that by using java-package. However,
this is a far cry from
* Being able to install non-free Java on your Debian system, even if the
  oldest Java binaries being distributed by the original authors are
  more recent than the ones java-package is ready for
* Being able to just install non-free Java by running "apt-get install".
* Being able to upgrade to a newer (fixed) version of Java by just
  running "apt-get upgrade"

But you knew that already, I'm sure.

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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