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Re: Packaging proprietary software

On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 11:14:23AM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 1:52 AM, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > We're not the FSF here.
> I don't understand this sentence, could you explain what you mean?

I was hoping you wouldn't ask that ;-)

Anyway, since you did:

The FSF has a stated goal of wanting to eradicate all non-free software.
That's fine, that's their right, and if they manage to do that, more
power to them.

However, their policy of telling people that *using* non-free software
(as opposed to writing it) is a bad idea irks me the wrong way
sometimes. Yes, if one has options, I agree that choosing the free
alternative over the non-free one (even if the non-free one has more
features, or is easier to use, or whatever) is preferable.
Unfortunately, sometimes one simply does not have those options.
Sometimes there just *isn't* a free alternative for the job that one has
to do. In the utopia that the FSF wants to reach, that wouldn't be the
case, but we live in the real world, and in the real world usually a
computer is something to get a job done; and sometimes that
unfortunately means you get to choose between "use the non-free
thing", "go look for a different job", or "starve". The latter is
usually a bad idea, the second isn't always all that easy, so that may
leave you with having to do the first.

I respect you wanting to prefer the (in my opinion) worse option on that
list, but please realize that not everyone shares that preference. In
that light, just going "ignoring your question, you said non free, which
is EV1L!!, you should fix that first and then come back" like you did[1]
makes people feel rather unwelcome. In addition, while doing so is in
line with the FSF's policies (after all, non-free is evil, so why bother
with making people who don't want it feel welcome), it isn't in line
with Debian's SC#5.


[1] I realize that's a bit of a hyperbole and that you certainly didn't
    mean it that way. However, I do think that is what your answer will
    result in people feeling.

It is easy to love a country that is famous for chocolate and beer

  -- Barack Obama, speaking in Brussels, Belgium, 2014-03-26

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