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Re: Making Debian available

On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 09:35:01AM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> The point is to make things easier for our users.  Right now, we're doing
> that for you but not for the users who don't care whether firmware is
> non-free.  I think the idea is that we should consider making things
> easier for both groups of users.  There's no reason to make things worse
> for you and others who want the fully free installer in the process.

I wonder if a compromise would be to make an install CD/DVD which
contains the non-free packages, but which gives the user the option to
abstain from using said non-free packages --- it can explain that the
non-free packages may be needed for some hardware, but why people who
are committed to Free Software might prefer loss of functionality to
using non-free software.

We might still need to continue to ship a CD/DVD which completely
omits the non-free software, since for some people they might object
to having any non-free bits on their install media, regardless of
whether or not they are used.

But having a non-free installer where the use of non-free packages is
optional, perhaps that might be a sufficient compromise that we could
make that installer more easily findable, instead of leaving it in
a "locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the
door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.'".

After all, for people who very on the "non-free is evil and must be
avoided at all costs" spectrum, this installer would help them get
their message out --- and after providing the pro-Free-Software-at-all
costs message to users that might oherwise might not get it (remember,
these are people who had previously been using Windows 10), we trust
users to choose how they come down on the question.

Just a thought....

					- Ted

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