On Wed, Oct 01, 2003 at 08:12:25PM -0600, Barak Pearlmutter wrote:
| I think people are underestimating a couple things:
And I think that you are grossly exaggerating what are essentially
| - the lack of benefit of removing snippets (so far no convincing
| practical advantage of removing them has been forthcoming. The
| best argument made was "translations" but as others have pointed
| out that's a pretty weak argument.)
The benefit of removing non-free snippets that we know about is that
Debian continues to remain, to the best of our knowledge, 100% Free
Software as the social contract requires it to.
| - the enormous number of snippets. I would be surprised if fewer
| than 10% of our source tarballs contain snippets. Maybe a lot more.
That doesn't affect the case for removing any such snippets when we
become aware of their non-free status.
| - the difficulty of finding them. enormous task.
No-one is suggesting that we begin an auditing crusade to remove all of
the non-free snippets that may or may not exist in Debian. On the other
hand, when we become aware of the existence of any non-free snippets,
Debian should be obliged (ny the social contract) to remove them in
order to remain 100% Free Software.
| + lots of bickering would start to happen
Meh, what do you think we're doing now? :-P
I suggest that if maintainers were considered to be intentionally not
upholding the social contract by knowingly distributing non-free
snippets with their Debian packages, then this would be likely to cause
a lot of bickering.
| + many patch files would be incompatible, and we'd have to deal
| with these manually all the time.
Er, what? Surely if the snippets are non-modifiable -- which is the
problem, after all -- not to mention unrelated to the program's purpose,
then there's no reason to patch them?
| - the problems with double standards
| + if we remove snippets (ie consider them dingleberries) whenever
| we find them, then some will be removed and others won't.
How is this any worse than a perceived double-standard in the case where
some packages are known to distribute arbitrary non-free files and yet
are allowed into main, while other packages are 100% Free Software?
| people will figure this out, and start bloating out their
| licenses with the materials they used to put in snippets.
I think you over-estimate the importance people attach to their
snippets, and their snippets' inclusion in Debian.
| + license bloat & proliferation: due to the above double standard
| wrt political text in licenses, pretty soon we'll see all kinds
| of license bloat, and proliferation as people get into the
| habit of putting crap in their licenses.
Once again, I see no reason to believe that this is ever likely to
| Result: snippet-wars, with people looking for snippets in
| packages to complain about, as a matter of revenge/symmetry.
Assuming that this is ever a likely to occur as a result of removing
non-free snippets from Debian, isn't this outcome rather similar to an
audit of Debian for non-free snippets, something which you complained
was an unfeasibly large task for anyone to attempt?
| right to decide to embark on this potentially very disruptive course
| without full consultation with the body of debian.
Are you really implying that upholding Debian's Social Contract is a
"potentially very disruptive" course?