Re: Debian Maintainer Application
Bas Wijnen <email@example.com> writes:
> Both theories are probably true, and the effects of course work against
> each other. I'm very happy that Debian clearly separates main from the
> rest, so I can easily use only free software with it. If other people
> want to use non-free software, I am not going to stop them (although I
> am advising them to stop ;-) ). The Social Contract doesn't really say
> more than that: we must not obstruct other people when they want to work
> with non-free software. As you apply for DM, you also accept to agree
> with that, btw.
Right. However, I think there is a conflict between the first priority
"Debian will remain 100% free" and the action of "We have created
contrib and non-free areas in our archive for these works.".
While the Debian operating system (i.e., main) is free software, the
Debian project still endorse non-free software, as far as I can tell,
and Debian is thus not a strictly free software project. It would help
if the social contract made that clear by changing DFSG 1 into 'Debian
the operating system will remain 100% free'. Right now it is easy to
get the idea that Debian the project is 100% about free software.
When considering to join the Debian project as a DD, I felt that this
conflict was problematic. I still wish to help and improve the free
parts of Debian though, and the DM way seemed appropriate for me. I may
re-consider in the future, but right now the difference between DM and
DD does not seem significant for me to bother with both the DD process
and the ethical conflict.
I understand that if I would apply as DD, I may have more influence to
change the scriptures. However, as far as I can tell, I believe the
chances of that happening are low. It seems more likely to me that one
of the 100% free spin-off projects like gNewSense will succeed. If that
happens, I could switch to them from Debian (which I've been using for
close to 10 years) and my contributions would still be useful.
> I'm not saying you should apply to become a DD. It's your choice if you
> want that. But I think Debian has a very good way to deal with non-free
> software: allow people who want to work on it to do what they want,
> while making it easy to not see it at all. It allows supporters of both
> theories to do things their way.
Another way that would also allow both supporters to do things their
way, and a way that seems more appropriate to me, would be to have one
project for each theory. People who support only one theory can work on
the project they prefer, and people who support both theories can work
on both projects. What would be required to do that is to improve and
package the Debian infrastructure, like the BTS, buildds tools, mirror
infrastructure tools, etc. That is some work, but it seems like that
work may be useful anyway.