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Re: A Compromise Proposal on GR: Remove non-free



** On Jun 10, Bolan Meek scribbled:
> Greetings:  God bless you.
> 
> Noting the tension between proponents of purifying in Debian's support
> for
> Free Software by removing non-free from what is now unstable (woody),
> and proponents of supporting the users of non-free software by
> continuing
> to host non-free -with good arguments on both sides (I favor keeping
> non-free, but won't feel hurt by losing it, and yet admire the
> purists)-,
> I suggest that the non-free packages be replaced by installer
> assistants,
> that will fetch from CD, or the net, or from other media, the respective
> source code packages, patch the makefiles and what-ever, compile and
> install
> the package, pretty much what the package maintainers have to do, but
> they'll
> just be off-loading the actually processing to the end-user.
That would be acceptable, but I see just two points. First is a technical
one:

 - if a package is fetched from a site outside of the Debian control, the
   Debian project cannot guarantee the quality of service, because it cannot
   guarantee the availability of exactly that version of the software in
   question. It may well happen that the software will have been released in
   a new version, with the older one removed from the archives, while the
   Debian package still needs the older one. This, of course, applies to the
   network installation (but probably at least half of Debian installations
   is done off the net)

Second is political (and is my pure assumption):

 - the proponents of removal of the non-free software will probably argue
   that if your proposal is accepted, the non-free software would still be
   associated with Debian...

> That way:  
> 
> 1) Debian will support the users of non-free software, in such a way
>    as to retain the quality of the Debian FSH, etc.
> 2) the installer assistants will themselves be free, and maintained,
The software has also to be maintained...

marek

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