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Re: Removing non-free - reality check.


 (I don't read "Do not cc me" phrase this time, but I remove
  knghtbrd from Cc: field, assuming he will read this anyway.)

 (I add "Reply-To: debian-project@l.d.o", becuase I think this 
  thread should go there, instead of using debian-devel and
  debian-vote. I left these two (-devel & -vote) lists in Cc of 
  this mail, but I hope that if you reply to this mail, then 
  remove them from Cc of your mail.)

In <20000609210056.C26530@debian.org>, at "Fri, 9 Jun 2000 21:00:56 -0700",
  Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org> writes:

> > > So, if the phrase "Does Debian distribute non-free software or not?"
> > > means "The Debian Project makes accessible the non-free packages ?",
> > > then answer is Yes.  But if it means "The Official Debian System
> > > includes the non-free softwares ?"  then answer is No.

> Double standards are damned fun!
> "Does Debian include non-free software?"
> "Well that depends ...  Debian doesn't officially provide non-free, no."
> "Unofficially?"
> "It's all there, waiting for you."
> "Cool."
> So much for "The truly free distribution".

Yes, there are double standards currently, in the meaning above.

And this GR is not the solution for that, because it will not
remove the installer packages for non-free softwares in contrib
area.  The temptation to use the non-free software materials will 
be hidden behind the DFSG-compatible scripts and softwares.

 "Does Debian include non-free software?"
 "Any of the Debian packages itself doesn't include non-free, No."
 "Then users can't use the packages for non-free softwares ?"
 "Some un-official packages in contrib can install non-free softwares
  very easily.  All you have to do is just to get the software, and
  put it on the specific place.  Then the package does all the setup

Is this the final target for "The free software community" ?

I believe that honesty is the best policy.  Just try to pretend 
to be innocent will not work here.

When we ourself don't need some specific package, then it is
orphaned and/or removed from our archive.  Naturally, when we
don't need all the packages for non-free (in non-free and contrib
area of our archive), then all of them will be orphaned and removed.

In the end, why are there the double standards at all ?

I think it is because the Debian is created to promote the benefit
of the free softwares. Our current Social Contract says:

 2. We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community

    ... We will make the best system we can, so that free software
    will be widely distributed and used.

If our system is not used by users, then we can not promote the benefit 
of the free softwares.  We don't need the popularity for money, but we
need the opportunity to promote the free softwares.

The Debian Manifest also said:

   This is a bad combination indeed, as most people who obtain Linux from
   these "distributors" receive a bug-ridden and badly maintained Linux
   distribution.  As if this wasn't bad enough, these "distributors" have
   a disturbing tendency to misleadingly advertise non-functional or
   extremely unstable "features" of their product.  Combine this with the
   fact that the buyers will, of course, expect the product to live up to
   its advertisement and the fact that many may believe it to be a
   commercial operating system (there is also a tendency not to mention
   that Linux is free nor that it is distributed under the GNU General
   Public License).  To top it all off, these "distributors" are actually
   making enough money from their effort to justify buying larger
   advertisements in more magazines; it is the classic example of
   unacceptable behavior being rewarded by those who simply do not know
   any better.  Clearly something needs to be done to remedy the

The "something to be done" described here was to create a distribution
which is developed openly, and which will be able to effectively compete 
in the commercial market while it is a non-commercial distribution.

In the past, the existence of "contrib" and "non-free" is required
to be able to effectively compete in the commercial market.

(The Debian project itself had used some non-free softwares in the past
such as pgp and qmail.  We can not hide the truth.)

This is the compromise, and the double standards may exist.  There may
be ambivalence with the existece of the package which guides the usage
of non-free software on Debian.

Now, many free softwares have been actively developped, and some of 
us can live perfectly only with the official Debian distribution
 (i.e. don't need the contrib and non-free).  

But, can we believe now that "effectively compete in the commercial 
market" does not need the existence of "non-free" area ?

We are here to change the world, not to please the limited party.

  Taketoshi Sano: <sano@debian.org>,<sano@debian.or.jp>,<kgh12351@nifty.ne.jp>

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