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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

** On Jun 10, John Goerzen scribbled:
> grendel@vip.net.pl (Marek Habersack) writes:
> > > I feel compelled to point out here for the umpteenth time that
> > > non-free software is not part of the distribution, has never been, and
> > > no doubt never will be.
> > Your original resolution made a quite contrary impression on me and,
> > probably, some other people here. It sounded like you wanted to *clean*
> > Debian from the non-free trash. But, considering non-free, is *not* a part
> > of the distribution, the problem ceases to exist.
> non-free is not part of the distribution.  non-free distributed by
> Debian.  I want to clean Debian of non-free.  The distribution doesn't
> need cleaning.  Debian does.
"There's no trash in the room. I want to remove the trash from the room, but
there's no trash in the room. But I want to remove it" - that's your chant,
at least that's how I hear it.
> > > Nobody is removing software from beneath the users.  Even my
> > > resolution states that we still support users that choose to use
> > > non-free software.
> > I don't want to add more fuel to this fire, but as many before me stated -
> > it is impossible to support software which has been expelled from the Debian
> > infrastructure - one excludes the other.
> You are playing pedantic games with "support".  While we may or may
Excuse me??

> not be held responsible for software formally in non-free, we will
> still support the use of non-free software.
For Christ's sake! From all you wrote before it looked like you wanted
Debian NOT to support the non-free software in *any* way. Would you, please,
kindly make up your mind?

> > > So they use apt to get it, just like they do now.  They have to
> > > download it now anyway, as it's not part of the distribution.
> > That wasn't clear when you posted your original GR. I suggest to better
> > express your thoughts for the next time having in mind the ugly flamewar
> > that resulted from your original posting.
> It was clear since before this discussion even started.  It's in the
> Social Contract now!
Yah, read point 4 and tell me whether what you propose is meeting our
*USERS'* needs.

> > software (denying it would be *hiding the truth*), we *do not* advise it to
> > be used on the user's machine, but we *do* provide the latter with the
> > necessary infrastructure to obtain the software if so the user desires.
> > Where's hiding the truth in that picture?
> This is different from what you said before, and even so, would still
Point those differences out, if you please, because I don't see any
> > many pieces of non-free software (povray, netscape, JDK and probably many
> > more) are a) required part of many systems, b) currently not replacable by
> > any free software. You suggested Mozilla to replace Netscape - but it's not
> If the case is a), then you suggest that Debian is shipping an
> incomplete system now, since the Debian system does not include them.
Oh, I see that you changed from *distribution* to *system*, but I fail to
seen an equal sign between the two terms. Right now the Debian
*distribution* (as per the official Debian documents) doesn't contain JDK,
but the Debian *operating system* adapted those tools by providing necessary
infractructure and plugging them seamlessly into the OS structure.

> Not only that, but many other Unices do not include them either.
So what? Another vague argument from you?

> If the case is b), people can still download them and use them on
> Debian.
They can download. But before use they would have to *modify it* to fit into
the Debian model. And that's unacceptable.

> > ready yet. Proposing some resolution not based on facts isn't quite honest,
> > wouldn't you say? When we have all the software to replace *all* the
> > non-free one, then we have the moral right to say to our users: "There is no
> But you know, people will keep inventing non-free software and
> uploading it to Debian.  We'll never reach that point.  It's a bit
> dishonest of you to imply that we will, isn't it?
No, it isn't. I see that *right now* (and *right now* is when you created
your GR) there is no morally honest way to take the software from our users.
As someone said before - instead of cheap talk that started because from your GR
we should make every effort to create replacements for the non-free software
in question. More, I think that right now *you*, John Goerzen, are morally
responsible for making every effort to provide the users with replacements
for the software. You can do it in any way you want, but only after you
succeed you will have *any* right to issue another GR, this time supported
by facts carved solid in stone.

> > > I find it horrid that Debian developers are suggesting that having
> > > Debian support only Free Software is a fanatic act!  Debian *started*
> > > like this and went that way for some time.
> > No, please, don't twist my words. I didn't call removal of the non-free
> > software a fanatic act. I merely stated that the way it is done bears
> What do you mean wrt the way it is done?  If you support it but not
> how it is done, why not stop arguing about the premise and suggest
> something constructive for the implementation?
You bend my words again. OK, I'll put it in vanilla English:

I don't like that kind of attitude you represent. You come and shout that
you know what is the best for our users, for developers without even trying
to listen to what they *really* need. You have your mantra and nothing else
matters - you're deaf to arguments, to what *users* and *developers* say.
That reminds me of all those TV preachers in the USA who seem to know best
what people should do to be happy. That reminds me (as I wrote before) my
country and all the other communist country where everybody in the govt.
knew better what people needed, didn't care to listen to them and yet was
saying that he's doing this or that "for the people". I, on the contrary,
think about users, about what they need, I'm trying to put myself in their
shoes, I listen and I hear that they need Netscape, JDK, povray and dozens
of other packages (as a side note, please read a posting by someone on
debian-project where he analyzed the licenses used by software in non-free -
that might give you some food for thought on the topic...) - ergo, I'm
against removing the non-free *now* because it hurts our users, which is in
contradiction with the point 4 of the Social Contract and is simply an
unjustified act of political selfishness. 
I hope I made myself clear this time.


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