[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: On the lets-remove-nonfree-proposal

On Sun, Jul 02, 2000 at 11:11:37PM +0200, Wichert Akkerman wrote:
> I've been thinking about this for some time and finally managed to work
> my way through the somewhat over 1000 posts that were made on this
> topic.

In this case you must have noticed that you didn't raise any new issues,
and your post is just reopening a discussion that actually has finished a
while ago. Your opinion is now heard, but I don't think that anything you
said makes the general resolution unnecessary.
> Item 4 of the social contract
> states that `Our Priorities are Our Users and Free Software'. Please
> note the order here: first our users, then free software. To me this
> indicates that even though we have promised to always maintain a free
> distribution, our users are also very important.

In mathematics, the "and" operator is commutative, and it tends to be
likewise in the human language (note there is NO way in any spoken language
to give both items the same preference if you set a higher preference to the
first item than to the second. This is becuase time is strictly

> The logical result is
> item 5,

This is plain wrong. If this is the logical consequence, then we miss out
some other consequences which are equally logical. In fact, everything our
users demand would have to be obeyed to by the Debian project. This is clearly
an absurd understanding of the wording in the social contract.

Point 5 is an addition to point 1 to 4, and can not be logically deduced
from them. If it were so, it would not have been necessary to add it.

The much more natural reading of point 4 is that our priorities are our
users *with regards to free software*. Note that when it says "our
priorities are our users" it does not say "the priorities are the needs of
our users".


> What would happen if we didn't have a contrib or non-free section?
> People like Ray would be forced to either switch to using Windows, or
> would have to install something like StarOffice themselves.

(or add an apt-able site outside Debian to sources.list, if it isn't already
done by the CD vendor)

Note that there is also the option for people to distribute "value-added"
Debian distributions. Before netscape was included in non-free, it was
commonly added by CD distributors.

So, what would happen is that CD vendors would ship the same stuff as
they are doing now. Maybe they would include less non-free software when
they have to consider the work to include it against the value of it.

BTW, almost all computer users are used to the idea to install software
downloaded from some place in the internet (take for example the Windows
world, where people not only install software they download from Microsoft).

In short, I think you are underestimating the intelligence of our users. 

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org Check Key server 
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    for public PGP Key 
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de,     marcus@gnu.org    PGP Key ID 36E7CD09
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       brinkmd@debian.org

Reply to: