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Re: On the lets-remove-nonfree-proposal

** On Jul 19, Marcus Brinkmann scribbled:
> Am Mit, 19 Jul 2000 16:04:57 Hamish Moffatt Sie:
> > I personally see two goals for Debian:
> > 1. Produce a high quality, open source UNIX system.
> > 2. Introduce people to open source ideals.
> Debian was founded long before the Open Source movement hit the market.
I think Hamish referred to the idea of open source, not to the Movement. The
open source ideology existed long before Debian was founded - and Debian was
founded in the spirit of open source ideology (at that time FSF GNU
Project). The Open Source movement is a direct derivative of the ideals FSF,
the GNU PRoject and Debian are based upon.

> Personally, I value freedom over quality and convenience, and would
> hope that Debian promotes it this way.
Marcus, I think that this statement expresses the feelings of all of us here
- no matter whether we are pro or contra the GR. But that is not the point -
these are our personal feelings _not_ related to the project as a whole and,
more, not related to the feelings of our _users_. And, I think, that is the
the starting point of the entire flamewar (err.. discussion?) - that some of
us try to promote their own (our own) ideals/feeling without regard to what
the _users_ as a community need/demand/seek in Debian. What they want is a
fully functional OS with all the features found in the other OSes out there.
More, they turn to Debian because they seek quality and they find it, they
seek exellency and they find it, but as soon as they are faced with the fact
that Debian, as an OS, doesn't contain some pieces of software because the
software isn't free in the Debian terms, they will turn to look somewhere
else. This all have been said before, therefore I'll just stop now... The
bottom line for today is that the free software has still some way ahead
before it can replace all the non-free software in a fully functional OS.

> Free software is not necessarily of higher quality, there is a lot of
> bad software around, free or proprietary. It is good to see that free
> software can be of higher quality, but it is not a direct consequence.
I agree completely but, again, this is your, mine, our personal view - not
necessarily (and probably, in many cases, _not_) of our users. As Hamish put
it in his mail - we want to educate users about free software and its ideals
- therefore we must attract the users and not push them away by _not
providing them with the software they need_. Before somebody gets in and
states that I'm promoting non-free software - I just recognize the fact that
not all non-free software has its free, fully functional and equally good
free counterparts. IMO this very fact is a reason to work more and harder on
providing the missing free equivalents...

> > However, I think this GR compromises #2.
> [...]
> > We lose our opportunity
> > to show them the benefits of open source (goal #2).
> I think that the benefits of free software is that it is free,
That's an ideological and valuable benefit but without a direct benefit for
an end user...

> not that it allows to run netscape on it or any other technical
> argument. We currently don't take our opportunity to show this
> to our users.
Oh, but we do! People who work on Mozilla do exactly that! As soon as their
product (or, say, galeon) is finished they will step forward and say "There!
Here's a _free_ equivalent of Netscape - see? It has all the features of
Netscape and even more, and is free!". By doing that they will show that the
free software _is_ better - and it will be clear for everyone. That's what
should be done - demonstrating the superiority of free software by facts,
not by speeches, statements and impractical resolutions.



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