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Fw: Debian and non-free

Inizio messsaggio inviato:

Data: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 10:42:08 +0200
Da: Sven Luther <sven@powerlinux.fr>
A: David Paleino <d.paleino@gmail.com>
Cc: John Goerzen <jgoerzen@complete.org>, debian-project@lists.debian.org
Oggetto: Re: Debian and non-free

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 08:15:34AM +0200, David Paleino wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:09:22 +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 11:24:18PM +0200, David Paleino wrote:
> > > Instead of removing non-free, I'd support the idea of non-free.org, and if
> > > that will make the FSF endorse us again, why not? :)
> > > 
> > > Non-free is there just because the free counterparts aren't optimal.
> > > Someday these will, and non-free will just disappear from Debian :)
> > 
> > We already have had this discussion and even a GR about the removal of
> > non-free, and debian voted not to remove non-free. 
> I hope in a free world, someday.

Clearly not in debian, freedom is nice when it applies to software, but
the more elementary freedom of speech and of holding a
non-accepted-by-the-powerful opinion is not in any way respected or of
any interest to debian.

> > The free software has progressed somewhat since then, but sadly the free
> > alternatives are not ready to replace the non-free solution in a stable
> > way. OpenOffice is no match in compatibility to MSOffice,
> Is this OOo's fault?

To a point, yes, they could chose to have a mode where they do not set
each setting when editing a document coming from ms-office, thus
making the document in question un-useable when reopened by your
ms-office using collegues or customers or whatever.

> > and evince is regularly dying on documents acroread has no problem with.
> Again, is this evince's fault? 

i don't know the reason for that, but i would say yes, if a software is
unstable and dies on you, it is the fault of the authors of said
software, and it should not be considered production quality.

> > The kernel is full of non-free firmware, debian voted on a GR which
> > sabotaged the effort of the kernel team on this non-free issue, and almost
> > brang the explosion of the kernel team
> I believe that Debian will *always* be non-free "supporters" (i.e. those
> wanting to keep it in) and those who would like to drop non-free at all.

Well, i believethat non-free is important to debian, because it clearly
labels non-free stuff as such, and doesn't try to hide it inside the
'free' part, because, like the non-free firmware in the kernel, there is
not really an alternative.

It is interesting though to notice that in the non-free firmware vote,
those non-free opponenents sabotaged any possibility of a storng
standing point with the hardware vendors on this topic, in order to get
their point out, and that the voting DDs where mislead into thinking
what they voted was a good thing, while in reality the text said the
contrary of the appareant meaning.

> It's just matter of time: if my prevision is wrong (i.e. a "free" world in a
> tenth of years), it will come some "auto-magi-foo plugin" (closed), which will
> be used for "Web 3.0", or the like. And we'll start it again, over and over.

Well, i saw lot of progress in the 10 years i have been involved in
debian, but the fact is that non-free is there to stay, some things have
become free since them, and thus can be removed over time when a true
replacement is found. But at the same time, new non-free software
appears in new areas, or we becme more strict in our non-free definition
(GNU documentation for example, or non-free firmware) and non-free
allows us to separate this from the free section of the debian archive.

> The separation between debian.org and non-free.org is IMHO auspicable. And,
> regarding the concern of RMS about "publicizing" this location... well, we do
> *NOT* mention debian-multimedia.org anywhere, do we? Still, lots of people use
> that.

debian-multimedia.org is not maintained by debian, it is for patent
encumbered stuff, liable of a lawsuite or something such. It was done by
an ex-DD who left debian in discontent.

> If we create non-free.org, who needs non-free, will find it. Google is their
> friend :)

Face it, most people don't care about non-free, and they will wonder why
this shiny new debian doesn't boot on their hardware.

And the fundation documents are clear in their meaning, the debian OS is
free software, but we also support the users of non-free software by
providing infrastructure allowing them to use it in the easiest and
nicest way. This is what the fundation document say, and this is how a
majority of DDs read it, as was proven in the non-free-removal GR a
couple of years ago.

Please forward this message to the list, as i am being censored and
can't post on my own.


Sven Luther

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