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Re: What it means to be Debian

>>>>> "Bas" == Bas Wijnen <wijnen@debian.org> writes:

    Bas> The above has nothing to do with beliefs.  Beliefs are about
    Bas> people who believe that using non-free services is better for
    Bas> some ethical reason.  They will say that even if a free
    Bas> alternative would be available, the non-free service is still
    Bas> better and so people shouldn't use the free service.  I'm not
    Bas> talking about missing features, because those are in the realm
    Bas> of "needs".  A belief in a non-free service means that they are
    Bas> of the opinion that free software is ethically (as opposed to
    Bas> technically) inferior.  I believe that such a view is
    Bas> incompatible with the core values of our community.

Here, I think we are in disagreement.  I value communities that don't
tell people what they must believe.  I welcome people who believe that
the network effects of large centralized services provide significant
value and that the practical effects of running such a service mean it
will be non-free, to Debian so long as they follow the social contract
when they work on Debian.  I also welcome the discussion about the
tradeoffs and ethics that are common in our community.  However, one of
the things I value about our community is that our values ar expressed
in terms of our actions, not our believes.  We say in our social
contract that we'll produce a free operating system and that our
priorities (what we focus on when needs conflict) are users and free
software.  No where do we say what our users or contributors must
believe.  We even write text which I've always read as saying that we
value working with people who have a variety of beliefs.  To me that's
all very important.

So, I spoke in terms of needs not beliefs because I believe beliefs have
very little place in what it means for me to be Debian, and I hope that
is something that persists over time.


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