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Re: non-free software

> On Mon, 30 Mar 1998, Bob Hilliard wrote:
> Hello,
> OOPS - I did not mean to start a flame war.  May I give
> a little more context to my original post?
> I will use the Debian packages when I can.  If xv doesn't
> come with Debian, maybe I will use a substitue if it is 
> as functional, or close.

Have a look at `display' from the imagemagic package.  It has at least
the same amount of options as xv has, though not exactly the same ones.

> However there are packages
> like netpbm which, to my knowledge cannot be replaced.
> If this package was not available as a
> debian package, I would have to go with another distribution or
> hunt the net for the tarball and compile it.
> However, netpbm is available from debian.org, so I will
> download it.  A pain since I have a bad connection.

I have always been surprised that xpaint more or less depends on this,
but still is in the main distribution, not in contrib.  I also found
that some of the netpbm utilities are incapable of handling really big
files, so a replacement for these utils would indeed be nice.

> I hope you continue to support packages like xv and netpbm.
> I think there are too many good packages out there for
> the freeware community to ignore.  If you support them
> please make them as easily accessible as possible. 

I basicly agree with this, but I think the debian project should try and
find free replacements for these popular non-free packages.  I believe
xv's functionality can be replaced by display, and maybe electric eye
that comes with gnome.  Maybe it would be a good idea to make a list of
popular non-free apps, and their free replacements if there are any.

Eric Meijer

 E.L. Meijer (tgakem@chem.tue.nl)          | tel. office +31 40 2472189
 Eindhoven Univ. of Technology             | tel. lab.   +31 40 2475032
 Lab. for Catalysis and Inorg. Chem. (TAK) | tel. fax    +31 40 2455054

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