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Re: Notice: GR to remove non-free support from Debian

On Thu, Jun 08, 2000 at 01:25:13AM +0000, Chuan-kai Lin wrote:
> There is a General Resolution proposed by developer John Goerzen that
> is under discussion on both debian-devel and debian-project, maybe also
> a few others that I am not aware of.  The nature of the GR is to amend
> the Social Contract so that Debian will stop distributing non-free
> packages.  If the GR is passed, then Debian will no longer provide the
> storage, bandwidth, and bug tracking facilities for non-free packages,
> including acroread, blender, netscape, jdk, povray, trn, and xanim.

For the curious, the resolution is archived at
If you read the entire thread, there's large swaths that decend into a
pissing contest between some supporter and some opponent that can
probably be skipped. There is also a second draft at

On my machine, i currently have 36 non-free packages installed. i also
have 15 contrib packages installed (since contrib packages depend on
non-free packages, these will be of very limited usefulness).

Personally, i'll miss lyx (contrib, needs libforms), gimp1.1-nonfree
(compressed gifs are nice for webpages, png unfortunately isn't there
yet), the various fonts, portsentry, and maybe unzip (how's miniunzip?
anyone know?) out of those. I'll also miss Netscape until Mozilla gets
up to speed (no, it's not there yet).

For the curious, the command i used to find non-free packages was:
grep-status -F Status ' install' | grep-status -s Package -F Section   \
non-free -

> Intense debate is already under way.  Whether you are for and against
> the resolution, let your voice be heard.

While getting rid of non-free is a noble goal, i don't feel that Debian
can do it now without losing support from some parts of the Free
Software community (look at the reaction over KDE, and then think of
Netscape, LyX, etc etc etc) and without losing a good measure of
functionality. i also question the removal of software that is open
source but not DFSG free because of restrictions on commercial sale.

  finger for GPG public key.

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