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

On Thu, Jun 08, 2000 at 11:38:31AM -0700, Syrus Nemat-Nasser wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Moore, Paul wrote:
> Pardon me, but why do you folks think you will no longer have access to
> Debianized packages of this non-free software? These packages would simply
> have to be managed outside of the official Debian infrastructure.

i look at the 'success' of RedHat's contrib, and shudder. Some packages
are good, but some are very bad, and usually there's multiple variations
of the same package done by different people. One of Debian's strengths
is that, although anyone _can_ make a deb, most don't have to because so
much is included in the Debian system or associated and packaged by
official developers.

> It does not have to be a commercial operation. I use LyX a lot. I also
> use a lot of other software packages that are not DFSG-free. However,
> LyX will eventually be GPL clean when it can link against GTK.

Umm, LyX is DFSG compliant, it uses a modified GPL (the "you may not
link against closed source code" sections were removed, check
/usr/doc/lyx/copyright). It's only in contrib because it currently links
to something non-free; otherwise, it'd be non-free or KDEd itself.

If we strike out not only non-free, we'll lose programs like LyX that
depend on non-free, and others that are licensed to be not only libre
but gratis as well. Yes, they can be installed to /usr/local, but that
loses the advantages of Debian packages: managed through a common
interface (apt) and very likely to work well with Debian.

> Other packages may follow suit because the developers want to be
> included inside Debian.

I'd support this GR if it didn't remove needed functionality that
currently exists only in non-free. Make vrms standard, put non-free on
non-free.debian.org, whatever, but keep the ability for Debian
maintainers to provide packages that _officially_ work with the Debian
system, with a centralized place to report bugs in the Debian packaging.

  finger for GPG public key.

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