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

Syrus Nemat-Nasser <syrus@shiba.ucsd.edu> wrote:
>On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Peter S Galbraith wrote:
>> Syrus Nemat-Nasser 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. 
>> Note the _have to_ above.
>> Who will do this?
>Who maintains those packages now? Debian is a volunteer project! Anyway,
>since one argument is about the cost of maintaining the archives, perhaps
>non-free supporters should raise money to pay Debian for hosting those
>archives and the bug tracking system?

That isn't the main argument of the GR's supporters, and money is not
the issue.

Maintaining packages is a miniscule load compared to maintaining an
archive, a bug tracking system, and so on. One of the people who does
that for Debian now indicated that he thought it would take about a
month to set up and a couple of days a week thereafter. This is not
something that even skilled maintainers should consider lightly.

>Here's a thought: users that can't figure out how to install things
>themselves can pay money to a consultant. If there is enough interest,
>they can pay a company to certify the quality of some Debian packages. If
>users step up to the plate, they will have options. But, why should
>everyone expect a free lunch?


They have one now. Why shouldn't they? Debian's free-beer as well as

>> > Also, it is likely that KDE 2.X will be included in main as well.
>> Insider information?  What makes you say this?
>> Have the KDE people indicated they would modify the license?
>Since I don't actually use KDE, my information may be out of date, but:
>the new libQT meets DFSG requirements according to Bruce Perens. Since,
>KDE 2.0 is linked against the new QT libraries, it will be DFSG compliant
>unless there are still some questions of other license violations in the
>code. I don't know the details, and I'm not presently up to date on that

No, you've missed the fact that, although both are DFSG-free in
themselves, the GPL and the QPL are incompatible, and that the KDE
people have refused to add the exception to the GPL that would make it
legally distributable *at all*. This has been gone over *many* times,
and this probably isn't the place for that debate; there was a recent
flamewar on Slashdot if you want an introduction to it.

Colin Watson                                     [cjw44@flatline.org.uk]

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