Re: just so you won't miss it...
R Garth Wood wrote:
> The reason the distinction is not clear now is that ppl want
> that feature(to be easy to install debs of any license).
> If you try to change that they will just circumvent
> whatever measure is in place and make it just as easy,
> perhaps making the distinction less clear.
> I you want to make the distinction I think there is probably a better
> way. Maybe nf-<pkg_name>*.deb or something.
I would disagree.
There are three (and probably more) levels of distinction that we can
use with regard to free software. These range from most general to
most specific like so:
[General] <--------------------------------------------> [Specific]
ServerName <---------------> Directory <-----------------> FileName
We currently use the directory to distinguish our non-free from our
Free software. Wichert is proposing that we move this distinction to
the more general choice (of server or domain name). This has the
advantage that we can make sweeping statements like:
"All software on www.debian.org is Free software"
"All software on www.debian.org is part of the Debian distribution"
Right now, the best we can do is say:
"All software located under the 'main' directory on www.debian.org
is free software and part of the distribution"
Your suggestion to use the filename as an indicator of freeness
moves our distinction to a more specific case, and the statement
"All software not beginning with the letters 'nf' on www.debian.org
is free software and part of the Debian distribution"
I fail to see how a filename distinction would be less confusing,
and I support the use of an alternate domain or server name to
make this distinction provided that it can be accomplished without
too much pain on our mirrors.
Your comment that people will circumvent this distinction implies
that Debian is somehow trying to prevent people from using the
non-free section of the archive. This is not the case.
"Circumvention" of these distinction through a concious choice of
the user made possible by tools like apt is desirable and will
be accomplished no matter how this issue is decided.