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Re: just so you won't miss it...

On Mon, 21 Jun 1999, Mitch Blevins wrote:

> 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

The problem posed is that when a person installs software,
they know it's not or is debian main, right?
# apt-get install foo
doesn't quite do that.

> 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"
> and
> "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
> then becomes:
> "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,

I see. Well is it worth moving all that stuff around
to make that statement? Also would non-free become dilapidated
like nonus was? This is a big concern of mine as well.

It's just a suggestion; not something I put a lot of thought
into. But I think what wichert wants is that when someone
installs a pkg they know it is non-free. With the dn
solution this if may not be the case. I should point out
that I don't favour the nf- thing either, I think
it's ugly. But if it keeps the pkgs on the same server
it's better the segregating them.

> 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.

I'm assuming that the nonfree.debian.org will not be in
sources.list by default else they wouldn't know it was
non-free, right?
I can forsee a lot of newbies not being able to download
non-free stuff if they had to edit sources.list
I don't think we're trying but that will be the effect.

> "Circumvention" of these distinction through a concious choice of

It will be unconcious, though. That is my point.

> the user made possible by tools like apt is desirable and will
> be accomplished no matter how this issue is decided.

I think it's fine the way it is. I fact I'd like to see the
US government find some way to allow crypographic software
to be freely distributed so that we could unite the archives.

PS I don't want to start a long thread. Everyone: don't reply
unless you really want to.

| R Garth Wood                    |    ...cooler than you.              |
|                                 |                                     |
| rgwood@itactics.com             |                                     |

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