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Re: Moving contrib and non-free of master.debian.org

Richard Stallman wrote:

>     The social contract has as the very first item `Debian Will Remain 100%
>     Free Software'. So we need to do something to make once again clear
>     to everyone exactly what Debian is and show more clearly what we don't
>     consider to be free.
> Hear, hear!

Yes, glad to hear Debian leadership is still committed to the social contract!
Go Wichert! Thanks dude. :)

>     I. Create a new host, nonfree.debian.org and move non-free and contrib
>        there and ask our mirrors if they can consider also mirroring that.

That wouldn't be too much of a problem for the mirror admins huh? But when they
mirror it, they'll probably end up aggregating all the parts, main, contrib, and
non-free, (and non-us if their laws allow it) onto the same mirror host that
they administer... But at least the message would be clear that the "official"
debian master ftp sites will be separate. That is a good message. It means yes,
main is all you will ever need to run Debian, it does not depend on anything
that is non-free, but we also provide non-free stuff as well, as we know that
not all the free software will fill your needs, so we still provide a mechanism
where we allow packaging of non-free tools and apps etc. for integrated use on
Debian systems, but as you can see it is not our main focus, as we have
relegated non-free software to a completely different server.

That's a good message. Because as we all (or most at least) know, free software
is just plain better. [:=)

> This is better, because it gives the non-free packages
> a peripheral status, and draws people's attention primarily
> to the official Debian system.

Yup. It's more a communication / political (and technical implementation) issue
than it is a move towards banning non-free software from Debian. It's a "chew on
this" message and might cause more people to re-evaluate the use of non-free
stuff and re-evaluate why free software is "just plain better"... Thinking is
good... (we mostly, ...depends on what you think about and how... :)

>     II. Create a new host, official.debian.org and copy main there and use
>        that consistantly when we refer to the Debian distribution.

Perhaps use this as a temporary measure, and then over say a few months time,
phase out the "combined" collection ftp server, in favor a two split servers,
one for main, and one for the rest...

In any transition, you need a little slack, and adjustment time... And a safety
net. I'd make this "official.debian.org" and keep it main only, even though
master.debian.org is combined. Then gradually start trying to get everyone used
to the idea of the "split" thing, and allow time for adoption, as they may still
need the old way for some unforeseeable things. But continually and gradually
get everybody on board, one way or another and phase out "master.debian.org" or
"ftp.debian.org" use for the combined packages. It makes little difference to
the users. All they have to do is add an extra line in /etc/apt/sources.list !
To the developers and mirror site admins it would be a hassle, but one they
could gradually adopt and the message of doing the whole thing would be a nice
loud and clear message on Debian's stance towards commitment to free software.
(You may not be RUSH fans, but they wrote a song, "Show Don't Tell". In it some
of the lyrics go: "I don't care what you say. Show me don't tell me. I've heard
it all before. Show me don't tell me.)

Well let's show 'em our commitment. And backup the words of the Social Contract!

Wichert's the Man. :)

> This is not as good, because people would have a tendency to forget about
> the "official." and the message would therefore tend to get lost.  But
> it would still be an improvement compared with the present situation.
> better than the way things are now.

Well temporarily having a combined old style ftp server would be ok, permanently
would be bad, as the original message, the purpose of doing the whole thing in
the first place would be mostly lost.

>     The ballot will contain the options:
>     1) create nonfree.debian.org domain
>     2) create official.debian.org domain
>     3) keep the current situation

Maybe it should be:

1) keep current situation temporarily (some number of months say and eventually 
   phase it out), plus add nonfree.debian.org and free.debian.org (eventually 
   making free.debian.org the main ftp site)
2) keep current situation permanently, plus add nonfree.debian.org and
3) Keep current situation untouched and forget the whole thing.

> * Split the servers.  (Precisely how, to be determined later.)
> * Don't split the servers.
> * Further discussion.

Further discussion is always a good thing...

That's my 2 pennies.


---------------------  PGP key ID: FED76A3D <brock@cyberdude.com> 4 / 5 / 1999

   __ _    Debian GNU       R. Brock Lynn             (bytopian on irc #debian)
  / /(_)_ __  _   ___  __   http://www.debian.org/     irc.openprojects.net
 / / | | '_ \| | | \ \/ /                    Free Software!
/ /__| | | | | |_| |>  <    Remember that's "Free" as in Freedom!,
\____/_|_| |_|\__,_/_/\_\   Not Free as in price.      Debian's 'Da Bomb!

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