What I would like to vote for (was: Negative Summary of the Split Proposal)
I completely agree with Jason. I just want to add some more things
(already said this here and on IRC):
What I'm really missing in our current state is an explanation in the
description of non-free telling me why is that package there. You can
get these infos after you install the package or if you play with the
dpkg. These things should be more accessible, aka displayed by dselect
and let me decide if I can install the package. After all, old users of
debian knows what are the differences between main, non-free and contrib
are, so this issue is more for outsiders or newcomers. In the current
state we force them to install first the non-free package and let them
check later if they can really use the software. Not very user friendly,
if you ask me.
Making apt search main only by default would be enough for showing that
we prefer free software. However, the information on accessing the
non-free and contrib should be at hand, if somebody looks for it, not in
a forgotten corner of my computer.
To conclude, I will probably vote for keeping the current state of
splitting (all stuff on the same server with main, non-free and contrib
branches). But I would like to see (in time, not immediately) that
non-free packages explains why they are not free from the very
beginning, aka in the description field of the package. Probably this
should be imposed through the policy for non-free packages.
Jason Gunthorpe wrote:
> As I mentioned earlier I have written what I'm calling a negative summary
> of the split proposal. It focuses on the arguments against the archive
> split and does not attempt to provide any sort of balance with the
> arguments for the archive split which I belive are aplt represented in the
> initial proposal.
> It is intended that a summary like this will become part of the vote
> itself so that developers can see a short summary of the basic arguments
> without needing to follow the whole list.
> Hopefully I got all of the major un-resolved negative points and hopefully
> everything is accurate, it was done largely from memory so please let me
> know if there is an error. I do ask that people not use this thread to
> discuss the points themselves (they have already been discussed), please
> change the subject title.
> ----------- Cut -------------
> This text is a negative response to the non-free split proposal currently
> being deliberated by the Debian Project. It attempts to summarize the
> concerns voiced by some developers. Only concerns that were left largely
> unresolved by discussion are presented here as 'facts' and observations
> about what other consequences the proposal will have. Please see the
> Debian-Vote archives for the full discussions.
> The Proposal is Counter to the Social Contract
> ~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~
> The proposal may violate the spirit of section 5 of the Social Contract
> <http://www.debian.org/social_contract> which says that non-free and
> contrib are not a part of The Debian Distribution but that Debian will use
> its resources to support them as a service to its users. Section 4 also
> clearly states that Debian's first priority is to its users and the free
> software community.
> In short, this argument rests on the assumption that separating non-free
> and contrib onto another server will make it harder for our users and would
> thus violate Section 4 and/or 5.
> It is Only the Start..
> ~~ ~~ ~~~~ ~~~ ~~~~~~~
> A few paranoid people feel that separation would only be the start of a
> larger campaign to distance the non-free software from Debian. Already
> the APT author has agreed to remove non-free and contrib from the default
> source list and some of the Archive Masters have indicated that they would
> give the new non-free upload queue a lower priority than non-free software
> currently enjoys. When RMS first brought up this idea he was also keen to
> not only separate non-free but to make it so that the users could not
> accidently discover it and consider it part of the distribution either on
> the web pages or during the install.
> Essentially the archive split may mark a change of policy towards reduced
> support of non-free/contrib packages.
> Too Specific
> ~~~ ~~~~~~~~
> The proposal does not set any sort of general rule but addresses a single
> problem with a single site. Even after voting the question will still
> remain if anything should be done with non-us, the web site and other
> places the contain references that may confuse users about the separation
> that exists. It addresses a single technical problem and it does not
> address the larger issues of Debian's support of non-free software that is
> not part of The Debian Distribution.
> Does it Really Matter?
> ~~~~ ~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~
> Ultimately the proposal is based on the assumption that users are/will
> be confused by the proximity of the non-free packages to the main
> archive. This is really impossible to prove either way so it has
> represented a point of contention. Several people suggest that
> non-free.debian.org is no more clear than debian/dists/unstable/non-free
> and that tools like APT (which already indicates if the package is
> main/contrib/non-free) make the change all but pointless. Since any
> mirrors of the new non-free archive will likely also mirror debian
> proper it becomes even more questionable if anything has been accomplished
> by this.
> As stated the proposal will require a separate machine for hosting the
> new non-free archive with bandwidth able to handle an excess of 3G per day.
> This will require Debian to solicit sponsorship and purchase hardware or
> place more load other machines to support this increase in bandwidth.
> In all likely hood the new non-free.debian.org machine would also contain
> a mirror of the main archive and serve as a master.non-free.debian.org.
> Since we would be removing non-free from the main archive an alternate
> mirror network would have to be arranged and new mirrors setup and our
> users informed of them. With nearly 200 mirrors of the main archive this
> is a non-trivial loss that will be time consuming and difficult to recover
> from. Many people will have to be involed and some mirror masters may not
> agree with our discision.
> Ultimately for this point it is a personal matter of when the cost exceeds
> the value.