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Re: GR: Removal of non-free

On Fri, Jan 02, 2004 at 06:15:32PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> On 2003-12-29 21:02:42 +0000 Raul Miller <moth@magenta.com> wrote:
> >If someone were to implement a decent alternative for that 
> >infrastructure,
> >I would be amenable to leaving that part out of the social contract,
> >but I do not like your "drop it on the floor" approach to this issue.
> Why does the presence of that alter the success of the proposal? 

One effect of removing non-free from Debian is that we can't use all the
infrastructure we already have for non-free -- the archive, the BTS, the
buildds, and everything else (our n-m process, the PTS, whatever). This
means that for the bits of non-free that are still needed, will have to
have the infrastructure reimplemented for them, or will have to do without

Both of those are bad for Debian -- reimplementing infrastructure sucks up
time and energy of maintainers on work that doesn't benefit free software;
and reducing the available support for our users who need non-free software
makes their lives more painful, or encourages them to switch to a different

The question is thus *how* bad are these things. If the reimplementation stuff
is trivial, then who cares if we have to waste twenty minutes to get this
setup? Probably no one. OTOH, if it takes a couple of weeks' work to setup,
and a significant amount of ongoing time, that effectively means a couple of
people are now solely working on Debian non-free, well that would be bad.

One way of demonstrating that the effort is trivial is to setup all that

> Surely, if the proposal passes, those who want the infrastructure will 
> create it, if it is needed/important enough? Asking those who disagree 
> with its use to create it seems unfair.

People who disagree with the use of a separate non-free repository surely
wouldn't be arguing for its creation, though, no?


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

               Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we can.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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