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Re: Another Non-Free Proposal

On Sun, Jan 04, 2004 at 09:48:01AM -0500, Dale E Martin wrote:
> > The question isn't _what_ it's about, but what the point of it is --
> > what the goal is, what the achievement will be, what the aim is, _why_
> > this is worth doing.
> To me, it's worth doing because of your last sentence.  We (the Debian
> project) should concentrate our resources on software that is DFSG free.

Uh, we're already doing that. Very few Debian resources are spent on
non-DFSG-free stuff. A single day's uploads takes more disk space and
bandwidth than the entirety of non-free. None of the regular maintenance
work is non-free specific.

> Any individual developer can work on whatever they want, of course,
> including setting up servers that serve non-free.  If our mirrors want to
> carry non-free, that's fine as well.

Which means the only resources we can "concentrate" are our servers, not our
developers' time, which means we get _no_ benefit from this, as far as I can

> All in all there is little practical consequence of this proposal, IMHO.

But that's not true. The practical consequences are many: Debian ceases
supporting every non-free package, non-free maintainers have to setup their
own archives, contrib becomes at best much harder to support well and at
worst unsupported.

> It's more about philosophy.  Consider that many
> people outside the project consider Debian to be the only morally "pure"
> (i.e. not motivated by commercial gain) distribution. 

Consider that many people outside the project consider non-free software
to be important, and that Debian's balanced stance on the matter -- make
the distinction clear, but don't be otherwise prejudiced about them --
achieves all our goals.


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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