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Re: Another Non-Free Proposal

On Sat, Jan 10, 2004 at 04:18:23PM -0500, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2004, at 20:26, Anthony Towns wrote:
> >and thus [go a long way]
> >towards [getting non-free removed from Debian]", then they should want 
> >to setup such an archive.
> If I were to set up a non-free archive, complete with BTS, signed 
> uploads, mailing lists, etc., would you support the non-free GR, 
> assuming what I set up is up to your quality standards?

If you set it up, then found that it was approximately as easy to
maintain non-free separately as it is in Debian, I'd be very surprised,
and I'd definitely re-evaluate my take on the matter. If it turns out
to be *easier* to maintain non-free debs outside Debian, or if it turns
out they can be *better* maintained outside Debian (or both), I'd come
close to being forced to revise my view.

Some non-obvious, but non-trivial, concerns are managing new maintainers
and managing license evaluation.

OTOH, I also think there's also a lot of value in having non-free in
Debian as a way to encourage non-free authors to free up their works. I
don't think the hypothesised chances of improving this by removing
non-free from Debian are likely to pan out at all, and I've seen no
evidence at all to support them.

> [ I'm not currently saying I will set up nonfree.org, I don't currently 
> have a machine to do it on, for example. Consider it a hypothetical, 
> with a reasonable chance. And I don't think I'd want to host 
> closed-source commercial software, like our ancient jdk's, 
> communicator, acrobat reader, etc. ]

It'd be very hard to convince me that a non-free archive that didn't
host everything that's currently in non-free was as good as what we've
currently got. Maybe if you had more recent versions of the jdk, or came
to an arrangement to get some software that's not packaged at all atm --
say the proprietary RealPlayer codecs? -- then that might work.


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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