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Re: We *can* be Free-only

John Goerzen wrote:
On Sun, Jan 11, 2004 at 11:50:43PM -0500, Nathanael Nerode wrote:

John Goerzen wrote:

What's more, if there really are as many people that find
non-free vital, they will no doubt posess the skill, will, and resources
to ensure that a quality non-free repository will exist for a long time.
I very much suspect they will do a better job maintaining it than we
have to date.  As a result, our users' pain will be only the slight one
of an edit to sources.list and a dselect update.

That's a good argument. However, to play devil's advocate, what if the result is that Debian Developers start trying harder to sneak non-free stuff into "main"? At this point, given the amount of non-free stuff which *already* lives in main, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised.

That's an interesting angle that I haven't seen mentioned before.

I think I can see two sides to that coin.

On the one hand, I don't think that there will be any impact on the
discussions in debian-legal.  People there are already fairly well
accustomed to analyzing licenses on their merits.

Yes, I think it could mean more resistance on the part of developers.
But, I haven't really seen much resistance to date, and I don't think it
will be a great problem.
OK. I guess I tend to see the glass as one-tenth-empty rather than nine-tenths-full. ;-)

As far as sneaking non-free into main... again, I don't think this has
been a huge problem.  I think that most non-free works in main are those
which were historically considered free (perhaps because we didn't
understand their non-freeness in the past, or perhaps because of
changing circumstances upstream, or other matters) but which now are
considered non-free.
Good point.  That is definitely the usual case.

The problem of non-free snuck into main is one which will eventually be
exposed; it is, in fact, impossible to hide this from other developers
with prying eyes.
But will anything get done about it?

Why is mindi-kernel still in the archive? Are the FTPmasters still unable to devote sufficient time to their jobs, perhaps? That's the polite theory which casts no aspersions on anyone's morals. :-)

Currently Debian has maintainers who refuse to remove non-free works from *main*. Do you think they're going to become more reasonable about this if non-free is removed? I think they're going to become *less* reasonable.

Again, I haven't seen this as a huge problem; for instance, with the GIF
transition a few years back, cooperation usually was good.  IIRC, the
largest problems were with lethargic maintainers that weren't
maintaining their packages anyway.
Heh. Point.  Back to the same damn problem.

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