Re: Proposal: Keep non-free
On 2004-02-24 13:48:22 +0000 Sven Luther <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MJ Ray wrote:
It does not really seem healthy for the Debian operating system
to use its facilities to help develop software that cannot be part
Debian operating system.
Oh ? Please tell me how it is a health problem for Debian ? What are
symptoms of the disease, and how is it related to the non-free area ?
Maybe "health" is not the best word, as it's anthropomorphising
Debian. It hates that.
Running right through the project is the aim that "Debian is a free
operating system (OS) for your computer" yet we use directly
project-related resources to give better support to some pieces of
non-free software than we do to non-Debian-packaged free software. I
believe this situation is unjust, inconsistent, or, if you prefer, an
unhealthy attitude. The project works against itself and those its
website says it strongly supports.
Thus speaks the one who doesn't care about non-free, without even
Third, it allows us to establish productive relationships with
authors of non-free software, which gives the free software
an effective channel for communicating their needs and desires.
This seems almost entirely independent of non-free being in the
to hear the experience of the non-free packagers who repeteadedly
claimed the contrary here.
That's unfair, unjustified and largely incorrect. As you should
remember from our past discussions, I care about non-free and would
like to see more things in it be freed or replaced. I hear your
anecdotes, but no-one has anything better than vague sentiments on
this. Can anyone show the magic non-free archive effect exists and is
stronger than for a third-party non-free package? The light in the
darkness you describe may be an oncoming train rather than the sun you
claim, for all I know. In god we trust: all others should bring data.
[...] documentation and other kind of data (is the bible text in
main really modifiable ?
Surely the bible text is in the public domain by now?
and what about the whole lot of GFDL documentation)
No-one claims it is free software, so I don't think there's much
and naturally binary only driver, where one could argue
that the ultimate source is not the source in itself but the full
hardware specs, which are often available only with an NDA, and even
then, often incomplete.
Yes, these sort of NDAs are always a problem. The problems are at
least as bad as the symptoms. Why accomodate the symptoms?
I suspect people often install non-free through ignorance and habit.
They install them, because there is no free alternative.
Recent work analysing non-free makes me think this could be a minority
case. I should cross-reference the non-free alternatives list with the
If you support removal when there is a free alternative, it sounds
like a weaker form of the Suffield drop GR would get your support. How
to word it, though? I can't think of a way that avoids the "when
alternatives exist" condition problem I mentioned in other emails,
By contrast there is not, to the best of my knowledge, any evidence
to support the claims that supporting non-free costs as anything
Then, the sides are equal, at best. However, your rationale is not
presenting the case against the motion, so I would not expect it to
that evidence, but the absence of evidence for your proposal is
blah blah blah.
Yes, I think that's an equivalently meaningful restatement of the
original point! I do not expect the proposer of a GR to put the case
against their proposal. Claiming there is no case against it seems
Naturally they do. But i guess this would be not more work than
If nothing else, do ftpmasters have to check uploads, as with other
The costs in manpower are also fairly
small: all the ongoing support is a freebie from supporting
the uploads of someone trying to sneak in one of those packages into
So, there is still some extra work for each package in non-free and
not just "freebie". The OP exaggerated.
Because the whole lot of installed debian machines doesn't represent a
potential market even enough to pay these hardware manufacturers
employee time needed to follow the release of the specs and such
Or so they say at least. Please step back in reality.
Careful. Spec releasing and relicensing may be the simplest routes,
but they are not the only ones.
This Great Unanswered Question is the core of that debate: would the
maintainers of an alternative non-free framework be already active
developers or not?
Yes, naturally, or else, they would be persons who would otherwise
I disagree, as you already know, but I think it is the core question.
There could be another benefit to removing non-free: developers
to accept that the Debian project is not the only source for Debian
packages and actually resolve some of the third-party package
matters, like Origin and Bugs, and enabling something like
Third party packages are evil, this is what the whole rpm situation
Now who has stepped out of reality? Third party packages will always
exist and we should manage them better. The "rpm situation" may
describe what happens when you don't manage them as well as possible.
So far the "debian situation" is that third-party packages are
discouraged by some (many?) developers. That won't work forever.
What approaches "the discussion is over" is not really a healthy
statement. Reading the docs, I'm also not sure that such a position
statement is non-null.
You don't like it, because you fear you will loose it, and would
and endless discussion than a resolution in your disfavor.
No, I don't like it, but because it doesn't seem to matter whether I
"win" or not. It looks like a complete waste of time and I think it
may be an attempt to irritate developers with unnecessary voting about
Anyway, sure, someone can propose a let's remove non-free resolution
later on again, but at least we can be out of it for now, and
concentrate on real work, instead of endlessly hearing the same
Does the proposal do that any better than the Suffield drop GR not
MJR/slef My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
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