Re: Proposal: Keep non-free
On Tue, Feb 24, 2004 at 01:23:51PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> I consider this proposed position statement poorly justified, for the
> reasons that follow.
I'm not going to address everything, but I'd like to point out at least
a few issues.
> On 2004-02-21 15:48:48 +0000 Anthony Towns <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > First, it allows us to provide useful packages that we could not
> > otherwise provide.
> It also reduces the demand for developers to encourage and help
> DFSG-free alternatives to those packages.
It reduces some of the pressure. This is not at all equivalent to
reducing the demand.
People sometimes buckle under pressure -- some would just give up and
use something else, for instance.
> I think such encouragement/assistance is consistent with Debian's
> stated goals.
What encouragement are you talking about? Are you equating "lack of
support" for "assistance"?
Or are you making the mistake of thinking that the software we distribute
in non-free is the same kinds of stuff as what we can't distribute at all?
> Is it coincidence that the free Java systems in main progress more
> rapidly now that we do not have a Java in non-free?
We can provide much more support for stuff in main than for stuff in
non-free. So, no, that's not a coincidence.
> It does not really seem healthy for the Debian operating system
> development to use its facilities to help develop software that cannot
> be part of the Debian operating system.
If it's not healthy for you, then don't do it.
However, I hope you're not advocating that "Debian should only be used
to develop software which will then be distributed through Debian"
is a rule that everyone should live by.
There's a lot that has to go into software before it can be distributed --
not only must the copyright be changed from the default, but you should
deal with stability, portability, understandability, and a number of
other *ity topics.
Meanwhile, there's a lot that could go into debian to make it a more
pleasant development environment. [For example: a tool, perhaps based on
user-mode linux [for the linux environment, hurd shouldn't need anything
special] which lets a person type "make install" and have the system
automatically integrate that installation with the package database].
But this is getting way off topic, so I'll stop here.