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Re: Proposal: Keep non-free

Matt Pavlovich wrote:
> I have personally negotiated with several hardware vendors including
> Matrox, Nvidia, and Compaq about making drivers and other support
> software 100% DFSG compliant.  The success has been mixed, but in every
> case, they are beginning to "see the light".  

I'm very glad to read this.

> Nvidia is the #1 or #2 video chip manufacturer in the world.  Removing
> support for their product is not good for Debian.  It will only increase
> support difficulties and alienate new users from trying to use Debian
> software.  Debian must understand that Linux is still *very* new to many
> vendors (software and hardware).  It will take some time for these
> vendors to successfully integrate within the community.

Please keep in mind that the Debian project does not exist to be "good"
for Debian.  Instead it exists to provide the (best and) free operating
system.  The inVidious stuff is definitively not free, and hence should
not contaminate our thoughts and ideology.

> If we abandon non-free, we are essentially telling Nvidia and other
> vendors:
> "Thank you for taking the time to integrate your software onto our
> platform, but your efforts are not good enough and we refuse to
> distribute it."

As long as it is not Free Software I don't see a problem with this.

We cannot include it in Debian anyway, since it is non-free.  If Debian
stops distributing it but people will build ftp.non-free.org, what's
the different from the users' perspective?  A new apt-line.  Oh horror...

> Thanks, but no thanks?!?!?  That is just closed minded and is a slap in
> the face to the vendors that are *writing* software for Linux.  Take a

I rather see it the other way around.  It's a big slap in the face of
Free Software Linux authors that some companies don't provide specs or
free drivers for their products but instead contaminate the kernel with
proprietary and non-free modules.  I'm not only talking about ideological
contamination but also real contamination since some of these drivers
are buggy and render the kernel unusable or crash or do whatever.  People
notice this as *Linux is buggy*, which is not the case, but people don't
recognize this.



Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct,
not tried it.  -- Donald E. Knuth

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