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Re: Proposal: Keep non-free

On Thu, Feb 26, 2004 at 11:23:37AM +0100, Martin Schulze wrote:
> Sven Luther wrote:
> > > 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...
> > 
> > Because most probably, nobody will build ftp.non-free.org. I would be
> > happy to be proven the contrary though, and once such an alternative
> > structure is up, and works in an acceptable way, then i would see no
> > opposition to move non-free to it. But upto now, i have seen only empty
> > words about it. Is the free software/open source way of doing not : show
> > the code, and if it is good, let's use it. The same should go in this
> > case.
> Sounds like a henn-and-egg problem to me:
>  1. as long as non-fre is distributed through debian.org nobody
>     will build nonfree.org.
>  2. as long as nonfree.org isn't functional, debian.org cannot
>     (should not?) stop distributing non-free.
> For this, I'd just say, stop distributing non-free through debian.org
> and wait for the demand to build nonfree.org by the people interested
> in such a repository.  There are some Debian people insterested in,
> so that the know how from debian.org can/will be used as well.

Joey, i don't think this is a good solution. And more to the point, it
is not in the free/open/whatever software/source tradition. It is as i
would say, ok, we need a new apt, because the current is bad for reason
.... Would you then go the route to remove the current apt and not use
it in order to force people to write a new implementation ? No, most
assuredly not, you will say ok, please propose a new implementation,
then we will review it, and if it works out well, we will adopt it. The
same is going on here.

I use and maintain packages in non-free. I also, as you may remember,
maintain old non-free packages which is now free and in main. I am
interested in being able to continue doing this in the most efficient
way, not in loosing time setting up some alternative infrastructure,
time i would like much more to use on software in main, and other free

I guess most maintainers of non-free are like that, they do it because
it is usefull for them, and because the relative cost to maintain those
packages is not all that much, compared to the benefit it will give, but
if the cost becomes too high ...

So, it is definitively of the responsability of the people talking about
non-free.org to provide the infrastructure for it, to prove that they
are not only using an empty argument and speaking wind, and then we will

But you will say that those remove non-free proponent don't care enough
about non-free to provide this infrastructure. Sure, i can understand
this, but then, they have no right to use this hypothetical non-free.org
in their argumentation.


Sven Luther

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