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Re: Proposal: Keep non-free

On Thu, Feb 26, 2004 at 11:23:37AM +0100, Martin Schulze wrote:
> 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.

There are three possible circumstances: maintaining non-free in
Debian is significantly less effort than maintaining it elsewhere,
it's significantly more effort, or it's roughly the same.

In the first case, I think we should keep maintaining it in Debian.
In the latter case, I think we should move it out of Debian. In the middle
case, I don't care.

If either of the second cases match reality, it shouldn't be a problem
for someone to setup nonfree.org while we support non-free within Debian.
If that's the case, it obviously only requires as much effort as already
goes into maintaining Debian, and if it makes things simpler or better
in the long run, it's surely worth doing.

But, again, until it's _demonstrated_ otherwise, I don't believe that it
will be as easy to maintain non-free outside of Debian as it is inside
of Debian.

> 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.  

Of course, if it turns out I'm right and you're wrong, we'll have shot
ourselves in the foot by forcing ourselves to spend more time maintaining
non-free software.

(In summary: I don't think there's a chicken&egg problem here -- no one's
stopping the people who think non-free.org is plausible from setting it
up. We're just not going to do it for you when there are better things
to spend our time on -- like maintaining the Debian archives.)


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

             Linux.conf.au 2004 -- Because we could.
           http://conf.linux.org.au/ -- Jan 12-17, 2004

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