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Re: "keep non-free" proposal

On Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 01:45:39AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:
> > On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 09:24:02PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > > Sven implied that there is a time for removing non-free, but that this
> > > isn't it.  You are saying that any time a maintainer wants to put a
> > > non-free package on the Debian server, this should be possible.  You
> > > are proposing no change, ever.  
> > No, I'm proposing we change when everyone's writing free software,
> > because the recognise that it's the best way of doing development and
> > there's no benefit, short term or long term to them in doing anything
> > else. Including Microsoft and nVidia. I don't have any particular concern
> > if this doesn't happen within my lifetime.
> Right, but that's no change.  We don't have to do anything to have
> non-free vanish with the last package in it.  That's the *current*
> system. 

Yes, it is, and it works well. We support our users, while at the same
time keep reducing our reliance on non-free software.

You can't argue for a change by saying that the current system's no good
because it's the current system.

> I don't object to the fact that you are entirely happy with the
> current system.  Sven seemed to be saying something different: that
> the current system needs to change, but not yet.

What he seemed to be saying was that the fact that we distribute non-free
software needs to and should change. And it does need to, and it should.
But we have a system for dealing with that already.

> > The claim that "non-free isn't in Debian" is smoke and mirrors. It's not
> > even what the social contract claims -- it says "We promise to keep the
> > Debian GNU/Linux Distribution entirely free software". 
> Um, so I'm a little confused.  What's the difference between "non-free
> isn't in Debian" and "we promise to keep Debian entirely free"?

That the former is baseless, and the base for the second makes it clear
that we're talking about the "Debian GNU/Linux Distribution" as distinct
from the "non-free" and "contrib" areas of the archive, and as distinct
from the project as a whole.

If you don't want to be confused don't try taking an ambiguous term, like
"Debian" as compared to "The Debian Distribution" or "The Debian Project",
and claiming everytime it's used it means exactly one of those things,
independent of any context.


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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