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Why Anthony Towns is wrong

Anthony Towns has been arguing that the non-free archive really *is*
part of Debian, that while it isn't part of the "Debian Distribution",
it is obviously a part of the system as a whole.

This disregards the current text of the Social Contract section 5,
which is very clear that the non-free archives are "not part of the
Debian system" and that "non-free software isn't a part of Debian".

Anthony and Sven and others have recently found it very hard to
preserve this illusion, because they themselves speak of "removing
non-free from Debian", which strongly suggests that they have
essentially decided to ignore what the Social Contract section 5 says
about this.

So which is it?  Are you going to start speaking more precisely, and
stop acting as if it's pedantic to insist that non-free is not now
part of Debian?

If the "get rid of non-free" resolution fails, then it will still
remain true that non-free is not part of the Debian system, and is
indeed not part of Debian.  So, Sven, Anthony, Bdale, will you join me
in correcting users who think that non-free is part of Debian?  Will
you commit to not saying any more that it is?  Will you not speak as
if the non-free packages ever were part of Debian?

It is my conviction that Social Contract paragraph 5 represents a
compromise position.  And that compromise has essentially all but
broken down.  At least the proposers of the resolution have the
honesty to say it has; the opponents seem to want to say it's just
fine, while they ignore the part of the compromise they don't like.

I think we need to get rid of paragraph 5 entirely.  It's purpose has
long since been served; and those who would like it to remain are
themselves not happy with the compromise.


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