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Re: Proposal - Deferment of Changes from GR 2004-003

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> writes:

> > I believe that any serious problem here is one that the release
> > manager created.  
> It gets pretty boring repeating myself all the time, but, again, I'm not
> willing to accept the blame for this. 

Back up a second.  I said that "any serious problem here", meaning "if
there is a serious problem here".  

I don't actually think there is a serious problem here at all.  I
think a bunch of people who were opposed to the GR are now trying to
pretend like a horrible disaster has happened, because they can't
stand the thought that they lost the vote.

If there is a problem, it's because the opponents to the GR didn't
express themselves ahead of time, including you.... but I don't think
there is a problem.

I do not object to a suitable GR which would allow sarge to be
released under the "old rules", whatever those were.  I would probably
vote for one if it came up, but I'm also content to just let things be
as they are.  I'm quite undecided about the matter actually, and am
reading the discussion intently trying to make up my mind.

But regardless of what we choose to do, there is no disaster, there is
no horrible problem; there are some new challenges to meet, but we can
meet them and move on.

For example, I don't think it's a horrible disaster to have to move
non-free fonts into the non-free archive, and the same with GFDL'd
documentation.  (As for the former, I think a font where you have a
bitmap and the right to modify it is a free font; that the bitmap is
itself the source, even if it was generated from somewhere else.  This
is not the only case, of course, but it's a big important one.)

For firmware, we can do many things: we can urge the providers of the
firmware to provide the source code.  So far they have not done so,
but I don't see any real evidence that people have tried.  The
hardware vendors make the same claims that closed-source and
non-free-software people always do, and are getting away with it
because the kernel maintainers seem willing to include non-free stuff
into the kernel.

There are technical means available to distributing that firmware
separately; it's not some horrible unsolvable disaster.  There are
difficulties, and maybe some things we cannot do.  But there was a
long time when we had no high-powered web browser in Debian main also;
but we did not start "adapting" the definition of free software to
include Netscrape.

So, I apologize if you thought I was blaming you for anything; that
was not my intention.  I was saying, to those who think there is some
horrible problem, that if there is one, it's the doing of the people
who didn't speak up sooner (including you, perhaps)--but I don't think
there is a problem at all.


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