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Re: non-free?

Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> writes:

> What I'm saying is that there is no need of dropping the old API in any
> foreseeable future. Just stop documenting it.

Ah, I see what you're saying.  Okay, that probably minimizes the pain for
everyone else, although I still don't really see the point.

> Because as long as we document it, it's very hard to claim that
> "non-free" is not part of Debian, when you could just add it as a
> keyword side-by-side with "main" in your sources.list.

That's for a good reason: non-free is maintained by the Debian project.
It's just not part of the Debian distribution.

Yes, this is to some extent hair-splitting, but, well, welcome to free
software.  :)  Doing this stuff requires a lot of hair-splitting, since it
involves quite a bit of, as the saying goes, "tepid change for the
somewhat better."

I think we should continue to maintain contrib and non-free as part of the
Debian project because, by doing so, we enable people to use more free
software than they otherwise would be able to do.  So I'm not particularly
upset by the fact that the repository system we uses clearly identifies
contrib and non-free as maintained by the Debian project.  That's honest.

It doesn't sit right with me to hide that fact artificially.  If we're
going to actually stop maintaining those archives as part of our project,
that's one thing.  I think that would be a mistake, but at least it would
be consistent.  But I don't see much real hypocrisy in our current stance.
I think we're honest about what we're doing: as a project, we have some
additional work products outside of the Debian system that are designed to
work alongside it.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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