[Fsf-Debian] The question behind the questions [was No response?]

Bryan Baldwin bryan at katofiad.co.nz
Sun Aug 5 04:19:18 UTC 2012

Hash: SHA1

On 08/05/2012 03:05 PM, Mason Loring Bliss wrote:
> There aren't any non-free packages in Debian, silly! Please ask a 
> question that makes sense.

Contrib and nonfree are going to hang on Debian's neck like the
proverbial millstone throughout any freedom discussion with FSF. It
doesn't matter how much you regurgitate claims of separation. Debian
can say they aren't part of Debian, but only Debian respects that
statement. It is unconscionably dishonest.

> Duplicated effort means that new work isn't being accomplished.

That is unfortunate. It would be nice if developers could work
together on the same project to increase efficiency. Does that mean
Debian would consider permanently deleting the contrib and nonfree
repositories if it meant you could get more developers on board?

> You seem to be confused on an important point - Debian is entirely
>  free. It happens to work without error if people include the 
> non-Debian Contrib and Non-Free repositories. It's probably worth 
> clearing up your misunderstanding so we can proceed with rational 
> discourse.

I am not confused on any point. I disagree with your statement that
Debian is free, because I do not recognize the claim that contrib and
nonfree are not part of Debian. You can say that it is, but I think
that is complete make believe. One cannot have rational discourse over
delusional statements.

What I can respect is that Debian developers have gone to some effort
to ensure that a completely free subset of Debian packages work
without other packages from contrib and nonfree. All of which belong
100% totally and completely to Debian, the operating system or the
project, or the make believe land of open source faeries, whichever
"Debian" to which you are refering. It's time for Debian to quit with
the wordplay to start owning its work.

> I don't think anyone's suggest that offering users choice is 
> "ruining it" for anyone.

Users already have choice, whether Debian maintains packages in
contrib/nonfree or not. But that isn't what I meant. By "ruining it" I
mean to say, preventing Debian from being listed on the FSF free
distribution list.

I wouldn't dream of telling Debian that they aren't allowed to
gratuitously award themselves phony and absurd honors by pretending
that Debian is free, nor that anyone who maintains contrib and nonfree
aren't allowed or should be stopped from doing so. I'm saying that I
expect that if you do the latter, Debian will simply never appear on
the FSF free distribution list. It doesn't belong there.

>> Its not worthy of the attention of a thinking person.
> Intelligent people know how to compromise to accomplish shared 
> goals.

Good. Here is a compromise. Get rid of contrib and nonfree, and I
would expect serious consideration for Debian to join the FSF's free
distribution list. Is that fair?
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