[Fsf-Debian] Another approach...

Ian Jackson ijackson at chiark.greenend.org.uk
Wed Aug 8 15:18:11 UTC 2012

Mason Loring Bliss writes ("[Fsf-Debian] Another approach..."):
> I had a thought about a perspective that hasn't been considered as
> yet. It's a long-term proposition but I think everyone on "both
> sides" would agree it's absolutely the right approach.

There is much in what you say but I think it's not really in scope for
this list.  Here we are trying to focus on how Debian and the FSF can
work better together.  

I don't think it needs to be said that any efforts the FSF makes to
provide software to supplant the (perceived or otherwise) need for
non-free will be applauded by Debian.  And I don't think the FSF and
the GNU Project are unaware that this is a key part of what they're
trying to do.

As I see it, from a Debian perspective, the potential value in this
list is to help us identify and analyse areas and practices where
Debian could do better.  To a very large extent the Debian project
inherits its philosophy from the FSF and the FSF's principles are very
important and influential for many of the people in Debian.  One of
the ways the FSF can help is to help Debian navigate the thicket of
making the system useable for most of the users while avoiding leading
the user astray into the use of non-free software.  Another potential
way is to help Debian classify and identify individual problems and
bugs, and to help with work to fix those bugs.

>From an FSF perspective the value is both the chance to influence an
important ally, and the ability to obtain fresh perspectives and
experiences from a large and diverse project which is working at the
front lines of the fight for software freedom.  Debian hasn't just a
lot of practical experience trying to raise the software freedom of
Debian's users (which of course includes users of Debian's
downstreams), but has also in many ways led the field with good
practices in openness and governance.


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