[Fsf-collab] Random thoughts...

Paul Tagliamonte paultag at debian.org
Sat Jul 7 13:55:25 UTC 2012

On Sat, Jul 07, 2012 at 03:45:37PM +0200, Henry Jensen wrote:
> Hello,
> On Fri, 6 Jul 2012 22:13:52 +0200 (CEST)
> Thorsten Alteholz <fsf-collab at alteholz.de> wrote:
> > I understand that distributing non-free software is a problem. But why is 
> > Debian non-free just by mentioning or linking to non-free-software?
> Every free GNU/Linux dotro which wants to be listed at the free diostro
> list mus follow the Free System Distribution Guidelines (FSD) [1] THe
> FSDG clearly states
> "A free system distribution must not steer users towards obtaining any
> nonfree information for practical use, or encourage them to do so."
> So, every explicit mentioning of non-free software could be interpreted
> as recommendation. 
> It goes even further:
> "All the documentation in a free system distribution must be released
> under an appropriate free license. Additionally, it must take care not
> to recommend nonfree software."
> So, I see that the following problems must be solved by Debian to be
> listed as a free distro:
> - The Debian kernel still is a problem, because it contains the names
> of non-free firmware files. The kernel prints the name of the firmware
> file to the log if it doesn't find the file. This is a case of
> recommendation of installing non-free software and therefore a
> violation of the FSDG. The only Linux kernel variant that does not do
> this is GNU Linux-Libre [2]. So Debian must use GNU Linux-Libre or
> delete the name of firmware files in the Debian kernel.
> - There are some free software which recommends non-free software. The
> perhaps most popular software is Firefox, which connects to
> addons.mozilla.org which lists non-ree plugins. So does Debians
> Iceweasel. So Debian must remove this recommendations from it's
> software (e. g. use GNU Icecat or patch Iceweasel accordingly)

We should also block nonfree websites, like gmail, google, yahoo.

> - All mentioning of non-free software, including contrib and non-free
> repo, must be purged from all official Debian web sites, including wiki
> sites. 
> - In the official Debian forums and mailing lists, there shouldn't be
> any advice how to run a non-free program, see [3]. So, if any user asks
> how to run a non-free program on a Debian mailing list, it should be
> clarified that such discussions are unwanted. That means, that some
> kind of moderation should be established to be sure, that such unwanted
> advices or recommendations doesn't happen.

IMHO this is getting absurd.

There is non-free software, our users will use it, and pretending it
doesn't exist is a pretty bad idea.

We can provide unofficial support for such things *outside* the project
(as it currently is), but draw the line more clearly.

Heck, non-free won't get built on the same buildds as main.

To be absolutely clear - I've never sponsored or worked on non-free
code, but I understand why it exists.

> Regards,
> Henry
> [1] http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines
> [2] http://www.fsfla.org/svnwiki/selibre/linux-libre/
> [3] http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/gnu-linux-libre/2010-12/msg00032.html
> _______________________________________________
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> http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/fsf-collab-discuss

I understand your point, I just don't think putting our fingers in our
ears and yelling "lalalalala" is going to solve anything.

We should *educate* users to make big-boy and girl decisions.


 .''`.  Paul Tagliamonte <paultag at debian.org>
: :'  : Proud Debian Developer
`. `'`  4096R / 8F04 9AD8 2C92 066C 7352  D28A 7B58 5B30 807C 2A87
 `-     http://people.debian.org/~paultag
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