Zacchiroli: working with FSF on Debian Free-ness assessment
Posted Jul 4, 2012 19:16 UTC (Wed) by anselm
In reply to: Zacchiroli: working with FSF on Debian Free-ness assessment
Parent article: Zacchiroli: working with FSF on Debian Free-ness assessment
A distribution that says it's committed to free software but hosts non-free software, includes it in the online package database, and tells people how to install it in their documentation seems hypocritical to me.
It is perfectly possible to run a Debian system that consists strictly of DFSG-free software, and in fact that is the default way the Debian installer works. Unless the »contrib« and »non-free« repositories – which are technically not part of Debian – are explicitly added to the system's configuration, their packages don't even show up in the package database.
In the past the FSF has taken exception at the Debian installer asking the user, in a neutral tone (i.e., no »encouraging« or »recommending« going on), whether they want to enable the »contrib« and »non-free« repositories. The FSF would much rather see these repositories go away altogether, or, failing that, see that question go away. This is against Debian's »social contract«, and in my opinion is even more hypocritical. Debian wants to allow its users an informed choice while the FSF would rather patronise them. Unless this impasse is removed somehow I don't see this project succeeding.
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