The Debian developers raised the obvious, predictable objection to the inclusion of this utility: the associated images were covered by a non-free license.
Once that little issue was cleared up (the artist made the drawings available under the Artistic License), the way was cleared for the other predictable argument: should a utility seen by some as pornographic be part of the Debian distribution? On the face of it, there would appear to be little basis for keeping it out. The Debian standards for software require that it be free; there is nothing in the software guidelines or social contract about not being offensive to anybody.
There is no doubt that inclusion of hot-babe into Debian is asking for certain kinds of trouble. The imagery involved is no worse than that found on many European billboards, but it will go against many American "community standards" and is completely out of line by the standards of many other parts of the world. Including hot-babe in Debian will render the distribution unsafe for work environments in many places, will complicate the work of those trying to deploy it in libraries and schools, and will simply offend a certain number of the distribution's users.
Then again, the same could be said of fortunes-off, the King James Bible, or the Anarchist FAQ, all of which are already part of Debian. Some people are probably offended by fsck, Doom, or the emacs Zippy quotes file. Your editor, offended by illegible text, immediately and violently disables "color ls" on every system he installs. Creating an offense-free distribution can be a hard task even for companies which adopt that goal explicitly; it's pretty much impossible for a distribution which values freedom, and which has dedicated itself to becoming the biggest collection of free software around.
Unless the Debian Project changes its social contract to allow the exclusion of packages on moral grounds, tools like hot-babe will find a home there. Debian is, increasingly, the master repository for a family of distributions; it should probably be as inclusive as possible. Most of the distributions built on top of Debian, such as Linspire, Xandros, Skolelinux, LinEx, or Ubuntu, apply some discretion in the packages they select. They are unlikely to include tools like hot-babe, and, thus, may be considered safer versions to use in situations where somebody may get offended.
Well, OK, perhaps we can't be too sure with Ubuntu.
Linux developers and distributors clearly must be sensitive to the needs and feelings of their users. The needs that come first and foremost for Debian users are freedom and quality. Applying any other sort of filter to Debian would change that distribution in a fundamental way. The nice thing about Linux is that distributions can be made for a wide variety of audiences. A safe-for-schools version of Debian can be distributed without imposing additional standards on Debian itself. Linux can be configured to meet the tastes, morals, and standards of almost any group of users, without inflicting those standards on others. That is freedom at its best, and how it should be.
Except that your editor really would like to see color ls abolished everywhere.
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