On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 04:47:05PM -0500, J.B. Nicholson wrote:
> Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
> I've seen https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/11/msg00174.html where
> Hess makes this statement but I haven't seen anything written by Hess
> clearly explaining why the Debian Constitution is "toxic".
> > i've spoken to the FSF about this: from what i gather, the changes
> >required are actually very very simple: all they have to do is add in
> >a simple popup message whenever someone clicks the "nonfree" section,
> >issuing a warning to the end-user that the consequences of their
> >actions are leading them into unethical territory.
> >
> > ... how simple would that be to add?

Pick up the Debian netinst iso / the first Debian CD / the first Debian DVD.

You can install an entirely free system with no non-free components.

You can also install Debian without taking account of any recommends.

On (both) the Thinkpads in front of me, that would result in non-working wifi
but everything else would work. I could plug in one of a few wifi dongles
and have a fully free Debian.

On the Intel desktop machine away behind me I couldn't get hardware acceleration
on the Nvidia card - I could care less.

On a Cubietruck / Pine64 / Chip / Raspberry Pi / Pi3 - I couldn't get 
without non-free which I could get with Allwinner / Broadcom firmware. Debian
doesn't supply "non-free" components: in each case you're using firmware 
with the hardware. Without non-free firmware / forked kernels, all of the ARM 
we have is pretty much unusable. I'm hopeful that you can prove differently 

> But according to published documents I point to below, a popup might be
> quite simple to add but insufficient to allow Debian GNU/Linux to appear on
> the list of FSF Free System Distributions. I'll explain why I believe this
> to be true.
> In https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html we find the following
> objection, "Debian also provides a repository of nonfree software. According
> to the project, this software is "not part of the Debian system," but the
> repository is hosted on many of the project's main servers, and people can
> readily find these nonfree packages by browsing Debian's online package
> database and its wiki".
> John Sullivan went into more detail on the FSF's objection at Debconf2015:
> >So, in Debian's case, the lack of endorsement from us is primarily
> >because of the relationship between official Debian and unofficial
> >Debian -- the 'non-free' and 'contrib' repositories. And that
> >relationship to us seems too close for our comfort. There are spots in
> >the Debian infrastructure where those sections even though technically
> >separate are integrated very closely with main. So, for example, in
> >package searching, in 'recommends' and 'suggests' fields within packages
> >that are displayed to users. So even though, in Debian, we have an idea
> >that these are separate that's not always as clear to users on the
> >outside and they can end up being sometimes inadvertently or sometimes
> >just led to install nonfree components on top of the official
> >distribution.
> Source: 
> http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2015/debconf15/Debian_and_the_FSF_Ending_disagreements_by_solving_problems_at_the_source.webm
> (12m18s)

Where would you suggest that Debian point users with unusable hardware - note 
(_users_ not developers) ?

It's very clear on the website and in documentation back to 1994

www.debian.org/CD/netinst - no mention of non-free

https://www.debian.org/CD/faq#official - unofficial CDs may contain additional 
hardware drivers, or additional software packages not part of the archive.

> I believe the FSF is right to point out Debian's cognitive dissonance.
> Debian gets to:
> - host repos containing nonfree software,
> - include UI with pointers to said repos in the installed repo list,
> - list packages from the nonfree repos as alternatives to free software
> packages,
> - and also claim that these repos are somehow "not part of the Debian system"?
> I too believe that Debian is hosting nonfree software and integrating
> nonfree software with free software and this is indistinguishable from what
> other distros not listed do (such as Ubuntu's GNU/Linux).
> If Debian wanted the FSF's approval Debian could remove the nonfree and
> contrib repos from Debian entirely, and remove mentions of packages from
> these repos from the free packages. Any packages one installs from Debian's
> repos post-installation would have the same restrictions too (thus
> addressing what Sullivan mentioned immediately after the above quote).
> It was good of Debian to move the nonfree blobs to the nonfree and/or
> contrib repos in Debian 6.0 ("squeeze") in February 2011 but the OS
> installer makes the same kinds of recommendations the FSF objects to. I
> understand the consequences for users looking to most conveniently install
> Debian GNU/Linux plus whatever nonfree software to let the OS run on their
> hardware. But I don't see a popup fixing this. I see this as another
> convenience vs. software freedom tradeoff (wherein security is certainly on
> the side of software freedom too).
> Repo redirects to sets of packages that only mention free software packages
> with no references to nonfree software could work but that still involves
> providing work for thousands of packages, as you say.

Genuinely: run through a Debian install from the netinst / CDs. Please point 
out to me where non-free software will be installed without an explicit
action to include nonfree software on the part of the person installing. The 
screen mentioning non-free mentions that hardware drivers that may be 
required may be non-free but you have to opt in to install them.

All the best

Andy C

[still not speaking for the Debian project]
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