Hi!

On 2017-11-05 00:48, Jim Hall wrote:
On Sat, 04 Nov 2017 20:09:48 +0100, userbeitrag wrote:
I'm also thinking that FreeDOS should include a not-so-free and even a
non-free section of software. The only limit should be restriction of
redistribution.

On Sat, Nov 4, 2017 at 2:27 PM, Mateusz Viste <mate...@nospam.viste.fr> wrote:
I'm afraid this is contrary to the FreeDOS spirit. [..]

To epxand on Mateusz a little bit:

FreeDOS exists today because it is open source software. Anyone can
fix a bug in FreeDOS, or add a new feature, or just study the source
code to see how it works.

We wouldn't have FreeDOS in 2017 if we had made it all closed source.
If everything was closed source, then anytime a new user wanted to
make a program do something extra, they'd have to rewrite the entire
thing. That doesn't help anyone.

While we recognize that the vast majority of people use FreeDOS to run
classic/legacy DOS programs, which are themselves closed source, we
want to make sure that the FreeDOS kernel and all the things that make
it "FreeDOS" remain Free / open source software. We have no interest
in bundling "non-free" software in FreeDOS.


Jim

I understand that the development of FreeDOS needs to be free as in freedom as in open source. It makes sense.

BUT I also understand that sometimes open source is not possible. I come from Linux and I use Debian. It is a the distribution devoted to freedom and open source, but it doesn't just work. On many systems it needs a lot of help to even get going in the first place.

What I'm saying is that you might consider allowing additional software, either in the main distribution, or - which would be even better: to allow the addition of easy to set-up additional repositories, so that users can easily get freeware that is closed source, or even shareware. Anything that has a license allowing redistribution. This way the main FreeDOS distribution stays open and free (as in freedom), while allowing the user to add freeware/shareware etc. by utilizing the main free distribution.

Thus it is not about FreeDOS - it is about a distribution of software. And about a chain of trust. I do trust the FreeDOS distribution, but an alternate distribution? Who makes it? What else is different in the distribution? Allowing to use the official FreeDOS and adding certain software from a easy to use repostory makes it easier to verify the source, since now I only have to check the additional stuff, not the whole distribution for trustworthyness.

I also use Gentoo Linux. On Gentoo there are some ebuilds (the package files for the package manager, which is called portage) that will install even proprietory software, keeping it a part of the Gentoo package system.

From a users point of view this is encouraged and highly appreciated.

Again, I completely get it that the main FreeDOS operating system and system software such as drivers and utilities should be free and open.

Cheers,
A.

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