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[gNewSense-users] Re: free is not sufficient

From: James Buchanan
Subject: [gNewSense-users] Re: free is not sufficient
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 13:32:26 -0500

It's an interesting point: is this distribution supposed to contain only Free software, or is it supposed to force its users into using only free software? I think it's the distinction between the American revolution and the French revolution; becoming too radical can be a major problem.

Shall we excise Wine? It's free software, but it's free software that might, possibly, allow the user to use non-free software (of course, they might be wanting to use a Windows-only bit of Free software; it's not inconcievable, especially when it comes to gaming).

Let's, hypothetically, say we developed a fork of Wine that only allowed Free software to be run (never mind the impracticality of that). That would violate software freedom zero , that the user be allowed to run his software as he will. Ironically, freedom to run an interact with non-free software is essential to the freedom of software.

I think that freedom is sufficient--that any Free package ought to be included in the repositories, so far as is practical. It is not for us to decide how the user runs his system; that would make the system non-Free. Merely provide a high-quality, cohesive system comprising solely Free software, and if the user wants to hang himself on slavery's chains, let him.


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