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Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: free is not sufficient

From: Karl Goetz
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: free is not sufficient
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 16:49:15 +1030
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20060922)

Anthony Patarini wrote:
So, what is being proposed is that all Free Software that makes it trivial for a user to use non-free software be removed? I don't think that's a good idea at all. The issue with Firefox is that, by default,

*an* issue with firefox.

it links to non-free extensions maybe available by the Mozilla website itself (From Firefox clicking Tools -> Extensions -> Get More Extensions

The larger problem is the plugins (i thought)

takes you to this page.) However, it would still be trivial to install non-free extensions by visiting the Mozilla website. The problem is of course that non-free software is being offered and suggested by the program itself. To my knowledge, WINE does not do this.

afaik your correct

Ndiswrapper is a bit more troublesome, in that most of its purpose is to run non-free drivers. However, there are Free Software drivers for

really? i didn't know about that.

ndiswrapper, and the idea that you could write a Free driver that works on both Windows and GNU/Linux intrigues me and reminds me of the wonderful technical benefits of Free Software, less important as they may be. Ndiswrapper itself does not suggest to users where they can acquire non-free drivers. It's a compatibility layer, plain and simple, just like WINE. They are both freedom agnostic - they don't restrict what you can run, they just run it. Just like Mono, which can run Free and non-Free software. Just like Python, my programming language of choice, can run free and non-free code.

All programming languages can be used for both types of software - talking about them doesn't make your point.

The issue at hand, unless I'm mistaken, is that included software/documentation/etc. should not advocate or suggest the use of non-free components. That's admirable. But to remove a component simply because it is capable of running non-free code seems self-defeating and even, on some levels, opposite the nature and intention of Free Software in the first place.

removing anything that interacts with non-free isnt functional... unless we dont need openoffice :)

If anyone feels I've missed something, please enlighten me.

Karl Goetz
User of gNewSense: Free as in Freedom -
Australian Ubuntu users team -

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