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

From: Bake Timmons
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Re: free is not sufficient
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 00:38:00 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Peter Garrett <address@hidden> writes:

> On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 22:52:30 -0900
> Anthony Patarini <address@hidden> wrote:
>> My personal 
>> ideal situation is one in which gNewSense provides absolutely no 
>> non-free software by default, and does not link to or advocate the use 
>> of non-free software, but does not waste the effort to remove components 
>> that are Free in and of themselves.
> I think I agree with this position. I think it's going too far to remove
> even the possibility of users choosing anything non-free. In any case,
> those who choose to install gNewSense would do so *because* they are
> already aware of the freedom issues, so haranguing them, or refusing to
> allow them to decide for themselves is kind of insulting, I suggest.
>> > removing anything that interacts with non-free isnt functional... 
>> > unless we dont need openoffice :)
>> > kk
>> I don't get your meaning, sorry. :(
> Well, Open allows the use of non-free Microsoft Office
> formats, for a start: - but the software that does that is, in itself,
> "free", just as Samba allows interaction with MS networking "protocols",
> but is Free Software.

I agree also and I think there are other ways to see this.  Anyone
who still wants to remove wine or whatever should consider these

1. Whatever one's notions of "perfect" and "good" may be, we should
not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, as the saying goes.

*Already*, gns is different than all other systems with the simple
policy of including only free software.  That *already* suffices to
make it the rational choice for anyone who takes free software
seriously.  It will *never* be perfect--always a work in progress.

2. Another (related) way of seeing that we should not remove
"problematic" free software such as wine, is to consider priorities.

The struggle for free software has a *ton* of work ahead of it without
even thinking of things like wine or whatever.  The FSF itself has a
high-priority list of projects, for example.  Another example would be
the bugs for gns.

Since free software is for *everyone*, no one should feel left out!
Artwork, documentation, infrastructure, bug fixing, packaging, new
development--all limitless sources of ideas THAT CAN BE PRIORITIZED!

If, for example, you still want to remove wine, you know you had
better have a damn good argument--much better than what we have seen
so far, so do the following.  Make a task: "Argue why wine should be

Do not start on this task yet.  Add it to a list of things that you
want to do.  Learn a lot more about the many problems that cause
people to use a nonfree program.  Figure out some tasks that you can
do to help solve some of these problems, to help make a free program
more tempting.

Prioritize all of your tasks.  You will probably find that something
like "Argue why wine..." is not at the top of the list.  Whatever you
do, HAVE FUN! :)


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