[Trisquel-devel] Documenting reasons for removal of packages

Rubén Rodríguez Pérez ruben at trisquel.info
Thu Apr 15 01:29:32 CEST 2010

> Freedom is really important. But more than providing a free distro we
> must try to provide opportunities for better understanding of the
> freedom issues that guide the development of such distros. The users
> must not only be able to simply use a free distro. The users better be
> also well informed about the things that make non-free packages
> unavailable on these distros. 

I agree, but it is not easy, since the reasons that make a package
non-free are often confuse and need some really boring knowledge.
At first I wanted to have our own list of non-free packages in the
Trisquel wiki -doing as you suggest- but I created it at the
libreplanet wiki instead, so it can be shared by all free distros.
It is mostly used by distro developers. I also started a mailing list
for those developers and the fsf staff so we can share this issues.

Keeping a copy of the blacklist in our wiki would be nice, but it will
need to be synced with the libreplanet source and we have little time.

> I know that there are some cases of
> almost fully-free packages that have only tiny non-free issues, but
> that are removed from fully free distros because of that.

I don't know how the other distros handle that cases. Here we remove the
packages that are fully non-free or those that are not much known and
thus not worth the effort. We do clean those that can be useful.

We'd like to fix them all, but we are short on hands.

> Knowledge is power.
> We must maximize the availability of information about freedom issues,
> so that we can empower the users.

That's OK, but maybe we should focus our effort in teaching
developers instead. They are the people who chooses the licenses to be
used, and in many cases they choose wrong because they lack the info.

In some cases, an effort is done to convince the developers to use
certain licenses that we consider harmful, like the Creative Commons
non commercial licenses or the Perl Artistic license.

We just discovered Trisquel (as Debian and Ubuntu do) includes a
certain number of packages under the Artistic License 1.0, which is not
free in the eyes of the FSF. This is motivated by a lack of information
about this license in the perl websites, and by the fact that it is
accepted by several big distros.

We need to examine the +35.000 license files in our repos to know what
packages fall under such license, as by now we do not even know how
many we will need to remove. This are the ones I've found so far:

More information about the Trisquel-devel mailing list