[IAEP] squeak/etoys accepted into Debian main
dr at jones.dk
Fri Nov 7 23:40:06 EST 2008
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On Sat, Nov 08, 2008 at 12:09:34AM -0300, Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
>Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
>> [a couple of good and clearly summarized observations snipped]
>I'll try to keep this short too...
Uh, I did not consider "short". I shall do my best too :-)
>> If teachers and children don't care, then the reason is simply that
>> they got someone else to do that boring (and perhaps complex) task
>> for them. It still needs doing. I suspect the same applies to you
>> (Edubuntu is a distribution too!).
>What I meant is that this crowd normally doesn't get stuff from their
>distribution which isn't pre-installed.
Ah, I get it now.
There are quite some stages needed: Be free (FLOSS). Get packaged (deb).
Comply with Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). Get accepted into
"main" branch of Debian, and flow from "unstable" through "testing" to
finally become part of an official stable Debian distribution release.
Get discovered and installed. Get (re)discovered and used.
Usually the first steps are the same: FLOSS -> deb -> DFSG -> main ->
unstable -> testing -> stable. Then it might very well "drown" among the
20.000+ packages, unless well known and popular (like Gimp or
Openoffice.org, or the KDE and Gnome desktops).
Often a package gets "discovered" by your geek friend installing your
Linux system for you, who happens to know and like this package, so just
"throwing it in" along with the standard stuff.
A more effective rescue from "drowning" is if the package gets included
in a smaller, more targeted derived distribution like Edubuntu or the
(less hyped but also less vaporware IMHO) Skolelinux/debian-edu.
Another rescue is becoming included in a Debian "pure blend" - an
optimized subset of Debian, contained completely in Debian itself.
Debian-junior might include Sugar, Skolelinux/debian-edu is working
towards becoming a pure blend with Sugar included, and debian-olpc for
sure will include Sugar if ever formed as a pure blend.
My point here is that even if for some specific purpose there is no need
for a package to comply with the DFSG, it helps make it adopted in to
more kinds of solutions - which again helps becoming known to users and
"end user geeks" so that they go look for them in install menus and
menus on the final system.
>> >[practical result of relicensing efforts?]
>> [value of compatible licenses in a distribution]
>> So no, I disagree that the tiresome task of getting rid of 3 "silly"
>> clauses was irrelevant. The alternative to getting rid of them would
>> be to relax the restrictions in same 3 "silly" areas for the
>> remaining thousands of pieces that your distribution consist of.
>I agree about that - solving the problem in one place via license
[aize and complexity of Squeak relicensing effort]
>My point was: is forbidding the export clause as part of the Open
>Source definition a practical concern or is it just a philosophical
>checkbox? I agree that it would not make sense to have one rule for
>Squeak and another for the 20K packages you mentioned. And it was the
>indenization clause that the Debian people objected to in any case, not
>the export one. So changing this aspect of the Open Source definition
>wouldn't have helped there.
>I just want efforts like these (I contributed very little - just
>figured out who a couple of the developers were) to be rewarded by
>something actually changing as a result.
I see your point.
One major frustration about Debian has always been time. Debian is
I have no doubt that in the end Squeak will end in Debian main, and get
released officially with Debian.
I also expect that as soon as the hard work is done, before Debian
reaches its next stable release, Ubuntu will include Squeak in one of
their distributions and take the fame for "getting there" first, despite
your hard work on both developing and shaping the license, and Debian
work on packaging and being stubborn about consistently free licensing
across the distribution at large...
Hmm - this wasn't as short as I had hoped. And some anti-Ubuntu rant
sneaked in too. oh well... :-/
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist og Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
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