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Re: About Firefox licenses

From: Mike Hommey
Subject: Re: About Firefox licenses
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 09:39:51 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 04:53:15AM -0600, Reed Loden wrote:
> On Sat, 16 Jan 2010 08:53:19 +0100
> Mike Hommey <address@hidden> wrote:
> > On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 05:56:36PM -0600, Reed Loden wrote:
> > > Nope, Debian Iceweasel is not the same code as Mozilla Firefox.
> > > Debian's Mozilla maintainer modifies the source code in several ways
> > > (that I will not go into here). He's very good about attempting to
> > > upstream changes to Mozilla, but he does have a number of patches that
> > > Mozilla developers have said are wrong and should not be done.
> > 
> > That's pretty old information. Please stop this FUD.
> I do apologize if my information is out-of-date on this particular
> issue. I will admit it has definitely been a while since I looked at
> Iceweasel's patch base, so I could very easily be wrong in this case.
> When I get a chance, I'll take a look at Iceweasel's diff sometime to
> update my personal knowledge of what all it modifies from upstream code.
> However, I think it's very reasonable to say that for quite a while,
> what I said did indeed hold true, so I don't think it's FUD in itself
> -- just possibly outdated information.

AFAIR, none of the patches the mozilla developers didn't like were
actually breaking Iceweasel. The 2 most controversial patches were
adding a soname on libxul.so, which didn't break anything at all, and a
huge patch on the extensions manager in version 1.5, because the
upstream one was a pile of crap. Another controversial "change" was the
use of the pango backend instead of the xft one by default, which didn't
involve a code change, but a configure switch, and most distros were
doing the same at the time.

All in all, the grudges against iceweasel and more generally
mozilla-based products in Debian seem to me to have been there since
before I started to work on it, which is now more than 6 years ago, and
the main contender has been and apparently still is the non-free logo

My final word is this: get over it. I just can't stand reading stuff
about years old issues anymore.

> Anyway, my beef is not with the maintainers of Iceweasel or IceCat. I
> just have a problem with people making up false reasons for preferring
> one or the other over Firefox itself.

There is one true fact that won't ever change, except for a miracle: the
Firefox logo is not free as in speech, and Mozilla doesn't want the name
to be dissociated from the logo. This is the sole reason why Firefox
CAN'T and will never be in Debian main again.



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