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Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el

From: Ulrich Mueller
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 2021 20:38:13 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1.50 (gnu/linux)

>>>>> On Thu, 07 Jan 2021, Jean Louis wrote:

> * Ulrich Mueller <ulm@gentoo.org> [2021-01-07 13:56]:
>> The way we handle this in Gentoo is not to install these non-free
>> components by default. Users however have the option to enable their
>> installation if they do two things: a) set a so-called USE flag, and
>> b) explicitly accept these components' license.

> I understand. I find it unfortunate that so many GNU/Linux
> distributions decided to include proprietary software.

> While I do not mind who uses which OS distribution, here I am
> referencing why GNU project is not endorsing such distributions:
> https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html

> You may see there that Gentoo includes installation recipes for a
> number of nonfree programs in its primary package system.

We include ebuilds for those packages that we believe to be useful
for our users. By default, installation of any non-free packages
(or components of packages) is disabled.

Gentoo is about choice, and has always leaned a little on the pragmatic
side. If we would (for example) exclude all non-free Linux firmware,
then I am certain that in order to have a usable system, most users
would choose to install such firmware nevertheless, bypassing the
package manager. Again, our default there is to install only free
firmware, but we leave users the choice to install additional blobs when
they explicitly ask for it.

> So if the OS distribution asks you to accept USE flag and explicitly
> accept these component's licenses, it is promoting proprietary
> software. It may be coercive. If it asks user to accept or otherwise,
> that is coercion and not an option.

The Gentoo package manager doesn't ask for anything. In its default
configuration as shipped with our install media, it will simply refuse
to install any non-free package. In order to override this, the user
will have to update the configuration files for that package and its

>> Another example is the intlfonts package [3], which contains some
>> Tibetan fonts with a non-commercial restriction. Again, Gentoo handles
>> this with a USE flag, so users have to explicitly ask for installation
>> of these non-free fonts.

> Then please raise the bug issue. I myself do not have enough
> information on who is doing what there. If you know, raise the issue.

As a matter of fact, I had reported this in 2019 to the maintainer
listed at https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Intlfonts#tab=Details but
nothing has happened since then. Even worse, the directory lists the
package as GPLv2orlater (and it says verified in 2001) while AFAICS it
doesn't contain a single GPL licensed file.

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