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Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el

From: Ulrich Mueller
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Fri, 08 Jan 2021 12:54:44 +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 22:38]:
>> 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.

> Then maybe that is how users are trained or indoctrinated into Gentoo
> as managers or maintainers of Gentoo did not teach users about free
> software. I am sorry for that. That is why Gentoo will not be endorsed
> by GNU project.

I know, and presumably it will never be. Gentoo as a source-based distro
can also be seen as a "metadistribution" or "distribution toolkit",
so it is relatively easy to use it as basis for building a binary
distribution. Distros derived from Gentoo may have completely different
goals, and examples include Ututo XS (which used to be on the FSF's
whitelist IIRC) and Chromium OS.

We couldn't be a metadistribution if we were to follow a purist approach
and exclude all ebuilds ("recipes" for building packages) for non-free
packages from our main repository. Plus, as I've explained before, the
dividing line is sometimes within an upstream package when it includes
both free and non-free components.

However, our defaults are such that the package manager won't install
any non-free software. Also note that our ebuilds themselves are GPL

> I am using mostly Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre now and I have no problems
> installing it on plethora of computers. I may use Trisquel or other
> FSF endorsed fully free GNU/Linux distribution. Not that I use any
> firmware and it is true that maybe some wireless chip does not work,
> but hey, it does not matter as we all have Internet here. I have
> connected Internet by mobile phone and USB tethering method to one
> computer that serves as router to switch that connects other
> computers. It works well in a team.

Nice. I suppose the mobile phone runs free software then? What are you
using there?

OTOH, I guess I'd have a hard time convincing a typical MS-Windows user
to switch to GNU/Linux if I told them "look, your wireless will no
longer work" or "sorry, no mitigation for Spectre/Meltdown because the
CPU microcode is non-free". And that may also be one of the reasons why
the top ten list on (e.g.) distrowatch doesn't include any of the FSF
recommended distros. (Which by no means says anything about their
quality, but it does say something about their popularity.)

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