Some more reality..

Subject: Some more reality..
From: Jason Gunthorpe (
Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 04:50:13 CEST

John has said that non-free has ceased to be useful based on the fact that
he doesn't actually make use of it, and many others agreed with this
assesement. So here is a slightly different perspective.

I have gone back and counted the number of packages in the non-free
sections in debian, if John is right then really there should be about as
much non-free software now as there was years ago.

The numbers: (non-free + contrib = total)
[ prior to this point I have no record I non-free stuff, I do not recall
  if it existed or not. ]
    bo: 69 + 0 = 67 (combined non-free/contrib)
  hamm: 183 + 78 = 261
 slink: 225 + 77 = 302
potato: 236 + 101 = 337
[numbers are by source package]

That looks like pretty steady growth to me. Clearly someone finds these
things usefull or people wouldn't be still be creating new packages!

In fact, the download ratios don't seem to have changed much since the
last time this came up, still about 5-6% of all downloads from are for non-free software. Not bad for something that is
only 6% of all packages!

So, I'd really like to seem something stronger than anecdotal 'I do not
ever use non-free' from the people supporting the resolution for this
reason alone. In particular I'd like to see a little consideration for
some of the more diverse groups that are serviced by non-free [anyone else
notice how many Asian fonts are in there?].

I know a number of you support this for other less tangible reasons, my
comments are not directed at you,.


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