[maemo-developers] Is mauku open source, i.e free or is in non-free?

From: Edward Page eopage at byu.net
Date: Thu Jan 28 17:31:29 EET 2010
I can't speak for Marius but I can say that "in the (hardcore) Linux
world" Free has generally meant libre rather than gratis, except where
specifically stated.  I hope that the quotes and a parenthetical
qualifier for that judging statement show that I am not implying
anything good or bad about people who do or do not know the
distinguishment.  This can be viewed as such a common assumption that
when we talk about "free" and "non-free" we mistakenly make the
assumption that everyone knows which definition we are using.  This
might come up more frequently as Maemo grows from being "mostly used
by Linux geeks."

Please reread Marius' email in that context.  I do not think there is
malice in his words.  As for the value in switching from libre to

Maemo was based on a desktop distribution called Debian which has a
strong Free Software (libre) culture.  This is where the tradition of
"free" and "non-free" repos comes from.  Personally I think switching
from the repos meaning libre to gratis would add as much confusion as
they do now because of Maemo's history.

I'm not too sure what would be the point of a non-free (non-gratis)
repository as I doubt maemo.org is going to open up an app store and
be a means of for-profit distribution especially on Nokia's dime in
competition to Ovi.

Besides historical reasons in distinguishing free (libre) and non-free
(non-libre), I would think it it would mostly matter to community
members and mean zilch to end-users.  I know there has been discussion
of a different QA process for non-free (non-libre) due to its nature
but I stopped following the QA process discussions and do not know
what the resolution was.  I would imagine it would make a big
difference to Mer as it would represent packages that the community
could auto-rebuild for other architectures or crowd-source if any
porting effort was needed.

I hope this helped in someway.

Ed Page
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