GGL distribution selection: adding a fully-free distro
Thanks to Gustavo and his great initiative in LibreMeeting, we had a series of recommendations from Richard Stallman. An important one is to recommend only fully-free distributions.
This is quite a sensitive theme so I must remind you of the previous discussions we've had about this, the goals of the GGL project, and the points expressed in the GLM bylaws.
I start a new thread with this theme because other threads are becoming very long. So far the following opinions were expressed:
Promoting only fully-free-distros is something I wouldn't like to do. I told [RMS] that I see no problem on promoting non-fully-free distros as an step forward, not as the goal itself - taking advance of a privative software to reach for a huge objective for the FS movement is something they did when they were using UNIX to make GNU. He seemed to partially agree with me and said that it might end that way, or might not; there's no guarantee we'll win that way.
My conclusion? I think we should add a fully free distro (like gnewsense) and clearly state that the rest of the promoted distros are not fully free in the mean time because they contain some software critical to run well with many pieces of hardware, thus, all of your current hardware might not work with the fully free distro (however, you might prefer to replace a piece of hardware rather than giving away your freedom... If for some reason you cannot replace the piece of hardware that doesn't work, then you should really install one of the non-fully-free distros).
I understood that a_thing agreed with him;
I agree with all of the RMSs suggestion, but I also agree that you don't necessarily have to make each happen 100%. I am ok with GGL talking about non-fully-free distros as a step up and something like gNewSense as a real goal (freedom, and hopefully with all hardware working with it ).
I agree that promoting a fully-free distro (preferably gNewSense) would be a good idea. I use gNewSense, and I find that it's barely any harder to use than Ubuntu. I think it's still a good idea for this site to promote the almost-free distributions, but I think it should definitely be mentioned that they're not completely free, so people aren't mislead. I was going to add that as a separate discussion before I read this.
My opinion is similar, I think recommending gNewSense is definitely the way to go.
However, the problem is that this will leave us with 4 distributions. This is really of concern to me; my experience is that too much choice turns people off.
I'd be reluctant to let go of Ubuntu, which I see as the friendliest distro around. It's important that Fedora is here, since gives some balance (not same vendor, increasing commitment to free software). I suggest to suppress the recommendation of Kubuntu, so that we would have:
- Ubuntu: "easy choice"
- Fedora: "advanced choice"
- gNewSense: "fully-free software choice"
I know that this would make us focus on GNOME mainly. But IMO this is a good compromise for making the visitor's decision easier.
This would be the opportunity to insist more the importance of fully-free software (see Stallman's recommendation 14 in Gustavo's post). We should also give more details about more-or-less free distributions, for example in the FAQ entry on the freedom of GNU/Linux.
What do you think?