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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2010 11:06:20 -0500

    That could be done, I guess, but it would be way too cumbersome.
    Cleaning up the repository is not something I'd like to have to do every
    time some commit makes to some repository out there.

So implement an optimized equivalent for that case.

Anyway, there is no need to do this "every time".
I think once a day would be good enough.  Even once a week
would be pretty good.

    Being slow is not the only problem.  What you're suggesting is what the
    git documentation calls  rewriting history , and it explains why doing
    this would make it impossible to perform merges, including updating our
    tree from Linus'.

I think there is some misunderstanding here.  The method I just
described is a way to merge changes from his tree to ours.

The term "rewriting history" is a metaphor which expresses Torvalds'
views.  In effect, it claims that "If Torvalds let someone put nonfree
software into a present or even past version of Linux, everyone who
wants to refer to a repository of Linux is obligated to refer to that
nonfree code."  That is his views.  We believe it is wrong to tell
anyone about this nonfree software, and we will not follow his views.

This discussion is about the practical question of how to best set up
a Linux repository not including that code.

    > But it isn't our problem.  We can leave it to be implemented by
    > someone who wants it.

    Well, *I* want it.  It won't be really useful for me otherwise.

Could you explain why?  I don't see why you are concerned about
merging changes automatically from our tree to his.

It is good to contribute our Linux improvements to Torvalds' version,
but I don't see why it is vital to merge them automatially.  How many
changes a week do we make?  If we had to use diff to install the same
patch manually into his tree, how much time per week would that take?

Merging changes automatically from his tree to ours is important
because that would save us substantial manual effort.  Merging
automatically the other way would save very little effort, so it's not
an important issue.

Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110

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