Debian aims for FSF endorsement
Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli has announced a plan that aims to get the project included in the FSF's list of free software distributions. To that end, Zacchiroli wants to set up a team within Debian that is actively working to resolve the remaining issues which prevent Debian's inclusion in the list.
According to Zacchiroli, the reasons to get Debian blessed by the FSF are many: from the prevention of duplication of effort by many Debian derivatives to public relations problems that the project is experiencing because the original distribution is not included on the FSF's list. He proposes identifying the remaining "bugs" in Debian's structure and processes and then fixing them in a straightforward manner without regard for their origin or political motivations.
In his email, Zacchiroli says that historically, Debian was not included on the FSF's list because of non-free firmware in its main repository, but that this issue has been solved as of the release of Debian Squeeze in 2010. He also explains that he has opened a dialogue with the FSF's Executive Director John Sullivan to better identify the issues that still remain. According to the FSF, the biggest remaining issue is the lack of separation between Debian's main repository and the contrib and non-free repositories.
To complete his plans, Zacchiroli says he is now looking for volunteers who will triage issues related to this situation. His goal is to either get Debian included on the FSF's list or to prepare documentation that clearly states why the distribution is not included. In the latter case, he hopes that Debian will at least do away with the confusion some potential users are experiencing when discovering that the project, while clearly adhering to free software ideals, is not officially endorsed by the FSF.