On Sat, Jan 26, 2008 at 11:55:05AM -0500, Daniel Dickinson wrote:
Hi all, I have a question. I have at various times been interested on getting Debian working on an Old World PowerPC Macintosh and have come across a situation that confuses me. I was able to get the mac working with the use of floppies that include a tool call miBoot, that are distributed on people.debian.org/~dontremember. The main debian-installer daily builds do not include the miBoot floppy images. The thing is the reason they are not part of debian proper is that miBoot is non-free and possibly non-distributable (see below). My question is whether including them on p.p.o is therefore a violation of debian policy? It seems odd to me that p.p.o should be used as a way around debian policy.
While this is not within my purview (IANADD), Debian developers may choose to have experimental repositories on p.d.o including non-free software, so I don't think this is a problem. Obviously, undistributable software is exactly that, but I don't think that is the case.
And for the record, if miBoot is GPL'd, it is Free Software. If it requires a non-free compiler to build, that is indeed unfortunate, but that does not make miBoot any less GPL'd.
miBoot is GPL but requires CodeWarrior (a proprietary compiler) to build, and *cannot* be built with free tools (although work is underway to change this). My understanding of the debian interpretation of of the GPL is that this makes miBoot non-distributable because under the GPL everything required to build the binaries must be available as source, including the compiler (unless the compiler is part of the system the code is built on, which is not the case here) and since the compiler is not available as source code debian cannot meet its GPL obligations for miBoot-based binaries.
No. You are mistaken. Debian requires source and that all packages must build from source. Debian also requires that packages in main must require only packages in main for building and execution. Hence, a package that requires packages outside of Debian (main) for compilation or execution must be in contrib if it is free, and non-free if it is not.
The GPL does not factor into this. It permits one to use a proprietary compiler to build GPL'd source; this has been done on Windows and proprietary Unixes for ages. Obviously, one must comply with the source requirements, as always.
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