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Re: Bug#753620: wishlist: idl/gdl-written software

Sergio Gelato <Sergio.Gelato@astro.su.se> writes:
>> In a Debian world, these packages only work with GDL, so GDL is required
>> (and not just recommended).
> OK, maybe it really should depend on gnudatalanguage | idl-interpreter
> (or whatever the virtual package name would be), just like some Java
> libraries depend on default-jre-headless | java5-runtime-headless .

The policy requires that a package in main can only depend on other
packages in main. I am not sure how this is for the operands of the "|"

> I have no ambition to dictate Debian policy so I'll bow out of further
> discussion on this point. There's always equivs anyway.

For packages in main, the policy is a dictate; that's the idea of
Debian. Contrib and non-free are different.

>> I worry a bit that otherwise GDL is just used as an excuse to ship
>> packages that require non-free software in main.
> I don't think that should be a concern: wouldn't you agree that if the
> package doesn't work with GDL it shouldn't recommend (much less depend
> on) GDL? It then falls outside the scope of this discussion since the
> reasons (if any) to include it in Debian would not be related to GDL.

If a package does not work if the dependencies are fullfilled, it should
not be in Debian.

> Just to make it clear: I'm not asking for anyone to package idlastro and
> friends. If someone does, then I'll consider using the packages and will
> be grateful if they meet my needs. I think I can see some value in:
> -- providing a policy and/or a canonical example for how to package
>    GDL add-ons (as we have for Perl, Python, Java, Ruby, Octave, etc.)

This one is independent of whether a package goes into Debian main
(I still think this is only possible for packages that function with
GDL) or Debian contrib or non-free (no problem with a dependency from IDL). 

> -- testing idlastro etc. with GDL and resolving or documenting any
>    incompatibilities found.

Since the original request was an outcome from a GDL conference, I would
think that was the original idea.

> The latter might help make GDL a viable alternative to proprietary
> IDL; right now the users I support don't perceive it as such.

The idea of Debian is to distribute free software. The compromise for
proprietary software and its dependencies are the contrib and non-free
archives (which are not a regular part of Debian itself). So, our
(Debians) effort should go into the GDL support in the first place.

> I leave it to those who would actually do the work to decide whether
> it's worth their time.


Again: There is nothing wrong with putting a package into contrib if it
does not work with GDL. The procedure is mainly the same.

Best regards


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