Bug#681419: Alternative dependencies on non-free packages in main
Michael Gilbert writes ("Bug#681419: Alternative dependencies on non-free packages in main"):
> Perhaps the motivation behind this centers around FSF expectations on
> Debian's handling of non-free? If that is the case, wouldn't this
> discussion be more appropriate on the new fsf-collab list?
How about instead we think about what the real issue is. The FSF's
view AIUI is that they want to avoid recommending (in the broadest
sense) non-free software. I think this is a reasonable objection, and
it is one that we should be able to find some way to resolve.
It seems to me that there are two possible ways to do this:
- Somehow change the package metatdata so that the reference to the
non-free package lives in the non-free repo.
- Change the packager UI, websites, etc. which interpret this data
for users to not show references to non-free when they aren't
While I have some ideas about how to do this I think designing a
solution is not really the job of the TC. So I guess my initial view
wearing my TC hat is this:
This usage is currently permitted. Policy should be clarified
right away to make this clear.
However, it is a defect that this causes non-free software to be
inappropriately recommended. (Specifically, users who ask to install
`Debian' and do not say that they want to be offered non-free
packages should not see them.)
This defect should be fixed. We invite the policy maintainers, and
other developers, to design and implement the necessary technical
measures and/or policy strictures.
In the meantime a bug should remain open, initially against policy,
to track this defect. This bug is not release-critical for wheezy.
We recommend to the release team that it be made a release goal for
wheezy+1 if this is feasible.