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Re: Status of Debian Policy

On Jun 17, Santiago Vila Doncel wrote
> Sorry, I didn't explain well. I said:
> *-----------------------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder why we are supporting this packages in the `contrib' section:
>      * whose copyright permission notices (or patent problems) allow only
>        distribution of compiled binaries (and thus of which only binaries
>        are available)
>      * allow free use only for a trial period (shareware)
>      * are demonstration programs lacking vital functionality
>        (crippleware)
> Are there many of them?
> *----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Why do we want to have such packages in our FTP mirrors?
> Do we really want to distribute crippleware?
> I was talking about making contrib smaller, so that, by policy, some of
> the packages that are now allowed could not be distributed in *any*
> section at all.

In general we should distribute the programs because people want them.
Two programs that spring to mind are Netscape and possibly XFree86 beta
releases (which I believe won't be produced anymore).

ATM I still think that Netscape is the best browser and will have some
features that other browsers (eg Mnenomic) won't have for a long time.
I don't want to have to but up with a bad program just because someone
else disagrees with the copyright statement. It is up to _me_ to choose
whether I want non-free packages on my system - not Debian.

Xfree86 betas were only available as binaries and were time-limited.
However some of them supported important cards (e.g. Matrox or Diamond
IIRC) or had important bug-fixes. As long as the user is warned of the
expiry date in the description, I think these should be distributed.

Maybe we should have a vote on what should be in the various sections. I
for one found the choices a bit limited last time.

email: adrian.bridgett@poboxes.com       | Artificial intelligence - the
http://www.poboxes.com/adrian.bridgett   | art of making computers act
PGP key available on public key servers  | like those in the movies

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