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Q: Location of copyrighted ROM images for emulator packages?



I looked through the policy manual and packaging manual and could not find
a definitive answer to this, nor have I heard it mentioned before.

I'm packing xtrs, a TRS-80 emulator; like many emulators, the original
ROMs are copyrighted (in part by the Evil Empire, no less).  There are a
few ways xtrs can access the ROM images:

1) You can compile them in.  This is not an option for the Debian package.

2) You can compile in a path, and xtrs will look there for the ROM image when
it starts.

3) You can specify a path to a rom image as a command-line option.

These three options are NOT mutually exclusive.  You can override the
compiled-in or path-searched default with a command-line option.  The
compiled-in ROMs take precedence over a compiled-in search path (there is
more than one usable ROM image available).

My question is thus:

I don't think it would be kind to the user to rely solely on option
3), therefore I need to specify a place for xtrs to look for the ROM
images.  I'm not sure /usr/local is a great idea as that is supposed
to be under the control of the local administrator, and if I say
"/usr/local/lib/xtrs/romimage.m3", that's just plain wrong.  The user
can (and should) call the ROMs whatever he pleases.

On the other hand, should I be inviting the user to create files in the
"Debian-handled" part of the filesystem?  If, for instance, I say,
"/usr/lib/xtrs/romimage.m3", then deinstallation will be noisy as dpkg
finds files under this directory that xtrs didn't install.

Should I install zero-length rom images and invite the user to overwrite
them with the real ROMs?  I think that's the best solution, if it wouldn't
be considered bad style.

Also, since xtrs is an X application (and has no console interface), that
/usr/lib/xtrs should actually be /usr/X11R6/lib/xtrs, right?

Two last remarks:

1) If my zero-length overwritable ROM images is considered a good idea,
then I have a smartass idea to compile some Z80 assembler that says, "you
don't have a ROM image for the {Model I/Model III}" and halts.  :)

2) The ROMs in question are the Microsoft BASIC interpreters, and the
TRS-80 Model 4, which xtrs also emulates, doesn't need the ROM images
to boot.  Furthermore, the copyright holders of one popular TRS-80
operating system, LDOS, have, I believe, placed a DFSG-compliant license
on that operating system (I need to check and be sure about the DFSG
compliance of the OS, but I know it's free in one common sense).  If
that is the case, then one could have a working TRS-80 emulator without
requiring the copyrighted ROMs.  Would this be enough to move xtrs into
main? (xtrs's copyright is BSD).

As it is, I'm aiming for xtrs to be in hamm/contrib/otherosfs with a
priority of extra.

Thanks a lot for answering these questions.  Could you guess I'm a new
developer?

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                 | If you wish to strive for peace of soul,
Purdue University                   | then believe; if you wish to be a
branden@purdue.edu                  | devotee of truth, then inquire.
http://www.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ | -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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