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Re: Bug#30739: When a tiny part of a package uses non-free libraries

Fumitoshi UKAI wrote:

> Brian Mays <brian@debian.org> wrote:
> > > pcmcia-cs only suggests non-free/libforms0.88, however it contains
> > > /usr/X11R6/bin/cardinfo, which DEPENDS non-free/libforms0.88.  I think
> > > it's DFSG violation.
> > 
> > While I appreciate your attention to details and pedantic advice, I 
> > would like to point out that cardinfo is not required for PCMCIA 
> > support.  It is merely a cute little X application that monitors the 
> > PCMCIA slots and allows the user to interactively send commands to 
> > cardmgr, the PCMCIA card management daemon.  This is why pcmcia-cs only 
> > "suggests" libforms and does not "depend" on or "recommend" it.  
> I've heard PPxP packages are refused to put in main, because it contains
> ppxp-forms which depends libforms0.88.

As a user, I would expect that _all_ dependencies be listed as
such.  A _depends_ does not become a _suggests_ because it it's a
small part of the package that _depends_ on non-free.

However, it's true that we don't strictly list all dependencies
which would make the contents of a package useful.  For example,
We may include html docs without _depending_ on a web browser.
We may include an emacs mode and only _suggest_ emacs.

But in this case, where it's about a binary, I'd argue you can't
include even a small binary that depends on non-free withiout
listing that dependency (which would put the whole thing into
contrib).  The quick fix is to split the package.  Sorry Brian,
but that is my very humble opinion (even if I greatly appreciate
your packaging of pcmcia-cs).  We should be adamant that `main'
should be about _free_ software; cardinfo isn't.

Peter Galbraith <psg@debian.org>

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