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

> Brian Mays wrote:

> > If this is confusing, the description of the pcmcia-cs package
> > should be modified to indicate that the libforms package is required
> > by cardinfo.

Joey Hess <joey@kitenet.net> wrote:

> That's administrivia disallowed by a strict reading of policy (2.3.3):
>      The description should be written so that it tells the user what
>      they need to know to decide whether to install the package.
>      ..
>      Copyright statements and other administrivia should not be
>      included

No, it's not.  Explaining why a package suggests another package (i.e., 
exactly what extra utility is to be gained when the two packages are 
able to work together) is a key part of informing the user what he 
needs to know to decide which packages to install.

> My take on this is - if I can't do a NMU of pcmcia without installing
> a non-free component, it should be in contrib. Just a bit different
> perspective, to think about this from the point of view of a developer
> who doesn't want to be foreced to install non-free components to build
> a package properly, rather than from the POV of a user.

If the developer doing a NMU of the package doesn't want libforms-dev 
on his system, then fine.  The pcmcia-cs source will build a package 
without the cardinfo binary, which can be used for the NMU.  I don't 
see how this is any different than splitting the cardinfo into a 
separate deb which won't be built if libforms-dev isn't installed.  Or 
do we have to split the source in two?  Well, so much for preserving 
pristine upstream sources.

I can understand objections on principle, such as RMS recently 
complaining about free packages suggesting non-free packages.  But 
while we appreciate RMS's attention and suggestions, Debian is it's own 
entity, and we don't always agree with him (or how many of you want 
unstripped binaries on your system?).  For now, this (arguably) is not 
against Debian policy, and I don't hate the non-freeness of xforms 
enough to remove the "Suggests" tag in pcmcia-cs.


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