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Re: anarchism_7.7-1.deb

On Sat, 25 Sep 1999, Craig Sanders wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 24, 1999 at 05:59:07PM -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:
> > The criterion should be utility.  
> wrong.  we've had this censorship discussion many times before.  the only
> criteria for inclusion in debian is:

Yes I know.  I remember it happening at least twice in relation to this
package and I remember the purity package debate too.  What I was trying
to address was this notion that keeps coming up that if you disallow one
of this type of package you must disallow them all.  It doesn't follow.
Some packages are "worth" more than others.  Worth is often hard to define
but not impossible.  Debian may not want to get into the definition
business but that doesn't mean it can't be done and circumstances may
force it too. 

>  - is it free?
>  - could someone be bothered doing the work of packaging it?
> if the answer to both questions is yes, then there is no justification for
> refusing the package.

Yes but the maintainer should also ask

- Does it enhance Debian?

Not because he has to but because he should want to.  And other developers
and users should feel free to comment.  The reason is that we are not just
shoveling packages on a CD but at least trying to put together a finished
product.  Sure we decide to make the packages we are interested in but we
also enjoy making a thing that other people enjoy and use.  That's why we
are making a public distribution rather than just working alone in our

I could GPL the contents of my /tmp directory and debianize and upload it
right now.  But I won't.  Not because someone is forcing me not to but
because it's no good for Debian to have such a pointless package clogging
up it's diskspace and bandwidth.  I'm also looking at the packages I
already maintain and I'm going to orphan or maintain privately the ones
which I don't think add anything to the dist.  Even if it isn't official
Debian policy, IMO (and I stress this is my opinion) more people should
think this way.

> > The Bible as a literary and cultural foundation of Western
> > civilization will be useful to a lot more people than the Anarchism
> > package.
> 'utility' is a subjective thing. i personally would find the anarchist
> faq far more useful and interesting than (a bad translation of)
> religious texts.

I understand.  But would the entire Debian constituency?  (Which is what?
Just the developers?  Developers + users?  All Linux users...)  If we are
interested we could find out.  

This has been a bit of a rant.  Let me try and add something constructive.  
It looks like we are going to 3 CDs.  In the future we will only get
bigger.  How do we manage that growth while not irritating users (swapping
CDs sucks) or censoring maintainers?  

One approach which has been suggested is to make extra cds by section.  
So a data CD could include the bible, anarchy FAQ etc. Perhaps at some
point there will be a ham radio cd, electronics cd etc. This has the
advantage of being infinitely extensible but I worry that it narrows the
scope of Debian for the general user as most CD vendors especially the
cheap ones will probably not bother with the extra CDs.

I would rather see the "core" Debian containing a sampling of all the
various types of free software available and the far-out esoteric stuff
would be addons.  That way people would at least be exposed to different
things even if they weren't able to get really in-depth with just the
basic Debian CDs.

The big fly in the ointment is how to decide what gets into the core
because as you point out, it is very subjective.  I think the
popularity-contest is a good way to help with this. 

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar@braincells.com>

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