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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free, Draft 2

On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 02:25:03AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
>   [...]  While we will not distribute
>   such software itself, we have created areas in our archive for
>   packages that help install or otherwise requre this software. [...]

There're maybe three different sorts of non-free and contrib packages at
the moment: normal packages that just happen to have licensing concerns,
installer packages, and source packages.

Source packages are broken (in a sense) at the moment, since there's no
straightforward algorithmical way of working out that a "Depends: qmail"
can be satisfied by installing qmail-src and building a real qmail.deb and
then installing that. This means packages like vchkpw look uninstallable
unless you make special exceptions for certain non-free software. [0]

Installers are awkward, since they require network connections or the admin
to actively download the source from somewhere else first, and they need
to be updated whenever upstream changes its archive layout.

I'm unclear on what this proposal would do to otherwise normal
contrib packages. That is, a package like lyx which merely Depends:
on libforms0.89.

One way of dealing with it would be to leave lyx as it is, but that
would make essentially all of contrib as broken and inconvenient as
things like vchkpw. Slightly more so perhaps, since they have to go out
of their way to get their locally compiled binaries to satisfy dpkg.

Another way of dealing with it would be to make an installer package
for all the software in non-free people care about. This is exceedingly
awkward for the packagers (ask joeyh about realplayer sometime), but at
least it's reasonably consistent.

Another way of dealing with it would be to just encourage people who want
contrib/ packages to use some different non-free archive somewhere out
there to satisfy their dependencies. This seems brutally inconsistent
and would be very annoying as far as testing & package-pools go. IMO.

Is there another option? Given only these, I would much rather get rid
of contrib/ as well, from an archive consistency point-of-view.


[0] I care a little about this because I'm trying to add non-free and contrib
    to "testing" at the moment. It's an annoying special case.

Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG encrypted mail preferred.

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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