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Re: General Resolution: Removing non-free

On Wed, Jun 07, 2000 at 01:53:57PM +0100, Anton Ivanov wrote:
> > Package: lyx
> > Priority: optional
> > Section: contrib/text
> > 
> > lyx is in contrib, not non-free.  lyx will remain in the Debian archives.
> No it will not. 

Yes, it will.

> Package: lyx
> Status: install ok installed
> Priority: optional
> Section: contrib/text
> Installed-Size: 4576
> Maintainer: Stuart Lamble <lamble@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au>
> Version: 0.12.0.final-0.1
> Depends: libc6, libforms0.88, libg++272 (>=, xlib6g (>= 3.3-5), xpm4g 
> (>= 3.4j-0)
> Recommends: latex, dvips, tetex-base | ltxgraph
> libforms0.88 is not free so you cannot install it on debian proper. Sorry I 
> may be dumb but I do not see how you are supposed to package something in a 
> distro that as per the distro policy cannot even be tested on that distro. How 
> it can be tracked in the bug system at all. Which bug is an application bug 
> and which is a libforms0.88 one? If libforms has a crytical bug you still ship 
> an application that is actually broken?

Package: xtrs
Status: install ok installed
Priority: extra
Section: contrib/otherosfs
Installed-Size: 1046
Maintainer: Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>
Version: 4.1-2
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.1.2), libncurses5, libreadline4 (>= 4.1), xlib6g (>= 3.3.6-4)
Description: emulator for TRS-80 Model I/III/4/4P computers
 xtrs requires ROM images from the original machines.  The ROMs are
 copyrighted by Radio Shack and are not freely licensed.  (Exception: in
 Model 4P mode, a free included boot ROM can be used to boot a Model 4
 operating system from a diskette image.)  Instructions are provided
 for retrieval of TRS-80 ROM images by those who may legally use them.

I can test this package just fine, using the non-free ROM images in my
possession.  Likewise with lyx and xforms.  You install what the package
needs and see if it works.  You tell your users what the package needs, if
you can't tell the packaging system.

If xtrs is in violation of policy, I'd appreciate it if you told me how.

Bugs in non-free packages can be tracked with whatever bug-tracking
mechanism is set up to handle them.  Did you know that there are Bug
Tracking Systems other than Debian's?  Furthermore, that there are Bug
Tracking Systems that aren't even based on Debian's BTS software?

Contrib and non-free packages have historically always been disregarded
with respect to release-critical bugs, since contrib and non-free aren't
really "released".  The General Resolution has nothing to do with this

If it's unclear whether a bug is in one package or another, then the
package maintainers have to work it out.  If a piece of software is
unmaintained, the bug might go unfixed.  If the piece of software is
non-free and has no available source code, the bug might not be fixable at
all.  The General Resolution has nothing do with this issue.

> > > Use a few PCMCIA GUI frontends that happen to depend on bxforms.
> > 
> > If they are DFSG-free, they can stay in contrib.
> Same.

Likewise.  Same confused complaint gets the same explanation.

> > This would come as a big surprise to the guys I work with.  They've been
> > doing Java development on Debian boxes for months, and it would be a big
> > bummer to have to tell them they can't anymore.  Somehow this General
> > Resolution will make it so that Debian boxes magically no longer work with
> > Java.  Imagine that.
> They will work. But they will no longer be debian boxes.

They won't?  There really isn't any such thing as a machine that is
"officially Debian", unless it's a machine owned or donated to the Project
-- in which case it is that fact which makes it an official Debian machine,
and not what software is installed on it.

In my opinion, a machine is a Debian box if Debian is one of the operating
systems installed on it.

Why are you concerned about the branding of individual machines as "Debian
boxes"?  Does it matter?

> And the system on 
> which software which in turn depends on Java will have to be installed will no 
> longer be debian.

If that is true, then it is also not true today.  The existing JDK
packages, for instance, are not part of the official Debian system.  They
never have been.  Therefore I have to point out that you're arguing about
things that don't really have to do with the General Resolution -- whether
it passes or fails, your computers with Java installed won't be "Debian

> Derived from Debian - yes. But not debian. And debian will 
> never ever be allowed to claim that Java actually runs on "Debian".

This is just further elaboration of your mistaken viewpoint.  If the
installation of non-free software makes a computer "not a Debian box",
well, then, probably a very great many Debian users and developers don't
actually own any Debian boxes.  I think this will come as a surprise to

> I am sorry but if you think that Sun will see the light you are wrong.

I don't really care what kind of light SunSoft chooses to see, or hide

> I would skip your personal insults but you are not making debian any better by 
> intentionally closing it to a set of hardware platforms that happen to be a 
> significant percentage of what is shipped nowdays.

Well, if that's what I were doing, maybe I'd be able to take your remarks
seriously.  But I fail to see how what you're talking about really has
anything to do with the proposed General Resolution.  Non-free drivers
exist in the world; whether .deb packages can be made of them depends on
their license terms and the existence of someone who's willing to do the
work to make one.  Neither of these conditions are all affected by the
proposed General Resolution, unless someone has to know that their
unofficial Debian package will be distributed in Debian's non-free for them
to have enough motiviation to do it.  And if that is the case, then what
they really want is some kind of stamp of "officialdom" anyway.  And if
that's true, then we have failed to make clear to people that contrib and
non-free packages are not official.  Note: contrib and non-free packages
official Debian packages even if this General Resolution is defeated.

Do you want OFFICIAL contrib and non-free packages?  You'll have to get
someone to make a General Resolution to the effect.

> Some vendors just do not see the light. And until the actual user base
> that uses their hardware grows and starts pressuring them they will not
> see it.

I'm not concerned about making vendors "see the light", or about putting
pressure on them to change their ways.  At least, I don't see this General
Resolution as a tool for accomplishing that end.

G. Branden Robinson            |    "There is no gravity in space."
Debian GNU/Linux               |    "Then how could astronauts walk around
branden@ecn.purdue.edu         |     on the Moon?"
roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~branden/ |    "Because they were wearing heavy boots."

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