Re: "non-free" software included in contrib
On Sun, Aug 31, 2003 at 12:47:11PM -0600, Bruce Sass wrote:
> On Sun, 31 Aug 2003, Mathieu Roy wrote:
> > But now we're discussing about it and I express my opinion: since these
> > packages in their postinst script install non-free stuff, I think that
> > even if there's no non-free stuff within the packages themselves, the
> > result of the installation of these packages (and not their
> > dependancies!) is to get non-free stuff. And so, it leads me to the
> > conclusion that, whatever the fact that the non-free part is downloaded
> > at the same time than the debian package or not, this package itself
> > contains non-free stuff.
> When your conclusion is at odds with reality you should rethink your
> argument... if Debian was to start classifying packages based on
> the probable or possible results of using the package, instead of
> the code in the package itself, contrib would disappear and a case
> could be made to place all editors in non-free because they can be
> used to create non-free stuff.
Ah, reductio ad absurdum. Such a wonderful means of demonstrating that you
can't think up a decent argument, so you'll take something to it's illogical
extreme to try and scare some people.
To address the original point, however:
I do believe that policy is correct in it's reasoning in this instance. By
my understanding, packages go into contrib for one of three reasons:
1) They strictly depend on non-free software;
2) They build-depend on non-free software, but otherwise depend entirely on
free software; or
3) They install non-free software.
In each case, the actual contents of the package itself is DFSG-free.
Apart from item (2), which I can't think of a major example of at present
(OOo is in main because they just don't build the Java parts, AIUI), all of
the software in contrib is there because correctly installing the binary
package will result in non-free software on your system, either because it
depends on it or because it will install it (as part of postinst or via an
The mechanism by which the non-free software will come to be on your system
(by hook or by crook, as it were) isn't a fundamental difference, IMO.