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Re: Criteria for inclusion in Debian other than DFSG?

On Wed, Sep 10, 2003 at 03:09:28PM -0400, Adam Kessel wrote:
> Please let me know if there is a better Debian mailing list to discuss
> this. I've been involved in a discussion on debian-mentors on this
> topic[1] that was ultimately inconclusive.

> I am wondering if there are guidelines for what gets included in Debian
> other than what is required by the DFSG. The FAQ says only:[2] 

> > Although Debian includes only free software, we do not include all the
> > free software in the whole world. (Although we do include so much that
> > one can understand people thinking we include it all.) What software we
> > choose to distribute is Debian's own decision, and no one else's. In
> > particular, we are not obligated to distribute FOO. 

> I understand that if I am not a Debian Developer, and can't find anyone
> to sponsor a package I want in Debian, then there's no right to demand it
> be included.

> But what if I find a sponsor, or I am a Debian Developer (which hopefully
> will happen soon[3]) willing to maintain the package myself? What does it
> mean for it to be "Debian's own decision" whether to distribute a
> particular package?  

It is rare (possibly unprecedented) that Debian would overrule a DD who
wishes to maintain a piece of software which is free and legally
distributable.  The ftpmasters may know otherwise; since their
cooperation is ultimately required for any piece of software to be
included in the Debian archive, such decisions may simply have been made
out of public view.

Much more likely, however, is that when someone ITPs a piece of software
that adds no value to the archive, his peers will beat him with sticks
until he changes his mind -- thus preserving the sanctity of the
individual developer's right to decide for himself whether he wants to
continue being beaten with sticks.  This is hardly an objective metric,
however, as different people have different sticking thresholds.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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