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Re: Bug#261257: ITP: folding -- Folding@home Client (install package)

hi nick,

On Mon, Jul 26, 2004 at 06:37:49PM -0400, Nick Lewycky wrote:
> >This packages is so non free that cannot even be included in the
> >non-free section without an installer. It's also only for i386.
> >dpkg will not be able to track its files.
> "without an installer"? This package *is* an installer!

i believe he means, "you can not even re-distribute the binaries, you must
distribute an installer", similar to what users have to do for the
non-free flash player or nvidia's non-free hardware acceleration

> And what's this about dpkg not being able to track its files? Was that 
> statement intended to be disconnected from the i386 specificity?

i think you weren't paying close enough attention to what he was
implying.  if the .deb package contains only a shell script that wget's
the binaries from the stanford site, dpkg has no way of tracking what
files are part of the software, and there isn't any way around that that
isn't a kludge or really complicated. the nvidia package is a good
example of the Right Way to do this (downloading stuff, building it into
a new package, and letting the admin install that), but that counts
as "really complicated", and certainly not something i would consider
a good idea for a first time package maintainer.

> Another one of Debian's essential interests is a commitment to its 
> users. Folding@Home has a community of around 300,000 users and is 
> growing. It was only a matter of time before the two groups intersect. I 
> want a Debian package for it. My choice was to either RFP it or ITP it 
> and I chose the latter. If I'm capable of packaging it, why wouldn't I 
> choose to contribute?

every now and then someone brings up on this list that a piece of
non-free software should be essential to debian because it makes it more
useful for its users, and they tie this is with the first half of clause
4.  i don't understand how you can get down to #4 without reading #1, or
even the second half of #4 though...

if you're really interested in packaging this particular non-free
software, please consider either a) convincing the authors to make their
software dfsg free, or b) providing a real debian package that the
authors can offer for download from their site or apt-repository.
i think that in general the "wget-install" debian packages are something
to be avoided, and you'd do a better service to both communities if you
could make a better package for those who wanted it.



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